Most of us will have to deal with a dental emergency at some point. They never happen at convenient times, and they often leave us in a good deal of pain. We’ve compiled a few of the most common dental emergencies that our patients experience and how to handle them. But remember, the best thing to do is always to call us as soon as you can, so we can get you an appointment fast.
1. Lost Filling or Crown
You’re likely to notice this one right away. If a filling or a crown falls out, the area or tooth underneath becomes exposed. The tooth underneath is, more often than not, going to be sensitive to pressure and temperature. So sipping on your ice water or chewing your lunch is going to cause pain. Take a pain reliever to ease the pain, avoid chewing on that side, and call us to have the filling or crown replaced.
2. Severe Tooth Pain
Start off by cleaning the area and rinsing your mouth with warm water. A toothache can be caused by debris lodged between teeth. Gently floss and brush to remove food or other particles. Again, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever, or even use a cold compress. If the pain doesn’t ease, call for an appointment.
3. Chipped or Cracked Tooth
If there is dirt or debris in the immediate area, make sure to gently rinse your mouth with warm water. A cold compress can help with any swelling, especially if the damage came from an injury. Find and save any pieces of the tooth that you can find. When you come in for an appointment (make sure you call us immediately), we may be able to reattach the broken portion.
4. Injured Jaw
A sports injury or some other blunt trauma may leave your jaw in serious pain. If you think you may have broken your jaw, it’s important to immobilize it. Wrap a tie or handkerchief around your head to keep your jaw in place. Rather than calling our office, go to the nearest emergency room or urgent care center. They will be able to get a better look at your jaw and treat any possible broken bones.
5. Knocked-Out Tooth
Whether it’s a baby tooth or a permanent one, a knocked-out tooth is scary and needs immediate attention. Pick up the tooth by the crown, never the root. Rinse it gently if there are signs of debris – don’t scrub it, though, so you don’t remove any tissue. If you can, reinsert the tooth into the socket until you can get in to see us. Otherwise, place the tooth either between your cheek and gum or in a glass of milk or salt water. Keeping the tooth moist is important because it helps keep the root alive. The faster you can call us, the faster we can get you in. We’re more likely going to be able to save the tooth if you get in to see us quickly.
Don’t panic in a dental emergency. Call our office at 913-326-1952 to get an appointment. Let us help you feel better quickly!