Dental Emergencies

Dental Emergencies

When dental accidents and emergencies happen, knowing what to do and receiving prompt treatment can mean the difference between saving or losing a tooth and increases the chance of tooth survival.

Types of Dental Emergencies

Tooth Fractures or Cracks

Fractures and cracks can happen due to biting on hard objects (such as ice or hard candies),grinding, or trauma. If the crack extends down into the root, it is likely that the pain will be extreme. Call or see the dentist as quickly as possible. If there is no way for you to see the dentist immediately, apply gauze to the area for 10 minutes in case of bleeding. Cover the affected area with over-the-counter dental cement. Do not put aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues.

Place a cold, damp towel on theface to minimize swelling and pain. Take over-the-counter pain relievers.and apply a topical pain reliever to reduce discomfort.

Avulsed Tooth (Knocked out PermanentTooth)

For a knocked-out permanent tooth,it is very important to see the dentist ASAP. In the meantime, keepthe tooth moist at all times.If you can, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root after rinsing with warm water. If that’s not possible, place it in between your cheek and gums, in milk, or use a tooth preservation product that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance or water as the last choice.If the tooth can be placed back into its socket within the hour, there is an increased chance that the tooth can be saved.Make sure you get to your dentist’s office right away.Sometimes a root canal might be necessary to prevent the chances of infection.

Dislodged/Loose Teeth

When an adult tooth has been dislodged or loosened from its socket by trauma, it might be possible to save it. If the tooth remains in the mouth and the blood vessels and nerves are still intact, there is a good chance a root canal treatment will not be necessary.However, in some cases, root canal therapy may still be required.

Call the dentist immediately, but in the meantime, use a cold compress on your face and take over-the-counter medications to relieve pain. Once you see your dentist, they will reposition the tooth and add splints to stabilize it.

Lost Filling or Crown

Usually, a crown and filling may loosen or chip during eating or due to underlying decay. Once it is out of the mouth, the affected tooth (if it has no existing root canal) may experience pain and be sensitive to temperature changes and pressure. Call and make a dental appointment as soon as possible. Meanwhile, keep the crown clean because there is a possibility that the dentist can reinsert it. Use over the counter dental cement to temporarily cement the crown but DO NOT use any types of glues. If the crown is out of the mouth for a long period of time, the teeth may shift or sustain further damage and crown will not fit anymore. During your appointment, the dentist will re-evaluate and check the crown and the tooth to see if it still fits and if there is a presence of decay. If no decay is detected and the restorative crown still fits, it will be reattached to the tooth. Any decay that is noted will be treated and a new crown will be made.

Other Dental Emergencies and Preventative Tips

  • If you bite your tongue or lip, clean the area gently with water and apply a cold compress.
  • For objects that become stuck in the teeth, DO NOT try to remove it with sharp instruments, gently try to remove it with floss.
  • When playing sports, wear a mouthguard to prevent trauma.
  • Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels, and hard candies to prevent tooth trauma and cracks. NEVER use your teeth to cut or open things.