A dental emergency can be stressful. We recommend taking a moment to learn what to do before an emergency occurs. Tooth problems can occur in a moment's notice, and often at the most inconvenient of times. Whether you are injured while engaging in an outdoor activity, at a party or event, or even just outside of normal business hours, there are steps you can take that can make a big difference.
If a tooth becomes broken, cracked, lost or begins to hurt, the first step we recommend is to call our office. We have emergency protocols in place to help. At Crown Hill Smiles, our team, along with our affiliates, care about our patients. We don’t want you to be in pain.
Other tips include:
|•||Tooth Pain: A toothache can range from an annoyance to keeping you up at night. When you have a toothache, following a phone call to our office, there are some tips that can help. Try brushing, flossing and rinsing the area. Maybe a food particle has become stuck and is causing irritation at an infected site. Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever can help. Please only take as directed on the bottle. If infection is present, try swishing warm, salty water and then spitting it out. Salt water can help alleviate infection, but don’t swallow. Besides salt water, some patients find relief from swishing and spitting hydrogen peroxide. Again please do not swallow.
|•||Cracked Tooth: A tooth can crack from chewing on non-food items or ice. Sometimes teeth can break that were already damaged and regular chewing exacerbated the fracture. A cracked tooth will require a visit to our office. In many cases a root canal and crown are needed. Before you get to the office, we recommend rinsing the area with warm water. Applying a cold compress can reduce swelling, helping you feel better. Finally, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever to reduce pain until you can be seen. A cracked tooth will not heal like a fractured bone. It does need dental care for restoration to prevent infection.
|•||Broken Tooth: Similar to a cracked tooth, a broken tooth requires a visit to the office for care. A broken tooth will not heal on its own, and it often opens a space for bacteria to pass leading to infection. If possible, bring the broken piece of tooth in a cup of milk to the office with you. In some cases, we can reapply the broken piece onto the tooth. If a tooth breaks outside of normal business hours, we recommend rinsing the area with warm water and using a cold compress to reduce swelling. If you are in considerable pain, and pain relievers are not helping, there is a putty-like product that can be found at many drugstores designed for teeth. This putty can be applied to the broken portion to cover the dentin layer that is causing the pain. This is a temporary solution until you can be seen.
|•||Knocked Out Tooth: Teeth can be knocked entirely out. Often while playing a sport or on a playground, though any fall or impact injury can do it. When a tooth is knocked out, time is of the essence. The best thing you can do if possible is simply rinse the tooth with water. Do not remove any debris from the tooth, and then place it back in its socket. If the patient is unconscious or not able to hold the tooth in their mouth, a cup of milk is better, or water if nothing else is available. Sometimes, teeth can be reinserted into the socket and become firm again. We will want to see the patient as quickly as possible.|
If you find yourself in a dental emergency, please remember these tips and contact Crown Hill Smiles at (206) 204-9623 as soon as possible.