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Edmond, OK Dentist | What to do in a dental emergency?

By November 11, 2014No Comments

There are a variety of dental emergencies that may affect people from time to time: toothaches, lost fillings, lost crowns, chipped or broken teeth, problems with braces, broken jaw bones, lost or displaced teeth,  injuries to oral soft tissues, and others. Definitive treatment in these situations requires that you see a dentist, but there are some things you can do in the meantime. Please continue reading for advice on how to handle common dental emergencies.

What to do about a toothache?

   First remove any debris from the affected tooth by rinsing with lukewarm water and flossing around the tooth. If you have swelling, apply a cold compress or ice back to the affected area. The pain usually responds somewhat to over the counter painkillers like Advil (ibuprofen) or Aleeve (naproxen). These two medications are usually the most effective choice, but if you can’t take one of them, then take Tylenol (acetaminophen). Aspirin (acetylsalycilic acid) and other painkillers are meant to be taken internally. Never attempt to use painkillers by applying them to the gums around your tooth. These medications are usually acidic and will burn your gums. Sometimes cold liquids or hot liquids will make the pain worse, but occasionally they will make it better. If one or the other temporarily relieves the pain, feel free to use it to temporarily relive your pain. Finally clove oil is an old but effective home remedy. It can be found in the dental section of most pharmacies. Apply it to the painful tooth according to the instructions on the package.

What to do about lost fillings?

Occasionally fillings come out. Most commonly this is due to decay under the old filling. Usually a tooth with a lost filling is very sensitive. To temporarily relieve the sensitivity, fill the hole with over the counter temporary filling material (available at most pharmacies). If you do not have access to this material a bit of sugar-free gum or orthodontic wax also works well. Call you dentist and setup an appointment as soon as possible.

What to do about lost crowns?

Sometimes crowns come off their teeth. The most common causes are decay under the crown or simply failure of the cement. In the latter case, your dentist may be able to recement the crown, but it is important that you go see your dentist quickly and you keep the crown in place until the appointment. Keeping the crown in place prevents adjacent teeth from drifting into the crown’s space and protects against sensitivity. Try to replace the crown on its tooth. If you can do so, get some over the counter temporary cement from your local pharmacy and temporarily recement the crown according to the instructions on the package. Call your dentist ASAP. Take the crown with you to the appointment.

What to do about chipped or broken teeth?

 If a tooth breaks, start by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water to remove any debris. If you can find the broken piece or pieces, take them with you to your appointment. These can sometimes be bonded back on. Even if they cannot be bonded back, they are helpful in restoring the tooth to the same form again. Inspect the broken tooth, if it is bleeding, hold pressure on it with moist cause until the bleeding stops. A tooth that is bleeding will likely require a root canal to be fixed. In some cases this can be avoided, but treatment must be done within 1-2 hours. Call your dentist and set up an appointment immediately when a tooth is bleeding.

What to do about problems with braces?

If a bracket comes loose or a wire breaks, your appliance will need to be repaired. Wires can usually be replaced with relative ease and brackets can be rebonded. It is important to keep yourself comfortable until the appliance is repaired, but it is not urgent to repair the appliance immediately. A few days or even a week will likely be okay. Call and set an appointment as soon as is convenient. In the meantime. cover any areas that are irritatingg or injuring your soft tissue with orthodontic wax.

What to do about a broken jaw?

When a person suffers a traumatic facial injury, that persons upper or lower jaw may be broken If you notice unusual mobility of any portion of your jaws, you may likely have a  fracture. Also, if several “loose” teeth move together you may have a fracture. A fracture requires prompt medical attention. Try to minimize movement of the affected jaw or jaws, and get to see your dentist right away.

What to do about a lost or displaced tooth?

If you get hit in a tooth it may be displaced or knocked out. If it is displaced see your dentist.

Do not try to push it back into lace. If the tooth is knocked out, you will also need to see your dentist.  It may be possible to reimplant the tooth. This needs to be done within 1-2 hours of losing the tooth. It is important to keep the tissues on the root alive. Handle the tooth by the crown (part that is normally sticks out into your mouth). Try to avoid touching the root. Place the tooth into either a tissue preserving solution (e.g Hanks Balanced Salt Solution) skim milk, or just put the tooth back in its socket. Store it in one of these places until you see your dentist.

What to do about soft tissue injuries?

Gums, mucosa, and lips can be injured easily in  variety of ways. After an injury start by rinsing with salt water to remove debris. Then apply pressure with moistened gauze to anywhere that continues to bleed. Also, apply ice to areas of swelling. Some injuries require stiches and some don’t. Go see your dentist ASAP after a facial soft-tissue injury.

Have a dental emergency? This dentist in Edmond, OK. Is extremely skilled at dealing with dental emergencies. Call 405-44-SMILE today for an appointment.

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