How to Fix a Chipped Tooth

Although tooth enamel is the hardest tissue in the human body, your teeth arent’ indestructible. One wrong move can break a significant part of your tooth. This is what we call a chipped tooth. Here’s what you need to do if you have a chipped tooth to fix it quickly and painlessly.


Causes for Chipped Teeth

There are a lot of reasons why your teeth get chipped. The most common causes for a chipped tooth are:

  • Biting on something hard (like a pit, candy, or ice)
  • Playing contact sports without a mouthguard
  • Falls or car accidents
  • Grinding your teeth in your sleep

Is a Chipped Tooth Painful?

How painful your chipped tooth is depends on how badly it broke. If the chip is small, it doesn’t damage the nerves in your tooth. But, if the fracture separates the nerves in your tooth, it can be very painful.

What to Do If You Have a Chipped Tooth

If you accidentally chip your tooth, don’t panic. Keeping calm is crucial when you have a dental emergency. Seek out a dentist immediately. They can fix your chipped tooth easily.

If your chipped tooth hurts, you can take pain relief medication such as acetaminophen. Rinsing your mouth with salt water can also help ease the pain.

Sometimes, the chipped tooth’s remains can be dangerous. The sharp or jagged edge can cut your tongue or the inside of your mouth. To prevent any further pain, cover your chipped tooth with sugarless chewing gum or wax paraffin. This should keep you safe from your own chompers until you get to the dentist.

If you can, avoid eating after chipping your tooth. But if you need to eat, stick to soft foods that you don’t need to chew much. 

How Your Dentist Fixes Your Chipped Tooth

When you get to the dentist, they’ll evaluate the severity of your chipped tooth. Here’s what you can expect during your dental visit for a broken tooth. 

Dental Filling or Bonding

Smaller chips to the tooth are quicker to fix. This makes them a cheaper option too, not to mention much less painful. This is because you’re not dealing with nerve damage.

Your dentist can use dental fillings to make your tooth whole again. These fillings also remove any sharp edges. Don’t worry, if your fillings are exposed. Your dentist will use a tooth-colored resin. This kind of bonding fixes your tooth and restores your perfect smile.


Veneers are a full layer of covering for your damaged tooth. First, your dentist will remove a small amount of the surface of the tooth. Then, they’ll create a mold to get the correct shape for the veneer. Finally, they’ll apply the veneer.

After that, your chipped tooth will be as good as new.

Dental Cap or Crown

If the damage to the tooth is severe, you’ll need a bit more work done. Your dentist may file your tooth until there’s enough space to add a dental cap or crown. These coverings are made from resin, ceramic, metal, or porcelain fused to metal.

Root Canal

Sometimes a chipped tooth fractures all the way to the pulp. It’s severe damage that requires root canal treatment. But, root canals aren’t as scary as they sound. 

During this procedure, your dentist removes the decayed pulp, cleans it out, and then seals the tooth with a crown. While it’s not painless, it’s still better than leaving a severely chipped tooth.

Which Tooth Is Most at Risk?

Any weakened tooth is at risk of chipping. But, statistically, the second lower molar chips the most. That’s because of the pressure you put on it when you chew. 

You’ll also need to be careful with any fillings you have. These aren’t as tough as real enamel. As a result, you may chip the filling again.

Risk Factors For Chipped Teeth

Some people’s teeth are more prone to chipping than others. How easily your teeth chip depends on your lifestyle and genetics. Understanding the risk factors can help you prevent chipping your tooth:

  • Lack of calcium: Calcium is the main component in strong and healthy teeth. If you don’t have enough, your teeth get softer and more susceptible to chips, cracks, and breaks.
  • Tooth decay: Cavities eat away at your enamel. It’s crucial to turn to a dentist if you have cavities.
  • Grinding your teeth: Tooth grinding or bruxism can wear down the enamel of your teeth over time.
  • Eating acidic foods: Fruit juices, coffee, and spicy foods break down your enamel quicker.
  • Acid reflux or heartburn: These digestive problems can bring stomach acid up to your mouth, which can weaken your teeth.
  • Age: Your teeth inevitably wear down over time. If you’re over 50, pay special attention to cracks and chips in your teeth.

Don’t Overpay Fixing Your Chipped Tooth

Even if you do everything to protect your teeth, accidents happen. When your tooth chips, don’t hesitate. Seek out a dentist immediately. Leaving a chipped tooth, especially if the damage is severe, can lead to complications. You could even lose your tooth entirely.

A lot of people hesitate going to the dentist because it isn’t cheap. Luckily, Carefree Dental can get you huge discounts on dental procedures at participating dentists.

Simply show your discount card to a participating dentist and you could potentially save 15% - 50%* per visit on dental procedures in most instances. Ready to keep more money in your wallet after the dentist? Sign up for a Carefree Dental Card today!


The Carefree Dental blog is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The text and pictures within the content are intended for information purposes only. Readers should consult with a licensed dentist or healthcare professional before seeking treatment.

The Carefree Dental Card is not insurance and Carefree Dental is not an insurance provider.

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