Cambridge Dentistry Provides Emergency Dental Services
Accidents can happen, and the best thing to remember is not to panic. What types of injuries need emergency care and what should you do? Having this information and keeping it handy could mean the difference between saving or losing a tooth. Ignoring a dental problem could increase the risk of permanent damage as well as more extensive treatment later.
First, what is a dental emergency? Injuries to the mouth may include teeth which are knocked out (avulsed), a tooth that is forced out of position and loosened (extruded) or fractured. Lips, gums, or cheeks may also be affected. These injuries are often painful and should be treated by a dentist as soon as possible. Here’s a quick summary of what to do for some common dental emergencies.
Knocked out (avulsed) adult or permanent tooth
Retrieve the tooth, holding it by the rinse off the tooth root with water if it is dirty. Do not touch the root or scrub it to remove any of the attached tissue fragments. If it is possible, put the tooth back in place. Biting down on moistened gauze or a wet tea bag can help. Do not force it into the socket and try to position it the right way. If it is not possible to reinsert the tooth, place it in between your cheek and gums, or put it in a small cup of milk (or water that contains a pinch of table salt). The idea is to keep it moist at all times. In all cases, contact our office as quickly as you can. The dentist will try to put the tooth back into the socket because knocked out teeth have a higher chance of being saved when replaced within one hour of being knocked out.
Partially dislodged (extruded) or cracked tooth
Call our office right away for either problem. To minimize pain and swelling until you reach the office, apply a cold compress or ice pack to the outside of the mouth in the affected area.
For a tooth which has become dislodged, attempt to re position the tooth to its normal alignment using very light finger pressure, but do not force the tooth. Bite down gently to keep the tooth from moving.
If you have a cracked or fractured tooth, rinse your mouth and any tooth fragments with warm water. Cover the area with an over-the-counter dental cement if you cannot come to the office immediately. You may, if needed, take a pain reliever (not aspirin). Your dentist will be able to determine how badly the tooth is broken and will advise treatment.
Lost filling or crown
Fillings or crowns may fall out, and this usually happens when you are eating. While these are not always considered a dental emergency, it is always a good idea to call the dental office as soon as possible. These injuries can be painful and accompanied by sensitivity to temperature and pressure. As a temporary measure for a lost filling, try using over-the-counter dental cement.
If your crown falls out, make an appointment as soon as possible and bring the crown with you. If you are unable to see us right away and the tooth is causing you pain, try using a cotton swab with a small amount of clove oil and apply it to the affected area. If possible slip the crown back over the tooth. Before doing so, coat the inner surface with over-the-counter dental cement, toothpaste, or denture adhesive, to hold the crown in place.
Avoid dental injuries by taking a few precautions to protect your teeth. Wear a mouth-guard when participating in sports or recreational activities. Avoid chewing on ice, hard candy, and popcorn kernels, all of these can crack teeth. Never use your teeth as tools to open packages, cut threads, or open bottles. If you do have a dental emergency, always contact Cambridge Dentistry immediately. We have offices located on Dundas and Franklin Plaza (519) 622-3199 or Westgate Plaza (519) 623-2400.