Dental Emergency Care
Knowing what to do in the event of a dental accident can make the difference between losing and saving a tooth. Here are some of the more common dental emergencies and how you can best deal with them until you can get in touch with us.
It’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible. Ignoring a dental problem can increase the risk of permanent damage as well as the need for more extensive and expensive treatment later on. We allow time in our daily schedules for dental emergencies, so please contact us as soon as possible for an appointment.
As a temporary measure, stick a piece of sugarless gum into the cavity (sugar-filled gum will cause pain) or use an over-the-counter dental cement such as Dentemp or Temparin. These are available at most drug stores, Walmart and Target.
See your dentist as soon as possible.
Crown Came Off
If the crown falls off, make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible and bring the crown with you. If you can’t get to the dentist right away and the tooth is causing pain, use a cotton swab to apply a little clove oil to the sensitive area (clove oil can be purchased at your local drug store or in the spice aisle of your grocery store).
If possible, slip the crown back over the tooth. Before doing so, coat the inner surface with an over-the-counter dental cement such as Dentemp, Temparin, Fixadent or Poligrip to help hold the crown in place. These are available at most drug stores, Walmart and Target.
Do not use super glue!
Rinse your mouth with lukewarm water to clean the area. Gently use dental floss to remove any food trapped between your teeth. If your mouth is swollen, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek.
Never put aspirin or any other painkiller against the gums near the aching tooth because it will burn the gum tissue.
Abscesses are infections that occur around the root of a tooth or in the space between the teeth and gums. Abscesses are a serious condition that can damage tissue and surrounding teeth, with the infection possibly spreading to other parts of the body if left untreated.
The pain experienced with an abscess will generally subside once treated with the proper antibiotics, and may require additional procedures to prevent re-occurrence. If you discover a painful pimple-like swelling on your gum, try rinsing your mouth with a mild salt water solution (1/2 teaspoon of table salt in 8 ounces of water) several times a day to ease the pain and draw the pus toward the surface.
Chipped or Broken Tooth
Rinse the mouth using warm water. If there’s any bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. If needed to relieve swelling or pain, apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth, cheek, or lip near the broken/chipped tooth.
Knocked out Permanent Tooth
Retrieve the tooth, hold it by the crown (the part that is usually exposed in the mouth), and rinse off the tooth root with water if it’s dirty. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, try to put the tooth back in place. Make sure it’s facing the right way. Never force it into the socket.
If it’s not possible to reinsert the tooth in the socket, put the tooth in a small container of milk (or cup of water that contains a pinch of table salt, if milk is not available) or a product containing cell growth medium, such as Save-a-Tooth. In all cases, see your dentist as quickly as possible.
Knocked out teeth with the highest chances of being saved are those seen by the dentist and returned to their socket within 1 hour of being knocked out. (This tip does not apply to baby teeth.)
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