|What is a dental emergency?
||Injuries to the mouth may include teeth that are knocked
out (avulsed), forced out of position and loosened (extruded) or
fractured. In addition, lips, gums or cheeks are often
cut. Oral injuries are often painful and should be treated by a
dentist as soon as possible.
|How soon should I see a dentist?
||Immediately! Getting to a dentist within 30
minutes can make the difference between saving or losing a tooth.
|When a tooth is knocked out:
- Immediately call your dentist for an emergency appointment
- Handle the tooth by the crown, not the root. Touching the
root (the part of the tooth below the gum) cam damage cells
necessary for bone re-attachment.
- Gently rinse the tooth in water to remove dirt. Do not
- Do not try to replace the tooth into the socket, but place the
clean tooth in your mouth between the cheek and gum to keep it
moist. It is important not to let the tooth dry out.
- If it is not possible to store the tooth in the mouth of the
injured person, wrap the tooth in a clean cloth or gauze and
immerse in milk.
|When a tooth is pushed out of position.
- Attempt to reposition the tooth to its normal alignment using
very light finger pressure, but do not force the tooth.
- Bite down to keep the tooth from moving.
- The dentist may splint the tooth in place to the two healthy
teeth next to the loose tooth.
|When a tooth is fractured:
- Rinse mouth with warm water.
- Use an ice pack or cold compress to reduce swelling.
- Use ibuprofen, not aspirin, for pain.
- Immediately get to your dentist, who will determine treatment
based on how badly the tooth is broken. Only a dentist can
tell how bad the break is.
- Minor fracture: Minor fractures can be smoothed by your dentist
with a sandpaper disc or simply left alone. Another option
is to restore the tooth with a composite restoration. In
either case, treat the tooth with care for several days.
- Moderate fracture: Moderate fractures include damage to the
enamel, dentin and/or pulp. If the pulp is not permanently
damaged, the tooth may be resorted with a full permanent
crown. If pupal damage does occur, further dental treatment
will be required.
- Severe Facture: Severe fractures often mean a traumatized
tooth with slim chance of recovery.
|When tissue is injured:
||Injuries to the inside of the mouth include tears,
puncture wounds and lacerations to the cheek, lips or tongue.
The wound should be cleaned right away with warm water, and the
injured person taken to the hospital emergency room for the necessary
care. Bleeding from a tongue laceration can be reduced by
pulling the tongue forward and using gauze to place pressure on the
|What can I do to be prepared?
||Pack an emergency dental care kit, including:
Dentist's phone numbers (home and office)
Small container with lid
Ibuprofen (Not aspirin, aspirin is an anti-coagulant, which may cause
excessive bleeding in a dental emergency.)