Emergency Treatment for a Chipped Tooth in Clearwater, FL
Is a chipped tooth an emergency? The answer can vary depending on the severity of the fracture and which tooth is affected. The best way to handle this common dental injury is to contact a dental office right away. The dentists at Florida Dental Centers in Clearwater, Florida, can help you determine whether your chipped tooth is an emergency and explain your next steps.
Here are three possible scenarios:
Your Remaining Tooth Structure Is White
If the tooth structure exposed by the chip is the same color as the outer tooth—white with no dark areas—the fracture has likely affected only the enamel. In most cases, this type of chipped tooth is not painful and is not a dental emergency. Instead, it can be evaluated and treated by a dentist during regular business hours.
Your Remaining Tooth Structure Is Two Colors
If the tooth structure exposed by the chip has two colors, such as white and dark brown or white and yellow, the chip may have affected the tooth’s enamel as well as the underlying tissue (dentin). While fractured dentin can cause cold sensitivity and pain while chewing, it usually does not constitute an emergency. Although you should still see a dentist as soon as possible, it is generally safe to wait for the next available appointment.
Your Tooth Is Broken In Half
The least common and most severe scenario is a chip that extends through the tooth’s enamel and dentin into the pulp chamber at the bottom of the tooth. Inflammation or infection of the pulp—which contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues—can cause excruciating pain. As such, this type of chipped tooth is generally a dental emergency.
At Florida Dental Centers, we understand that it can be unsettling to chip a tooth. However, unless a chipped tooth is very painful or loose, it is usually not an emergency. Even so, a visible chip may be a cosmetic concern that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later (for example, if you have an important event coming up).
Whether or not your chipped tooth is an emergency, the experienced team at Florida Dental Centers can provide the urgent dental care you need as soon as possible. For personalized advice, contact our office in Clearwater, FL.