Dental emergencies tend to take place without any warning. They can arise anywhere, and at any time of the day. While we can’t completely stop dental emergencies from taking place, we can certainly prevent them. More importantly, should learn how to manage them till we get to the nearest dental office or hospital.
What is a Dental Emergency?
Dental emergencies involve a broad range of problems associated with the teeth, gums and other oral structures like the lips, cheeks, and face. These problems, like a fractured tooth, or uncontrolled bleeding, must be treated immediately as they can prove to be harmful to the body, even life-threatening. If you feel that you are having a dental emergency, visit your nearest dentist office or ER immediately.
Management of Dental Emergencies
At lifeworks Dental, we provide emergency dental care to our patients during the business hours. Since dental injuries can take place at any time of the day, it is best that you know how to manage them while you seek expert help. Let’s look at some of the commonly occurring dental injuries and how to manage them.
Tooth pain can occur due to a variety of reasons. The first thing you should do is to rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water. It will not only help in relieving any inflammation but will also be useful in removing any object that is stuck between the teeth. If you feel that your mouth is swollen, you can apply a cold pack over the area. If this does not work, you can take an over the counter pain medication. However, you must remember not to put the medication directly over your gums or cheeks. Make sure you visit your dentist as soon as possible.
If you feel that one of your teeth has got chipped or fractured, you must save the broken piece and visit us immediately. If there is bleeding because of the fracture, you should apply a piece of clean gauze over the area for about 10 minutes with slight pressure. It will help in controlling the bleeding. Swelling and pain can be minimized by applying a cold compress over the region. A chipped or fractured tooth must not be taken lightly. Even if you are not having any pain in that tooth, it can start spontaneously. Therefore, you should seek dental care immediately.
Teeth can get knocked out of their sockets because of an accidental impact, or during contact sports. If one of your teeth gets knocked out, hold it from its crown (the visible part) and wash it with water to remove dirt. It is very important that you should not rub it or try to remove adherent tissues.
Try placing the tooth back into position without applying excessive force. If you cannot place it back, you should store it in milk. If milk is not available, add the very slight amount of salt in water and store the tooth in it. Alternatively, you can keep the tooth inside your cheeks as saliva is an excellent medium to keep the dental tissues alive.
After securing the tooth, visit us or any nearest dentist immediately. Knocked-out teeth have excellent chances of being saved if the patient presents to the dental office within one hour of the injury. At the dental office, we will put the tooth back into position. In a few cases, re-planted teeth need to be splinted with other teeth so that they get firmly anchored with the bone once again. If our dentists, Dr. Kini Tran and Dr. Kim Nguyen feel that the tooth cannot be saved, they will replace the missing tooth with an implant-supported crown.
An object stuck between two teeth can be really irritating and painful. It can also damage the teeth and injure the surrounding gums, cheeks, and lips. If you find yourself in such a situation, try removing the object by using a dental floss, and brushing your teeth. Never use any sharp needle or pin to remove the stuck object, as you might injure your dental tissues while doing so. If you still can’t get it out, you need immediate dental help. Our dentists will examine the affected teeth to identify the location of the object and then remove it.
In case you have a broken teeth restoration, chew a sugarless gum for some time and then place it over the affected tooth. Alternatively, you can also use an over-the-counter cement to fill the cavity. Remember, these are only temporary measures. Book an appointment with us immediately so that tooth can be restored as soon as possible. In most cases, the broken restoration can be repaired easily. However, if the chipped restoration is large, then we may need to replace the bonded fillings
If a crown falls off from one of your teeth, you need to visit us right away. If that is not possible, you should apply a few drops of oil of clove on a cotton gauze and place it over the tooth. This will prevent a toothache due to pulp exposure. You can try putting the crown back into its position by applying a small amount of over the counter cement or toothpaste in the interior of the crown. These measures will only last temporarily. Therefore, you should book an appointment with us as soon as possible.
If you feel that an orthodontic bracket has got dislodged from its tooth, save the bracket so that it can be re-bonded when you visit us. In case the orthodontic wire has become broken, its sharp edge can injure the oral soft tissues. To prevent damage, apply orthodontic wax over the sharp edge and visit us immediately.
Like medical emergencies, a dental emergency can be prevented but cannot be stopped completely. So, the best thing is to prevent them from happening. Sportsmen and children are at a higher risk of having dental injuries. Therefore, they must wear mouthguards to protect their teeth, gums and other oral tissues during contact sports like soccer, football or rugby. At Lifeworks Dental, we have state of the art dental equipment and a dental team which is highly trained in taking care of all kinds of dental emergencies. If you feel that you or any of your loved ones are having a dental emergency, visit us immediately or book an appointment as soon as possible.