Dental Emergencies

Learn what to do in the event of injury to your mouth. It could save you a lot of pain and distress. Dental emergencies can be managed with a little prevention and preparation. Ask your dentist or staff about their emergency procedures. Exercise common sense and caution by using safety equipment. And always keep your dentist’s phone number where everyone in the family can access it quickly. The key to minimizing a dental injury is to see your dentist as soon as possible.

A dental emergency can easily be described as any abnormal oral condition that causes pain or concern. Most often, it takes the form of an injury to the teeth, gums or jaw. In addition to injuries, an abscess, toothache or infection can cause pain, swelling or fever. In case of emergency, there may be something you can do depending on the circumstances.The following are some of the types of dental emergencies and what you can do before you can reach us.

Broken Filling

In most cases, treatment can be delayed until a convenient time is available. Rough edges can be smoothed off with an emery board and the hole can be filled with warm wax or sugarless gum.

Loose cap

When a cap (crown) becomes loose or falls off, it can be placed back over the tooth until re-cementation can be done. For a little more security, place a small piece of sugarless gum in the crown for retention. The cap should not be left off the tooth for more than several days or it may not be possible to put it back on. You should go to your dentist as soon as possible to get it recemented because it is very easy to get decay under a loose cap.

Broken tooth

Bring all fragments, for we may be able to bond them back for you. If soft tissue (lips, cheek, tongue) are lacerated, check if the fragments are embedded in the wound. Even if the fragments are lost, see us as soon as possible because the fractured tooth may become sensitive and the infected nerve may cause pain.

Knocked-out Tooth

If a permanent tooth is completely dislodged from the mouth, immediate care is required. If possible, place the tooth back in the bleeding socket, or under your tongue (to keep it moist), or even in a glass of cold saline or milk (not water). You can rinse it with saline or milk (not water), but do not touch or scrub the root;otherwise this may damage the cells on the root surface, which are vital to the success of reimplantation of the tooth. Contact at once. Remember, the sooner the tooth is put back into its socket, the better the prognosis.

Bleeding

Only severe bleeding is a real emergency. This may be the result of a recent surgical procedure (e.g. extraction) or trauma. Apply pressure to the bleeding area with a gauze pad and get help as soon as possible.

Swelling

If your mouth, lips or face swells due to a dental problem, this generally indicates an infection. You should be seen by your dentist as soon as possible. Swelling that affects your eye or throat, or a fever also requires immediate attention. Begin rinsing with a solution of water and salt, and you may apply a cold pack to the outside of your face.

Toothache

A toothache usually indicates that something is wrong. Pain may come from the tooth itself, the gums or the jaw muscles or joints.Do not put heat or any of these pain relievers directly on the tooth – take them as directed on the label. If the patient is a child, call as soon as possible for an emergency appointment.

Suspicion of Jaw Fracture

Do not move the jaw. Secure the jaw in place by tying a bandage or towel around the jaw and over the top of the head. Go immediately to a hospital emergency room, or call your dentist.