Lost or chipped teeth can make you self-conscious about your oral health and your appearance. Fortunately, no matter how frustrating your tooth troubles are, you’re not alone.

According to the American College of Prosthodontists, 178 million U.S. residents have lost at least one tooth – but that doesn’t mean 178 million Americans are still toothless! From prosthetics to re-attachments, dentists offer several procedures and tools that can get you smiling again.

See a Dentist Immediately

Whether your tooth was knocked out during a pick-up game or you chipped it in a fall, get to the dentist right away. Dentists can often reattach all or part of a broken or lost tooth – but only within a limited time frame.

Even if you can’t find the missing tooth or chip, make an appointment immediately. Dentists can minimize the damage if they see you soon after your accident.

Treat the Pain

A lost or chipped tooth can cause pain so severe that it makes it hard for you to think! Unless you have specific medical restrictions, you can often take an over-the-counter pain reliever (such as aspirin or acetaminophen) to dull the pain while you’re waiting to see the dentist. If the pain gets worse, the dentist might prescribe a stronger pain killer. Just be certain not to skip the dentist because the pain killer has temporarily cured the ache.

If left untreated, missing and chipped teeth can cause other, more severe dental problems. Losing or chipping a tooth isn’t fun, but it’s not a disaster either. It’s a common problem – one that dentists know how to treat correctly and quickly.

However, it’s all about timing when it comes to lost and chipped teeth. The longer you wait the harder it will be to correct your problem, so make an appointment as soon as possible.