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“How long does it take to fix a chipped tooth?” is a question that often concerns parents. Children, full of energy, can easily chip a tooth during play, leading to worries about their dental health.

Getting quick advice from a Chicago pediatric dentist is crucial because chipped teeth can vary significantly in severity. The treatment timeline depends on how bad the damage is, which can range from a minor crack to a severe chip affecting the tooth’s nerve.

A chipped tooth is not just about cosmetic appearance but also potential pain and further complications. Acting swiftly can ensure the best outcome for your child, avoiding unnecessary discomfort and expense.

Keep reading to find out the types of chipped teeth, treatment options, and how long it typically takes to fix a chipped tooth.

Understanding a Chipped Tooth in Kids

Kids are active, playful, and always on the go. It’s no surprise that chipped teeth are a common occurrence. From playground mishaps to sports incidents, children can easily damage their teeth. The good news is that most chipped teeth aren’t emergencies, but seeking emergency dental care promptly is essential to prevent further damage.

Chipped teeth vary in severity, from minor chips that may cause little discomfort to severe breaks that can affect the nerve and lead to significant pain. Getting a chipped tooth evaluated quickly by a dentist ensures that any issues are identified and treated early. This not only minimizes discomfort but also helps avoid more extensive dental procedures in the future.

Understanding the different types of chips and the appropriate treatments is crucial for parents to make informed decisions about their child’s dental health.

Severity and Types of Chipped Teeth

Chipped teeth vary in severity, which directly affects treatment and cost. Understanding the extent of damage helps parents determine what to expect in terms of pain, time for healing, and expense. Here’s a closer look at the types of chipped teeth:

Minor Chipping

A minor chip generally involves only a tiny portion of the tooth, often just a little edge. Such chips usually result in little to no pain. The primary concern is cosmetic, and repairs are usually quick and affordable. In many cases, a quick bonding procedure can be done in one visit, and the cost remains relatively low.

Moderate Chipping

Moderate chipping typically causes more discomfort and may expose the dentin layer of the tooth. This type of damage may require a more extensive bonding procedure or even a veneer. The involvement of the nerve can lead to increased sensitivity.

The cost of repair for moderate chips is higher than minor ones, given the need for more involved treatment.

Severe Chipping

Severe chipping often involves a significant portion of the tooth being broken off, potentially reaching the nerve. Such damage can cause intense pain and requires more advanced treatment, such as a crown or even a root canal.

The cost of chipped tooth repair in these cases is substantially higher, reflecting the need for multiple dental visits and more extensive procedures.

Emergency Dental Care: Steps to Take

First, assess the damage. Is your child in pain, or is there visible bleeding? For minor chips, provide temporary relief by rinsing the mouth with warm water and applying a cold compress to reduce swelling. For moderate to severe damage, you should seek help from a Chicago pediatric dentist as soon as possible.

To manage chipped tooth pain temporarily, over-the-counter pain relievers can be used, and a soft diet is recommended to avoid further discomfort. Regardless of severity, it’s essential to consult a dentist to prevent further complications.

Treatment Options for Chipped Teeth

There are several options available based on the severity of the damage. From simple fillings to more complex procedures like crowns or root canals, each treatment aims to restore the tooth’s appearance and function while alleviating pain.

Chipped Tooth Filling

A filling is often the best option for minor chips that don’t affect the tooth’s structure significantly. The dentist will apply a composite resin to the chipped area and shape it to match the natural tooth. This quick, single-visit solution is cost-effective and restores the tooth’s appearance seamlessly.

Dental Veneers

For moderate damage, particularly to the front teeth, dental veneers provide a cosmetic solution. These thin porcelain shells cover the tooth’s front surface, masking chips and restoring a natural appearance. The process usually requires two visits: one to prepare the tooth and another to bond the veneer.

Veneers offer a more durable option for teeth that need more than a filling.


When a tooth is severely chipped or has lost a large portion, crowns become the most suitable option. The crown, made of porcelain or other materials, is custom-made to fit over the damaged tooth. It restores the tooth’s shape, size, and strength.

Placing a crown typically requires two or more visits, with the initial visit to prep the tooth and the follow-up for fitting.

Root Canal

A root canal is necessary if the chipped tooth’s damage extends to the pulp, causing severe pain. This treatment involves removing the infected pulp, cleaning the tooth’s interior, and sealing it. A crown is usually placed over the tooth to protect it after the root canal.

While this process requires multiple visits, it effectively eliminates pain and saves the tooth.

Can a Chipped Tooth Heal?

Teeth cannot heal themselves, but they can be restored through dental procedures. Prompt treatment is crucial to prevent further complications, such as increased sensitivity, infection, or damage to the tooth’s structure. A Chicago pediatric dentist can provide the right treatment to ensure your child’s chipped tooth is repaired effectively, restoring both function and appearance.

How Long Does It Take to Fix a Chipped Tooth?

Now you know the answer to the question “How long does it take to fix a chipped tooth?” It’s essential to seek immediate emergency dental care when your child chips a tooth to avoid further complications.

Treatment timelines vary based on the damage’s severity, and your dentist will guide you on the best solution for your child’s needs. At Brushin’ on Belmont, we’re here to help, offering comprehensive dental care for the whole family.

Contact us today for tailored dental solutions that ensure your child’s smile is restored beautifully.