What to Do When You Chip a Tooth

A chipped tooth can be the result of many different accidents. From a fall to a sports injury, the possibilities are endless. No matter the cause of the chipped tooth, we understand it can be a scary experience that you’ll want to resolve quickly.

In fact, any tooth that breaks or chips should be evaluated by your dentist to determine the best plan of action.

How to Handle a Chipped Tooth

There are a few steps you can take in preparation for your visit to the dentist:

  • Stay away from any hot or cold foods; eat only soft foods.

  • If your tooth is causing pain or sensitivity, your dentist can recommend the best over-the-counter pain medication.

  • Rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling.

Different Treatment Options for a Broken Tooth

If the chip in your tooth is minor, you may need to have it smoothed over to avoid irritating your tongue or cheeks. A more severe break requires an extensive approach; the treatment option your dentist chooses will depend on how severe the tooth is damaged. Therefore, here are a few of the different treatment options your dentist may recommend:

Fillings and Bondings

A minor or moderate chip or fracture can be fixed with a dental filling. However, teeth that are located near the front of your mouth (which are visible when you smile) may need to be bonded.

Dental Veneers

Veneers are thin porcelain shells that cover the front of your tooth, entirely, to mimic a natural appearance. This procedure can make it look like the chip or fracture in your tooth was never present.

On average, it typically takes a few appointments for the veneer process to be complete. During the first one to two appointments, your dentist will remove a thin layer of enamel from your tooth and take impressions of it. Next, these molds are sent to a lab, which will then make it possible to create custom veneers for your mouth. Finally, your dentist will use a liquid solution to adhere to each veneer to your tooth, hardening them with a special light.


When a large portion of your tooth has broken, a crown may be the only option to repair the tooth completely. Similar to veneers, crowns require multiple visits to ensure that each will fit properly to your smile. Additionally, crowns are made from either porcelain, resin, or ceramic, and are fused to metal; the color of your crowns will match the rest of your teeth.

Not everyone enjoys going to the dentist, but with our personable staff at Robert A. Neal, DDS Family Dentistry, you’ll feel right at home. If you have a chipped tooth or have experienced a dental emergency, contact us at (972) 200-0656 to schedule an appointment.

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