When an emergency strikes, it’s common sense to call an ambulance or schedule an appointment with your doctor right away. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that the same logic applies when your tooth is in pain from decay or chipped after a fall. Dr. Arakelian can treat both types of emergencies. Don’t let your condition worsen; call his office today!
When a dental emergency occurs, it’s incredibly important that you give our office a call first. Until your visit, take note of the following steps to manage your emergency. The more prepared you are, the better off you’ll be.
Start by flossing around the tooth in question to remove potential food debris. If pain continues, take an over-the-counter painkiller like ibuprofen to reduce discomfort. Don’t use aspirin as it can cause a burning sensation on your tooth. If the tooth is decayed, a cleaning and dental filling may be most appropriate. Otherwise, antibiotics can be used to treat an underlying infection.
Pick up any remaining pieces of the tooth you can find and bring them to our office. Until then, rinse your mouth out with warm water and use either wax paraffin or sugarless gum to cover the tooth if it’s sharp. This will protect your tongue, lips, and cheeks from potential cuts. Apply a cold compress in 20-minute intervals to reduce swelling. If cosmetic bonding isn’t enough to repair the tooth, a dental crown can be designed to effectively cover it.
Locate the tooth, making sure to only pick it up by the crown. Do not remove any tissue still attached. Rinse the tooth of any debris, then rinse your mouth out with warm water and place the tooth back into your socket. If not possible, keep it contained in milk, saltwater, or your saliva until you get to our office. Do not wait longer than one hour to have it reimplanted if possible. If the tooth cannot be saved, we will go over your potential tooth replacement options to consider.
If you still have the restoration, rinse it off and use either dental cement or denture adhesive to temporarily reseat it. If you do not have the restoration, avoid chewing on that side of your mouth until you get to our office. Applying clove oil to the tooth prior to reseating it can reduce any discomfort beforehand. Our office will likely need to create a new restoration in order to cover your tooth.
For the most part, dental emergencies can be prevented if you practice at-home care and make regular visits to our office for exams and cleanings. However, it’s also important that you take extra precautions if you experience a higher risk of dental emergencies than most people. For example, wearing a mouthguard if you play contact sports or a custom-made nightguard if we believe you have a teeth grinding habit is key. With that said, maintaining routine oral care is the most effective solution for preventing emergencies.
Dental emergencies can range in cost depending on their severity, which is why it’s always important to get to our office when they occur. Once we get a closer examination of what’s happening inside your mouth, we can determine if an oral infection, tooth decay, or damaged tooth structure is present and evaluate necessary costs. The last thing you should do is put off treatment and allow your emergency to get worse!