If you’ve chipped a tooth, your first thought is probably surprise and maybe even horror at what happened. But soon enough, you’re going to recover your wits enough to realize you want to fix the tooth. Before you rush out and get that done, here are five important things to consider to make sure you get the best results.
Is It an Emergency?
First, it’s important to know if your chipped tooth needs emergency dentistry, or if it’s not and you can take your time making the decision.
Chips that affect the outer layers of the tooth–the enamel and the dentin–are not emergencies. These should be attended to fairly quickly, but don’t have to be your immediate priority.
How do you tell the difference? Pain is one good way to tell. Serious, stinging pain that persists most likely means that you’ve broken into the pulp chamber, which is where the nerves are in the tooth. There might not be continuous pain, but the tooth is very sensitive if you take in a sharp breath or drink a cold or hot beverage.
You can also do a visual inspection of the tooth. If you can see the bloody pulp or if blood is coming from within the tooth at the crack, then you should treat it as an emergency. When in doubt, it’s best to have a chipped tooth examined as soon as possible.
What Are My Goals?
Before you go in to talk to the dentist about fixing your teeth, it’s important to consider what are your goals for treatment.
Do you want to make sure you get your teeth treated right away? Do you want to simply repair your teeth? Do you want to beautify the damaged tooth? Do you want to beautify other teeth or even your whole smile? How long do you want results to last?
Once you’ve made a basic list of goals, try to sort them priority from most to least important. If you have your priorities straight before talking to a dentist, it can help us give you better recommendations about choosing the right treatment, such as dental bonding, veneers, or crowns.
What Are My Limits?
Ideally, you should be able to get all your goals met. But if that’s always the case, there’s no need to prioritize. Unfortunately, depending on your limits, you might have to forego or postpone some of your goals.
You have to consider some factors that may limit your treatment options, such as:
- Oral health
For example, if you need your treatment to be completed in a single visit, it limits your treatment options. And if your budget is limited, your treatment options might be, too (although don’t forget you have financing options). And, of course, if your teeth aren’t healthy to begin with, they might not support some of the treatment options.
Will This Happen Again?
If you chipped your teeth once, you have to consider that it might happen again. And, if it is likely to happen again, you have to consider how that might be prevented. This may include treatment of vulnerable teeth, or addressing bite issues that put your teeth at risk. Sometimes, the answer is as simple as a mouthguard. Other times, the answer is more complicated.
Some accidents are truly freaks, but others are the result of choices we make that may put our teeth at risk. You may need to change some habits or behaviors to protect your teeth from future damage.
It’s best to talk to your dentist about this issue.
Do I Have the Right Dentist?
And, of course, the most important question you have to ask is whether your dentist is capable of giving you the results you’re looking for. Your dentist may be good for checkups and preventive care, but if you’re unsure about their ability, it’s best to evaluate them before agreeing to treatment.
Make sure your dentist has a gallery of before and after results so you can gauge their talent. If they don’t, they probably haven’t done enough of this type of work to make them a good choice.
Need a Chipped Tooth Repaired in Rochester, NY?
If you’ve chipped a tooth in the Rochester, NY area and you’re looking for a skilled dentist who can help you get the results you’re looking for, please call (585) 244-3337 today for an appointment at Contemporary Dentistry.