Most Emergencies Seen the Same Day
Two million teeth are knocked out every year!
Dental injuries require immediate attention and appropriate response. One of every four people in the U.S. suffers an oral injury during their lifetime. Knowing how to handle these emergencies can mean the difference between saving or losing a tooth.
This article is NOT meant to substitute for a visit to the dentist.
Itâ€™s purpose is to HELP and to inform you on: how to care for a variety of dental emergencies; how you can use these possibilities and how you can help your dentist diagnose your condition so you can get to your dentist office as soon as possible!
Dental Emergency Procedures for Children
Dental Emergencies when YOU ARE ALONE
1. Brush your teeth after every meal with fluoride toothpaste
2. Do not brush your tongue, use a tongue scraper to clean you tongue regularly and floss daily
3. If you wear dentures take them out daily and clean them thoroughly and brush you teeth and/or gums thoroughly
4. Use a dentist administered cleansing mouth rinse â€œBreath RX" which contains "Zytex" that neutralizes the sulfur compounds and kills the bacteria that contributes to bad breath.
5. Make sure to drink at least eight cups of fluoridated water a day
6. Keep a log of foods you eat to determine which foods are causing your problem
7. Schedule regular dental checkups with professional cleanings
8. Keep your mouth moist
9. Use humidifiers during the heating season
10.Use a moisturizing nasal spray to control post-nasal drip, which can be a contribution factor
11. Tobacco causes bad breath, ask your dentist/doctor for tips to kick the habit
ORTHODONTIC PROBLEMS -Braces
1. If a wire is causing an irritation, cover the end of the wire with some wax or a piece of gauze
2. If a wire becomes embedded in the gum or cheek DO NOT remove it, go to the dentist immediately
.CROWN COMES OFF
1. Try to snap it back in
2. Purchase a small tube of denture adhesive paste put a small amount in the crown and place it back on your tooth
3. Try Dent Temp or Tempenol as a temporary adhesive
4. Do NOT use ordinary household glue
5. Call the dentist as soon as possible to recement it properly
DENTAL INJURIES CAN BE PREVENTED:
1. Child proof your home
2. Make sure your children are belted safely in their stroller and car seat. Wear helmets while biking, skateboarding & roller blading
3. The whole family uses seat belts
4. Wear a custom made mouth guard while in â€œschoolâ€ sports and during weekend sports and activities
5. If you are away from home, be sure to carry your doctorâ€™s business card. So if you have a problem you can call for a telephone consultation so he can help you decide whether you need to seek immediate dental care.
BROKEN DENTURE, BRIDGE, OR PLATE
1. Save all the parts of your broken denture, bridge or partial
2. Call your dentist
3. If it is possible it may be repaired or it may need to be replaced as soon as possible
4. Temporary bridges, plates and dentures can keep you comfortable until the permanent one is repaired or replaced
1. Many medications such as antidepressants can cause this Consult with your Dr. to see if there are alternative medications that will not cause this symptom
2. Put water in a spray bottle to keep your mouth moist. Try a little Lemon juice in the water to stimulate your saliva glands
3. Chew sugarless gum to keep your mouth moist
4. Use a moisturizing gel like oralbalance
5. Use a saliva substitute such as glandosane
6. Have custom-made fluoride trays made by your dentist for home application of fluoride. Also use a fluoride mouth rinse
BLEEDING AFTER AN EXTRACTION
1. Slight bleeding after an extraction is normal. Clots usually form
within one hour if you follow doctorâ€™s post-op instructions.
2. Place a thick gauze pad over the extraction site and apply pressure by biting on the gauze
3. Avoid rinsing, drinking or eating for at least one hour following the extraction
4. After 24 hours rinse the area with warm salt water(1/2 tsp. salt in 8 oz of water) after eating to keep the site clean
5. Wet a tea bag and place it on the extraction site and bite on it
6. Avoid sucking, spitting, and smoking
PAIN AFTER 36 HOURS AFTER AN EXTRACTION Dry Socket
1. Contact your dentist you could have a â€œdry socketâ€ or infection
NUMBNESS CONTINUES AFTER EXTRACTION
1. If a tooth has been extracted on the lower back area, it is possible that you may not regain full sensory feelings immediately
2. After 24 hour contact your dentist to let him know your symptoms
STILL UNHEALED EXTRACTION SITE
1. If you are still unhealed one week after an extraction you need to go to the dentist for an X-ray to see if a root tip or fragment is still embedded
2. Do NOT wait to see your dentist
BROKEN/ FRACTURED /CHIPPED TOOTH OR FILLING
1. If the tooth is broken/chipped/fractured and there is no other damage requiring hospital care go to the dentist within 2-3 hours. Quick action can save the tooth, prevent infection and reduce the need for extensive dental treatment. The dentist can smooth minor chips. The tooth may also need to be restored with a composite filling.
