Few things make you panic like a dental emergency. Losing a crown or getting a tooth knocked out is understandably alarming and requires swift action. Here are some common dental emergencies you might encounter, along with advice on when to seek emergency dental care.
What Is a Dental Emergency?
More than a toothache or a bitten lip, a true dental emergency requires immediate attention. Consider what to do in the following scenarios:
Chipped or Broken Tooth
If you break or chip a tooth, try to save the broken piece(s). Rinse your mouth and the broken pieces in warm water. If you’re bleeding, apply a small piece of gauze to the area for 5-10 minutes or until the bleeding stops.
What if you experience pain or swelling? Use a cold compress on your cheek or lip near the location of the chipped tooth. Call your dentist right away to schedule a visit to repair the tooth. In most cases, your dentist will use a filling or crown to repair the damaged tooth.
If your tooth becomes completely dislodged, immediately call your dentist. The highest chance of saving the tooth occurs within an hour, so the sooner you can get to the office, the better.
In the meantime, pick up the tooth by the crown (the exposed part), not the root. Rinse it with water if it’s dirty, but don’t scrub it. If you can, gently try to put the tooth in place without forcing it into the socket.
If you can’t reinsert the tooth, store it in a cup of milk during your trip to the dental office. Your dentist will do everything possible to save the tooth, but if it’s not possible, don’t worry. A dental implant can replace the normal function of the tooth without altering your appearance.
Lost Crown or Filling
If you lose a filling, you can use a bit of dental cement or sugar-free gum to temporarily seal the opening. Schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to replace the filling.
If a crown falls out without damage, try cleaning it and gently replacing it with a bit of dental cement or denture adhesive (never use super glue). If you can’t reattach it, keep it somewhere safe and bring it with you to the dentist. Use a few drops of clove oil to alleviate any discomfort you feel in the meantime.
If you develop a painful, pimple-like swelling on your gums, it could be a sign of an abscess. Left untreated, this infection can damage your teeth or, even worse, spread to other parts of your body.
Immediately contact your dentist and get in as soon as possible for treatment. To ease discomfort and encourage the pus to the surface, rinse your mouth in a mild solution of water and table salt.
Where to Seek Emergency Dental Care
If you’re facing a dental emergency, take a deep breath, and try not to panic. Our team is trained in emergency dental care and we’re here to help.
Your health and safety are of the utmost importance to us. Call or text 912-748-8585 or get in touch via our contact page and we’ll respond to you promptly.