Dental Implants: Pros and Cons

Child Chipped a Tooth? What To Expect When Visiting The Dentist

by Brett Clark

Chipping a tooth can be a painful and upsetting experience for a child, and a big worry for the parent. If the tooth damage is the result of an accident, then a chipped tooth can remain a painful reminder long after the initial injury has healed.

Difficulty eating, teasing from classmates or peers, and a lack of confidence in physical appearance are all possible consequences of a chipped tooth that is not dealt with. Prompt action ensures that your child will suffer as little lasting damage as possible. Here's what you can expect when visiting the dentist with your child.

Assessment of the Chip 

A dentist will assess the severity of the chip in your child's tooth in order to decide upon an appropriate treatment. Keep your child calm by explaining what the dentist is doing, and emphasizing the fact that the dentist is there to make their tooth better. Your child will usually take their lead from you - if they see you panicking and looking worried they may do the same, so keeping your composure is important. Once the chip has been assessed, the dentist will talk you and your child through the possible treatment options.

Treatment for a Minor Chip

For a minor chip, it's likely that your dentist will choose to file down the tooth. This ensures that the edge is smooth, preventing any discomfort to your child and allowing them to eat as normal. The process of filing should not cause your child pain - at most there will be some minor discomfort. There is a chance that some sensitivity may develop in the tooth, and your dentist will advise on how to deal with this. Using special toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth and avoiding foods that are overly hot or cold will help.

Treatment for a Large Chip

For a larger, more severe chip, your dentist may suggest a veneer. A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain or strong resin which is placed over the existing tooth. The veneer will be the same color as your child's other teeth, and will be bonded into place. Once complete, there should not be any way to tell the difference between the veneer and the existing teeth. Having a veneer fitted will involve more than one trip to the dentist.

During your first visit, the dentist will take a mold of the teeth to ensure that the veneer created is the right size. Your child will need to return for the veneer to be fitted using a special bonding material, and one final time for a check up and polish. This final appointment allows you to bring up any issues you may have had in the meantime.

A child chipping a tooth can be a scary and unsettling experience for both child and parent. Knowing what to expect can help you both to feel much calmer throughout the treatment process. A chipped tooth is a common problem, and your dentist will be experienced in making the whole process as easy as possible for you and your child.