If case of a life threatening emergency, please call 911 right away!
Dental emergencies do not always involve pain, although this is a common signal that something needs to be looked at. Pain can originate from the tooth, surrounding tissues or can have the sensation of originating in the teeth but be caused by an independent source.
Depending on the type of pain experienced, a dental clinician can determine the likely cause and can treat the issue as each tissue type gives different messages in a dental emergency.
Many emergencies exist and can range from bacterial/fungal/viral infections to a fractured tooth or dental restoration, each requiring an individual response and treatment that is unique to the situation.
Fractures can occur anywhere on the tooth or to the surrounding bone, depending on the site and extent of fracture the treatment options will vary. Dental restoration falling out or fracturing can also be considered a dental emergency as these can impact on function in regards to aesthetics, eating and pronunciation and as such should be tended to with the same haste as loss of tooth tissue. All dental emergencies should be treated under the supervision or guidance of a dental health professional in order to preserve the teeth for as long as possible.
What should be done in the case of a broken tooth?
If someone has a broken tooth, it is important to see a dentist as soon as possible. Since most dentists leave time in their schedule for dental emergencies, it should not be an issue setting an appointment right away. Depending on the severity of the injury, for example damage to the nerve, a root canal may be required.
What should be done prior to getting to the emergency dentist's office?
- Use warm water to rinse the mouth well
- In case of bleeding, apply pressure with a piece of gauze for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops.
- To relieve pain and minimize swelling, apply a cold pack to the cheek or lips over the broken tooth.
- Consider taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.