Why Is It Important to Get a Chipped Tooth Repaired? Torrance CA

Why Is It Important to Get a Chipped Tooth Repaired?

A chipped tooth might seem like a little thing, but in reality there are some oral health problems behind that jagged smile you might not realize.

If you’ve recently chipped a tooth, or have an old one chip left untreated, you’ll want to come in to have it taken care of.

Is a Chipped Tooth an Emergency Situation?

There are some chipped teeth situations that constitute an emergency situation, while others may not.

Chips that impact the outer layers of your tooth - the dentin and the enamel - are not an emergency situation. They still need to be attended to fairly quickly, but treatment can be scheduled for a regular timeframe, rather than today.

A chip that goes deeper, causing pain or stinging that persists after the incident during which the tooth is chipped is an emergency. This pain is an indicator that damage was done deeper into the deep in the pulp chamber. If this kind of pain persists, you should call and schedule an emergency appointment immediately.

What Happens If I Don’t Get a Chipped Tooth Repaired Right Away?

When you leave a chipped tooth untreated, you face the likelihood that your tooth will become infected and worsen over time. Pain will develop, the infection will spread, and you’ll begin to feel much worse over time.

The Different Types of Chipped Teeth

Not all chipped teeth are the same, so not all the treatments are going to be the same.

Visible Chips From The Front Teeth

These chips may be the result of dental trauma, such as a soccer ball to the face or bite into food that’s too hard to safely be eaten. This kind of chip is usually repaired by dental bonding.

Breaks Or Chips Caused By Decay

What appears to be a minor chip on the surface may be due to tooth decay deeper down in the tooth. When a tooth chips, cracks, or breaks “out of the blue” this is likely the cause and should be treated fairly soon to prevent further damage and decrease risk for infection.

Vertical Breaks

A painful tooth break is one that emanates from the root of the tooth and moves upward to the crown of the tooth. This type of break typically requires extraction.

Cusp Breaks

When the cusps of the teeth - the pointed parts of the mid and back teeth - chip, they can cause misalignment of the teeth and sharp edges which can damage the tongue. These sharp points may need to be filed away by the dentist or a crown may be necessary.

Split Tooth

If a tooth in the back, a molar, breaks and splits vertically into two pieces, you may or may not be able to keep the root for tooth restoration purposes. If you are not able to, a root canal and crown will be prescribed to repair the damage and preserve your oral health.

Can You Repair a Chipped Tooth?

There are a number of repair options for chipped teeth. The choice made by your dentist will be determined by the type of damage on your tooth.

Dental Filling or Bonding

For a basic, minor crack or chip, dental bonding or filling will likely be the choice. This kind of repair work treats the outer white surface of the tooth. This kind of procedure often doesn’t require any local anesthetic. The repair work is done with dental resin that matches the shade of your teeth, creating a natural look unnoticeable.


For some damaged teeth, your dentist may apply a veneer to the front of the tooth to treat the cracked tooth. Veneers are a thin porcelain resin composite that covers the front of the tooth to protect it and improve the look to a natural finish.

Dental Crown

If the crack or chip is more severe, your dentist may need to apply a dental crown. This is a tooth-shaped cap that covers the entire tooth. This option is used when there’s deeper, more significant damage to the tooth than a small chip. The dentist will have to grind off part of the remaining tooth to then place the crown.

A dental crown is made of porcelain or resin in most cases and looks like your other teeth, both in shape and in color.

If this treatment is required, you’ll have a couple of visits to complete the process.

What Should I Do If I Chipped My Tooth While The Dentist’s Office Is Closed?

Accidents can happen any time, including weekends or late nights when your dentist’s office might not be open. There are some things you can do to help while you wait for our office at Dentist of Torrance to open again the next morning.

Rinse with Warm Water

If you chip or break a tooth, use some pure, warm water to rinse out your mouth right away to clean the tooth.

Apply Gentle Pressure

If there’s any bleeding, gently apply pressure to stop it. A cold compress is a great way to do this while also reducing the swelling.

Relieve Pain

If you’re experiencing pain from the chipped tooth, you should use a cold compress to reduce swelling and take over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen. If you have some on hand, you can also apply clove oil to the painful area. The oil contains eugenol, which is a numbing agent that has anti-inflammatory properties.

Apply Dental Wax

If there’s a jagged edge, you can find some dental wax from your local pharmacy. The wax helps smooth the edge while you wait for treatment, keeping your tongue from being cut by the sharp edge

Preserve the Tooth

If you have the broken off part of the tooth, wrap it in wet gauze and bring it to the office when you come in.

How Do I Prevent Chipping My Teeth?

Preventing chipped teeth isn’t always possible, but there are ways you can protect your teeth against most possibilities.

Call the Dentist of Torrance today at 310-651-7660 to schedule an appointment for treatment for your chipped tooth.


CALL (310) 651-7660

Request Appointment