Emergencies

Many dental emergencies can be difficult for non-trained personnel to diagnose. If you have NO swelling, NO fever, NO bleeding but some pain, try over the counter analgesics only if you have no known allergies to them. Aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen are examples. Arrange a dental exam as soon as possible.

What is a dental emergency?

or a combination of these

Don't

Put aspirin on teeth or gums that hurt. It will not work and will burn your gums. It is an acid.

Don't

Panic. Once again, if I am unavailable and you cannot reach another dentist of your choice, the emergency room can help if you are in a TRUE EMERGENCY situation.

Don't

Drive yourself if you are not completely alert, and free from drugs or alcohol that could impair your driving. Pain itself can impair your judgement. Have someone else drive you.

Other Situations

Knocked out Tooth

Adult tooth: If an adult tooth is completely knocked out, and has no sign of contamination, try to replace it in the socket and PUSH it all the way back into place. Have the patient try to bite into a normal bite position to see if the tooth is in the right place. The sooner this is done the better. Minutes and seconds count! If the tooth is "dirty" or you are unsure of yourself, DO NOT try to clean off the tooth, just put it in MILK and get to any dentist within one hour (twenty minutes or less is better). Many teeth can be saved by using these methods, but nearly all totally knocked out teeth which are replanted will need root canal treatment later, and possible crown procedures.

If you are not sure if this is a baby tooth or adult tooth, realize that most children under age 5 or 6 do not have any adult teeth yet. Adult front teeth should be as big as yours and have thick long roots. Baby teeth have skinny roots or ragged short roots and they are usually smaller than yours. If you are not sure if this is an adult tooth, treat it as if it is.

If you are sure it is a baby tooth, it is okay to just put the tooth under the child's pillow and wait for the Tooth Fairy! Ice packs on the area can help soothe discomfort, and the area may still need to be checked for other trauma. Call for an appointment.

Tooth Knocked out of Position

Try to reposition the tooth immediately. Call for an appointment to splint the teeth as soon as possible. Many of these will also require root canal therapy later to avoid abscess or fusion.

Broken Tooth

Many broken teeth can be repaired the next day if pain is not a major problem. If very sensitive to temperature, you can often apply some CLOVE OIL to the area to deaden the pain. Put the clove oil only on the broken surface of the tooth. Try to get to the office as soon as possible to avoid further damage to the nerve of the tooth.

If the gums around the neck of the tooth are bleeding, there may be the need for splinting. Again try to get an appointment as soon as possible.

Note: Most dental trauma that involves bleeding will require that a tetanus booster be considered. Consult with your physician.

Other Emergencies

Auto, motorcycle, or other traumatic accident affecting the teeth can cause underlying damage such as fractures to the jaws, teeth roots, skull, etc. Be sure to have us examine you anytime you are involved in an accident that might have affected these structures.

Avoidance

Athletic people should wear a custom athletic mouth guard EVERY TIME they play basketball, volleyball, soccer, football, hockey, wrestling, boxing, or any other high risk impact sport. Even doubles ping pong!

Children learning to ride a bike should also wear mouth protection, as should trampoliners. (Actually I will go on record as saying that I never recommend getting on a trampoline, EVER!)

We can fabricate a custom mouth guard for you in just two visits.