Dental emergencies encompass any procedure that requires immediate attention and/or treatment. Common dental emergencies range from trauma that causes cracked or broken teeth to severe pain, inflammation, or bleeding in your teeth and gums due to an abscess in the mouth. These instances often occur unexpectedly, and immediate treatment is required.
Fortunately, many dental emergencies can be effectively treated by a dentist, if brought to them in a timely manner. Our extended hours allow us to treat a variety of dental emergencies, including some of the most common ones - like a knocked out tooth.
Take a look at these common dental emergencies, and find out how you should handle them.
If trauma results in a knocked-out tooth, it is important to clean and rinse the tooth to remove any dirt and debris that could cause an infection. Remember to only handle the tooth by the crown to prevent further damage to the root.
If the tooth is clean and it was knocked out completely (not broken or cracked), then it may be possible to reattach the tooth. Simply place the tooth back in its socket (facing the proper direction). If it slides in easily, leave it there as you make your way to the dentist's office. If not, we recommend placing the tooth in a cup of milk or keeping it between your cheek and gums until you get to the dentist's office - this can be a choking hazard for children, so this tip is only applicable for adults.
As long as the tooth is completely intact, the dentist can try to reattach it and save it, but timing is important. After an hour or two, the odds of successful reattachment without any complications or infection diminish, so it's important to visit your dentist right away if you've knocked a tooth out.
Broken and cracked teeth are a bit more complex than knocked-out teeth. Many cracked teeth can be fixed using dental fillings or some other kind of composite bonding material. Not only will this restore the integrity of the tooth, but it will be virtually invisible. However, broken teeth can be much more difficult to reattach. Similar to dealing with a knocked-out tooth, it's important that you find the tooth fragments and clean them, if possible. Should you have all the pieces and have a dentist judge that they are in good condition for re-attachment, a bonding agent will be used to piece them back together. If not, you may need to look into alternative implants and capping options.
A loose tooth should always be handled with care. If it's loose enough that it wiggles or moves, use your tongue to gently put pressure on the tooth in an attempt to secure it in the socket. From there, it is paramount that you visit a dentist immediately. If you arrive within 30 minutes to an hour, you may be able to secure the tooth and save it. For loose or missing fillings, emergency dental services may not be required. Unless the pain is unbearable, it can often be managed with anti-inflammatory medication until you can see your dentist. However, if you experience immense discomfort, you should keep immediate medical attention.
Severe toothaches often have a debilitating impact on your daily routine, affecting everything from your diet to your sleep schedule. Often, this pain is caused by unwanted debris becoming lodged in your gums, resulting in inflammation, pain, and even bleeding. If the pain is unbearable and you are unable to solve it by brushing and flossing your teeth, you may need to visit an emergency dental clinic. If nothing else, a dentist will be able to identify the cause of the pain and help you take the necessary steps to solve the issue.
Facial injuries can result in cracked or missing teeth and bleeding from the gums, lips, tongue, or cheeks. Lacerations should be cleaned with a soft cloth and swelling and bleeding can sometimes be controlled with cold compresses. If you're unable to control the bleeding, we recommend you visit the emergency room.
Guelph Family Dentistry is a family-oriented practice, and we do all of our dental work in-house. We offer same day emergency appointments for situations that require immediate attention and have extended hours to cater to those incidents you just can't foresee.
Emergency dental procedures are often unexpected and may not be in your budget, so it's good to know that we're able to provide options like payment plans to make your emergency a little less stressful.