Dental Emergencies

Our rule-of-thumb for dental emergencies:  if you think it’s an emergency, we do, too.  Please call our office right away.  If it is after hours, leave a message on our voicemail and we’ll respond as quickly as we can.  In the meantime, here’s what to do until you get to our office.

BROKEN FILLINGS.  Save the filling so we can have a look at it.  Rinse your mouth gently with lukewarm water to remove debris – dissolved table salt or baking soda is soothing.  If the tooth is sensitive, protect it with dental wax or, in a pinch, sugarless gum.

LOST CROWN.  Displaced crowns can sometimes be reused; hang onto it.  Try to affix the crown with denture adhesive or, if it won’t stick, use dental wax to keep the tooth away from air.

KNOCKED-OUT TOOTH. Don’t panic. If we can treat you within about an hour, chances are we can reseat the tooth for good. Don’t touch the tooth root–this could damage delicate nerves. Gently replace the tooth where it belongs if you can, or keep it moist in milk.

DAMAGED BRIDGES, DENTURES, PARTIALS. Do not risk home repairs. Glue can destroy composition materials and cause tissue erosion. Keep all the pieces, even the smallest, and call us. We can usually return an emergency repair to you in a few days.

TOOTHACHE is common and nasty. Toothache tells you something is wrong that needs attention. Rinse your mouth with warm water and try to floss away any food particles. Don’t lodge aspirin near the tooth–it will irritate, even ulcerate, gum tissue. Ice packs or a numbing agent may make you more comfortable while you’re scheduling an appointment. Toothaches may “go away,” but the source of the pain won’t.

LACERATIONS OR JAW DAMAGE require immediate treatment at a hospital facility or an oral surgeon’s office. Take such injuries seriously. Delay may result in further damage.