If you are experiencing a dental emergency, we here at Semiahmoo Dental Centre are all participants in an in-office emergency rotation. We have all seen and treated innumerable traumas. Contact us immediately for proper instructions and to provide a quick dental emergency appointment.
Accidents do happen, and knowing what to do can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth. When you or a member of your family has a serious problem with a tooth, you will need help fast. At Semiahmoo Dental Centre we have one of our dentist on-call in the event of an emergency. We can be there for advice as well as arranging an office visit when emergency dental services are required after hours. Here is some information for the most common dental injuries when they do happen.
Most common dental emergencies:
- Knocked-Out Tooth
- Chipped or Broken Tooth
- Bitten Tongue or Bitten Lip
- Object Caught Between Teeth
- Broken Jaw
If the knocked-out tooth is a permanent (adult) tooth, your dentist may be able to put it back. This is one of the situations where you must see a dentist as soon as possible.
You must act quickly. If the tooth is completely knocked out, try to get it back in as soon as you can. Do not scrub the root to clean it. If it is dirty, rinse with clean water. Be careful to hold the tooth by the crown (top), not the root, so you do not damage the ligaments. If you cannot put the tooth back into its opening, or if there’s a chance that the tooth could be swallowed, put it in cold milk and take it with you to your dentist right away. If you see bleeding from the opening, rinse the mouth out with water. Place a wad of tissue or gauze on the opening and bite down on it. The pressure applied will usually stop the bleeding. It is best that you seek dental help within 10 minutes.
Dental services for a completely evulsed (knocked-out) tooth will always include endodontic (root canal) therapy, and perhaps other restorative services along with a temporary splint to hold the tooth still for a short term while the tooth heals. We can let you know the order of treatment and services required after the emergency examination.
Chipped or Broken Tooth
Broken teeth can almost always be saved. Give us a call and explain what happened.
If possible, bring in any pieces of the chipped or broken tooth. Sometimes a single large piece can be glued back on for a time until more definitive treatment can be provided. Most often though, it gives us an idea of amount of force and mechanism of injury. If the break is small, we may use a white filling to fix the tooth. If the break is serious, a root canal may be needed. Your tooth may also need a crown.
Badly Bitten Tongue or Bitten Lip
Bleeding Tongue or Bleeding Lip: Use a clean cloth to apply pressure to the part of the mouth that is bleeding. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, go to the emergency room right away.
Swollen Tongue or Swollen Lip: Use an ice pack to keep the swelling down.
Tongues have a high degree of vascularity, so don’t be surprised if there is a lot of blood when you bite it. Have the patient sit, stay calm, and keep the part still.
Objects Caught Between Teeth
Gently try to remove the object with dental floss. A good trick is to tie a knot in the centre of the length of floss, place it between the teeth, and move the floss side to side to allow the knot to catch the object and remove it. If you’re not successful, give us a call. Do not try to remove the object with a sharp or pointed instrument; it can cut your gums or scratch the surface of the teeth.
Toothache or tooth pain is caused when the nerve root of a tooth is irritated. Tooth infection, decay, injury or loss of a tooth are the most common causes of dental pain.
Give us a call. Ease the pain with an over-the-counter pain medicine that works for you. Never put medication directly against the gums near an aching tooth because it may burn gum tissue. Hold an ice pack against your face at the spot of the sore tooth. Never use a heating pad, hot water bottle or any other source of heat on your jaw. Heat will make things worse instead of better. Often teeth that are inflamed are extremely cold-sensitive, so don’t put the cold pack on the tooth itself unless it is one of those situations where the tooth is heat-sensitive and cold actually relieves the pain. An unrelenting tooth-ache is most often an indication that the tissue inside the tooth is dying and that it requires endodontic (root-canal) therapy. If the root is not fractured, the tooth most often can be treated. Unfortunately, root fracture is still something which is untreatable, and most often teeth with fractured roots have to be extracted and replaced with an implant or bridge.
Go to the hospital emergency room immediately. On your way, apply ice to the jaw to help control the swelling.
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