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Emergency Dental Care

Dental emergencies can be scary and painful. In order to quickly alleviate pain and improve your chances of saving the tooth, it’s important to receive prompt dental attention. Teeth can become damaged by trauma, biting or chewing hard objects, or grinding the teeth. Other dental emergencies can be caused by fillings, crowns, or other restorations becoming damaged or falling out.

Types of Dental Emergencies

Below are a few of the most common types of dental emergencies and how you can deal with them properly.

Avulsed Tooth (Tooth Knocked Out)

If an adult tooth falls out or is knocked out, it’s essential to visit your dentist immediately. If you’re able to locate the tooth and get it to your dentist within an hour, there’s a chance that the tooth can be saved. Below are the steps to take if you have a tooth knocked out:

  • Contact your general dentist immediately
  • Pick up the tooth by the crown, never by the root, and rinse it under warm water
  • If possible, place the tooth back into the socket
  • If the tooth cannot be placed back into the socket, submerge it in a cup of milk or saliva
  • Try to get to the dentist within an hour of losing the tooth

Lost Crown or Filling

Crowns and fillings are usually lost while eating. Once the crown or filling is off of the tooth, you may experience pain and sensitivity. When crowns fall out, it’s usually due to the decaying of the tooth underneath. This decay causes the tooth to change shape and makes the crown loosen and fall out.

If a crown or filling is lost, it’s important to make an appointment with your general dentist as soon as possible. Locate and take the crown with you to your appointment as it may be possible that the dentist can reinsert it. At your appointment, the dentist will check to make sure the crown still fits. If so, it will be reattached to the tooth once any new decay is removed and the tooth is cleaned. 

Cracked or Broken Tooth

As strong as the teeth are, they can still be fractured, cracked, or broken. Some fractures or cracks can be fairly painless, but if the crack reaches down to the root of the tooth, you may notice extreme pain. If a tooth has been cracked or broken, it’s important that you visit your dentist immediately. If a piece of the tooth has been broken off, please follow the steps below:

  • Contact your dentist to make an appointment
  • Rinse the tooth fragment with warm water
  • Apply gauze to the area if any bleeding occurs
  • Apply ice to the area to minimize pain and swelling
  • Place the tooth fragment in a cup of milk or saliva to transport to the dentist

In case of a dental emergency, please contact your general dentist as quickly as possible. The sooner you can get an appointment, the better the outcome will be.