2. Stop any bleeding by applying direct gentle pressure to the gums. If an upper tooth, apply pressure to the gums above the tooth. If a lower tooth, apply pressure to the gums below the tooth. Do NOT press directly on the broken tooth.
3. Rinse the mouth with warm water and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling.
4. Find the broken tooth fragments and bring the pieces with you, they may be able to be "cemented" back together
5. To avoid further aggravation from the damaged tooth, place a piece of soft wax into the area that was chipped. You can also try Dentemp or Tempanol for temporary filling material.
6. Eat only soft foods. Avoid this side of your mouth when eating. Avoid food and drink that are hot or cold, eat only lukewarm
7. Do not take aspirin or aspirin-substitutes that can slow clotting. Try 400-800 mg of ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or 200-400 mg of naproxen sodium (Aleve)...if you are not allergic or have any medications that could interact with these medications. Follow instructions on the bottle and your doctors instructions.
The more the tooth is bothering you before you go to the dentist the more difficult it is for the dentist to treat you comfortably.
8. If the pulp is damaged it can mean a root canal.
9. This tooth may need a full permanent crown to protect if from further breakage and tooth loss.
INJURY TO THE SOFT TISSUE INSIDE THE MOUTH
1. These include tear, puncture wounds or lacerations to the check, lips or tongue.
2. Clean the area right away with a warm salt water
3. Bleeding from the tongue can be reduced by pulling the tongue forward and using gauze to place pressure on the wound area
4. Go to the doctor/hospital if it needs stitches
BURNING GUMS AND/OR ROOF OF MOUTH
1. Ask your doctor for a prescription for anti-viral medications
2. Use ibuprofen for pain control
3. Try a topical application of 20% benzocaine for the discomfort
1. Purchase Peroxyl to rinse with
2. Brush your teeth and gums CAREFULLY
3. Call the dentist for an evaluation
SORE AFTER SCALING AND ROOT PLANNING
1. Follow after care instructions give you
2. Use fluoride rinse
3. Try eating soft foods
4. Continue to gently brush and clean the area well
1. After the time determined by your dentist rinse with warm salt water (1/2 tsp. salt in 8 oz of water) to help with the discomfort.
2. Try taking extract vitamin C to help quicken the healing period
3. SMOKING WILL DELAY ALL HEALING
1. If your jaw hurts when it is moved or you cannot close your mouth in a normal manner, immobilize the jaw with a towel or tie.
2. Go to the doctor/hospital. A blow to the head can be especially life threatening to a child. They can give you treatment and tell you if you need to see the dentist
1. Place a cold compress to the area swollen
2. Call the dentist immediately as you may have an infection and need to be on antibiotics
SMALL BLACK LESION
1. This could an â€œamalgam tattooâ€ where some of the silver from an Amalgam filling has rubbed onto the cheek
2. Gently clean the area with brushing and rinsing
SMALL WHITE LESION
1. Check with your dentist about this lesion because it could pre-cancerous
More on Emergencies >>>
WHAT TO TELL YOUR DENTIST WHEN YOU CALL:
Questions will you be asked when you have a toothache and call your
Â· How long has it hurt?
Â· What makes it hurt? Does it keep you awake at night?
Â· How much does it hurt?
Â· Have you been taken anything for the pain?
Â· What is the location of tooth or pain?
Â· What symptoms are you having? (swelling, fever, pain)
This is done to determine the type of emergency treatment you require. Make sure to follow up on what the dentist tells you and to attend your return appointment.
Remember antibiotics are not the answer for all situations. An antibiotic will only keep the infection from spreading and can be used to rule out sinusitis and other infectious outside the tooth.
Antibiotics cannot clear up an infection inside the pulp of a tooth. Taking too many antibiotics can cause you to build up an immunity to antibiotic therapy in your future.
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