In the same way your toilet never overflows during regular business hours, it seems emergencies with your teeth rarely happen at opportune times. At Gentle Dental, we do offer Saturday hours, but we also provide an emergency dentist when needed.
Here are some situations when you may need that. Don’t ignore injuries, as prompt attention is often the only way we may be able to, say, save a knocked out tooth.
OK, you were playing a little pond hockey with your pals and someone forgot the “no lifting” rule. Now you have a knocked out tooth. First thing, retrieve the tooth and rinse if off with water. Don’t scrub and clean it, however, and don’t remove any tissue fragments. Those fragments can be crucial in saving the tooth. Rinse your mouth out with warm water. If possible, put the tooth back in place. If you can’t do this, place the tooth in a small container of milk or in water with a pinch of salt. Call us immediately.
Chipped or broken teeth
As with a knocked-out tooth, if your tooth is chipped or broken retrieve any pieces you can. Rinse your mouth with warm water, and the pieces, too. If your mouth is bleeding, place a piece of gauze there until the bleeding stops. A cold compress will help with swelling and pain. Call us immediately.
Lost fillings or crowns
If a crown comes off, try and find it first. Don’t worry about finding a filling that comes out. You can fill the gap for a lost filling with sugarless gum or dental cement (available at the drugstore). Clove oil (also at the drugstore or in the spice aisle of the grocery) will help reduce the pain and sensitivity in the affected area. If possible, try and reattach the crown with dental cement or denture adhesive until we can see you. This isn’t usually an emergency.
Toothaches aren’t usually emergencies, unless they accompany a loose tooth or something like that. Make sure your mouth is clean by rinsing with warm water. Floss gently to remove any food or other debris that may be stuck between teeth causing pain. You can use over-the-counter toothache medicine.
Objects lodged between teeth
If something becomes stuck between your teeth, first try to remove it by flossing. Don’t try to use a sharp object to remove it, as you can scratch the enamel on your teeth or harm your gums. If the object stays lodged, call us.