Dental First Aid Tips

Dental emergencies happen! Some emergencies are extremely painful, and a visit to the dentist can provide palliative relief. On the other hand, some emergencies can threaten the health of the teeth, and receiving rapid dental treatment could mean the difference in saving a tooth or losing it.

Did you know…

that the steps you take after a dental emergency happens can greatly improve your outcome once you receive emergency care. Even though we will see you very quickly, there are some precautionary steps you can take in the time it takes to arrive at our office. The American Dental Association has a few recommendations:

  • If you bite your lip/tongue – gently cleanse the area and apply a cold compress
  • If you break your tooth – gently rinse the area and apply a cold compress
  • If you lose your tooth –rinse tooth’s root with water if it’s dirty, being careful to hold it by the crown. Carefully place it back in its socket, or place it in milk. Bring it to the dentist immediately.

Here are some simple precautions you can take to avoid accident and injury to the teeth:

  • Wear a mouthguard when participating in sports or recreational activities.
  • Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels and hard candy, all of which can crack a tooth.
  • Use scissors, NEVER your teeth, to cut things.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to see a Dentist?

If you are experiencing sudden and chronic tooth pain, or if you have sustained trauma to your teeth and surrounding tissues, you may need to see an emergency dentist. Even if you do not currently have a dental emergency, it is important that your dentist be capable of treating you quickly in the event that an emergency does arise.

What should I expect from my emergency dental appointment?

Urgent problems that threaten the health of your teeth or leave you in pain should not be ignored. Call our office for an appointment. We will evaluate your situation and provide care as needed.

What if I break a tooth or lose a filling?

A tooth can break due to trauma, decay or other small cracks. If you experience pain you can take over the counter medicine such as Ibuprofen. If the tooth is broken or loose due to trauma, immediate attention is required. Broken teeth can feel quite sharp to the tongue. If this happens outside of office hours you can place dental wax over the tooth which will make it feel smoother. Call our office to schedule as soon as you can.

What if I have a toothache?

Even a minor toothache should not be ignored. Even a small toothache left untreated can become severe and very painful due to infection. Over the counter medication such as Ibuprofen can be quite effective to treat the pain. Please call our office to schedule an appointment to evaluate the situation.

When should I call?

For an emergency involving trauma, loose teeth or spontaneous pain you should call us immediately. If you have a toothache with severe pain or swelling you should call us immediately. A toothache that gradually gets worse you should call during office hours.