Quick Reference Guide to Dental Emergencies

It is important not to ignore a dental emergency, like injuries to the teeth or gums. If ignored these dental problems can become more serious and may increase the risks of permanent damage or the need for extensive procedures and expensive treatments down the road.

This guide will cover a very quick and to-the-point summary of what should be done for an array of common emergency dental problems before seeing a dentist.

Toothaches: First things first, using warm water, thoroughly rinse your mouth. Then, use dental floss to dislodge and remove any food that may be stuck between your teeth. In the event that there is any swelling to the mouth or cheek, apply ice externally over the affected area. Then, contact our office as soon as possible.

Objects stuck between teeth: First, very gently try to remove the object with dental floss. If this is unsuccessful, contact our office. Under no circumstance should a pin or other sharp object be used to try and remove the object.

Broken or chipped tooth: First, save any broken pieces that you can. Thoroughly, rinse your mouth and any broken pieces with warm water. In the event there is any bleeding, apply gauze or a cotton ball to the bleeding area for approximately 10 minutes or until bleeding ceases. Finally, apply ice or a cold pack to the outside of the cheek, mouth or lip over the broken tooth to minimize swelling and reduce pain. Contact our office as soon as possible.

Knocked-out tooth: First, if possible, retrieve the knocked-out tooth. Hold the tooth by its crown (this is the part of the tooth that is normally exposed above the gum-line) and rinse the root of the tooth with water to remove any dirt or debris, but do not scrub. Next, if possible and easy, you should replace the tooth. Ensure the tooth is facing the right direction and under no circumstance should you force it into place. If reinserting the tooth isn’t possible, place the knocked-out tooth in a container and cover with milk. If milk is not available, a cup of water with a small pinch of salt can be used. Contact our office immediately! A knocked-out tooth has the best chance of being saved if it is reinserted within 60 minutes of being knocked-out.

Partially dislodged (extruded) tooth: Contact our office immediately. In order to reduce pain and swelling, ice should be applied to the outside of the cheek or mouth over the affected tooth. Additionally, Advil (Ibuprofen) can be taken to relive the pain and combat swelling.

Lost filling: Contact our office immediately. As a temporary measure, use temporary dental cement (available at most pharmacies) to fill the cavity. If dental cement is not available, sugar-free gum can be used as an alternative. Do not use sugar-filled gum as this will cause pain.

Lost crown: In the event that a crown falls off, contact our office as soon as possible. Retain the crown and bring it with you to your appointment with one of our Vancouver dentists. If the tooth is causing pain and you are unable to see a dentist right away, use a Q-tip or cotton swab to apply a small amount of clove oil to the affected area of the tooth. You should be able to find clove oil at most large pharmacies or in the spice section of most supermarkets. Next, you should replace the crown over the tooth. To do this, first apply temporary dental cement (found in most pharmacies) to the inner surface of the crown and then place it over the tooth and hold for a few seconds. If dental cement is not available, toothpaste or denture adhesive can be used as a substitute, but under no circumstance should products like super glue or crazy glue be used.

Abcess: Because an abcess can cause very serious dental and general health problems if left untreated, it is imperative that you contact our office immediately if you believe you may have an abcessed tooth. An abcess is an infection that occurs at the root of a tooth. This is a serious dental condition and can cause severe damage to the tissue surrounding the tooth and the infection can spread to other areas of the body, if left untreated.

Kingsgate Dental is a full service dental clinic and our dentists are available Monday-Saturday from 9:00am to 5:30pm to assist in any of your general and cosmetic dental needs, including dental emergencies.

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