Please call our office as soon as you determine that you have a dental emergency. We will try to work you in to our schedule if it is during regular business hours. After hours, over the weekend and during holidays, please call our office for the doctor’s emergency contact number. After hours emergency calls are for patients of record only.
Begin by cleaning around the sore tooth meticulously. Using warm salt water, rinse the mouth to displace any food trapped between teeth. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you put aspirin on the aching tooth or on the gum. This could create a burn or ulceration. In the event of facial swelling, apply a cold compress to the area. For temporary pain relief, acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen is recommended if you can take those medications. See a dentist as soon as possible.
Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek
Ice can be applied to any bruised areas. For bleeding, apply firm (but gentle) pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth. See a dentist as soon as possible to determine if sutures will be required. You may also go to an emergency room.
Broken Braces and Wires
Remove a broken appliance only if it comes out easily. If it is lodged in gum tissue or painful to remove, cover any protruding edges with wax, cotton balls, gauze or chewing gum. Emergency attention is usually not required for loose or broken appliances that cause no discomfort. Sometimes a long wire can be cut with a pair of finger nail clippers. Schedule an appointment with the orthodontist as soon as possible.
Rinse the area with warm water. Put a cold compress over the facial area of the injury. Recover any broken tooth fragments. Get immediate dental attention.
Knocked Out Permanent Tooth
Recover the tooth, making sure to hold it by the crown (top) and not the root end. Rinse, but do not clean or handle the tooth more than necessary. Reinsert the tooth in the socket and hold it in place using a clean piece of gauze or cloth. If the tooth cannot be reinserted, carry it in a cup containing milk or water. Because time is essential, see a dentist immediately.
Other Emergency Conditions:
Possible Broken Jaw
In the event of jaw injury. Go immediately to an emergency room or contact an oral surgeon.
Bleeding After a Baby Tooth Falls Out
Fold a piece of gauze and place it (tightly) over the bleeding area. Bite down on the gauze for 15 minutes; if bleeding continues, see a dentist.
Cold or Canker Sores
Over-the-counter medications will usually provide temporary relief. If sores persist, visit your dentist. Prescription medications, both oral and topical, are available to treat cold sores but you will need to see the dentist to determine if you are suffering from cold sores, which is a viral infection or simply canker sores. Canker sores are also called apthous ulcers. Cold sores usually appear on the outer portion of the lips and mouth and are very contagious. Canker sores are usually on the inside of the mouth or on the tongue.
Temporary or Permanent Crown has Come Off
Clean out the inside of the crown the best you can and try to place it back in place. Contact your dental office to schedule an appointment to have the crown recemented. If it is after hours or on the weekend most pharmacies sell a dental temporary cement called DentTemp. Follow the directions on the package. If you have any vaseline at home you can sometimes use the vaseline to hold the crown in place. Apply a small amount to the inside of the crown and put it back in place. The viscosity and suction of the vaseline will frequently hold pretty well. Do not use super glue!, or any other type of commercial cement. If a crown is off for several days it may no longer fit because your teeth can sometimes shift, so see you dentist ASAP.
Allergic Reaction to Antibiotics
If you recently started taking antibiotics and are now breaking out in a rash or hives stop taking them and immediately contact you dental office. You are having a allergic reaction. This can sometimes include itching and difficulty breathing or swallowing. If you are having difficulty swallowing or breathing go to the nearest emergency room. Allergic reactions can sometimes create life threatening situations and should not be ignored.