A dental emergency is any oral health problem requiring immediate attention. Dental emergencies may comprise a toothache, a chipped or broken tooth, a lip or tongue injury, a broken filling, etc. In case of a dental emergency, it is always a good idea to call us first and explain your symptoms. Our dental staff can guide you through the necessary steps to prevent the worsening of your problems.
Here are some common dental emergencies and steps to handle them. These recommendations are taken from Canadian Dental Association’s website.
Call us to explain your symptoms, and we will do our best to give you an appointment as soon as possible. Our doctor can even recommend over-the-counter painkillers to ease the pain. Never put a heat source like a heating pad on your jaw next to a sore tooth as it could worsen your problem. It is a good idea to use an ice pack instead.
Chipped or broken tooth
In the case of a chipped or broken tooth, it is likely a dental restoration (filling) or a crown, AKA cap, will save your tooth. If a large chunk is missing, and the tooth hurts, a root canal treatment may be required, followed by a crown. The final diagnosis and treatment plan depends entirely on the clinical condition of the tooth determined by examination and radiographs.
Knocked out tooth
In case a permanent or adult tooth falls out due to trauma, immediate treatment can help save your tooth. If the tooth is placed back in its socket within ten minutes, it is likely to stabilize again. Chances become slim to none after two hours. If the tooth looks clean, place it back in the socket. If you cannot do that or fear you might swallow it, put it in a container filled with milk and then come see us. If our office is closed, it will be in your best interest to visit a dentist who can see you right away. Time plays a crucial role in the prognosis of a knocked out tooth.
Badly bitten lip or tongue
If you accidentally bite your lip and tongue, and it is bleeding, use a clean cloth to press down on the wound. If bleeding doesn’t stop even with firm pressure, visit a hospital emergency room right away. If bleeding stops but your lip or tongue is swollen, you should use an ice pack to keep the swelling down.
Something stuck between teeth
If you find something is stuck between your teeth, try to floss it out gently. Never try to remove such foreign objects with sharp instruments such as pins as you might end up damaging your tooth surface or gums. If you still can’t remove it, we would be pleased to assist you.
If your filling breaks or comes out, make an appointment as soon as possible to have it repaired. In the meantime, you can place a piece of sugar-free chewing gum in the spot where the filling was to protect the area temporarily.