Dental emergencies may be categorized as toothaches, injuries or broken appliances.
Toothache If a toothache develops, using a brush and floss, clean the suspected area, and rinse with warm salt water. Oil of clove may sooth the area. Do not place an aspirin on the gums or tooth (this may cause a burn). Apply a cold compress to any facial swelling. Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) and call us as soon as possible.
Evulsed Tooth If a permanent tooth is knocked completely out, time is of the essence. Immediately call us for an emergency appointment. It is critical to get the person and their tooth to us within one half hour. This makes it possible to re-implant the tooth with a high degree of success. Find the tooth, and holding it by its crown, gently rinse it to remove dirt or debris. Do not scrub the root or wipe the root. Transport the tooth in cup of milk, saline (salt water) or saliva (place tooth between cheek and gum, unless the child is too young and might swallow it). If none of these are available, use a cup of plain water.
Extruded teeth If a tooth is pushed out of its normal position try to reposition the tooth using light finger pressure. Do not force the tooth into its socket. Try to get the injured person to us as soon as possible. The tooth may be stabilized and held in place with a moist tissue or gauze on the way over.
Fractured Teeth A fractured tooth may often be repaired, not needing to be extracted. First rinse your mouth with warm water to keep it clean. Immediate dental care is necessary. The treatment will depend on the severity of the fracture and could range from smoothing out the chip to bonding with a resin (tooth colored) material to placing a crown (cap). If there has been pulp (nerve) injury, root canal may be necessary at once or at a later date.
Soft Tissue Injury The tongue, lips or cheeks may be bitten, lacerated (cut) or punctured. If there is bleeding, apply firm pressure with gauze or clean cloth. If bleeding doesn't stop within 15 minutes, bring the person to our office or a hospital emergency room. Sutures (stitches) may be necessary. Otherwise clean the area with warm water on a gauze or clean cloth. Apply an ice compress to the bruised or swollen area. Contact us for further instructions.
Broken Appliances Remove a broken appliance only if it comes out easily. If it is lodged or painful to remove, cover any protruding edges with wax, cotton balls, gauze or chewing gum. Do not remove any wire caught in the gums, cheek or tongue and contact us immediately for removal. Emergency attention is usually not required for loose or broken appliances that cause no discomfort.
LaserDennisT • Dr. Dennis W. Clark DDS PC • 90 Market Street #80 • Lebanon, OR 97355