Dental emergencies tend to pop up when you least expect them and when it’s the least convenient. Like when you’re out of town, over the weekend, or right after the dentist’s office closes for the day.
Knowing what to do if you’re experiencing a toothache or other dental emergency can help address pain and prevent additional complications.
Depending on what type of emergency you’re experiencing, here are some things you should know:
Small chips in teeth are typically repaired with smoothing them out or placing a small area of bonding over them. But if a large portion of your tooth chips off because of an accident, there are specific things you need to do.
First, store the tooth fragment in a sealed container, so that you don’t lose it. Then cover it with milk or a contact/saline solution to keep it moist. If neither of those are available, you can use tap water but you’ll need to add a pinch of salt.
Bring your tooth fragment to our Phoenix dentist within the next hour. For the best results, we’ll want to try to bond it back into place within 1-2 hours from when the injury occurred.
Knocked Out Teeth
Managing a knocked out tooth is similar to broken teeth, but with a few extra precautions. First, only handle the tooth by the crown, which is the part you see above the gums. Never touch the root. Second, you can gently rinse away debris but do not scrub the root clean (it can prevent a successful re-implantation.) Third, if you’re able, try to reinsert the tooth back into the socket; just don’t force it. If you can’t, repeat the instructions under a broken tooth for storing it and bringing it to our office.
Dental Abscess and Toothaches
Inflammation is one of the leading causes of tooth pain. It could be an abscess or gum infection, but the swelling from either one can be excruciating. Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory such as Motrin (ibuprofen) and rinse with warm saltwater to alleviate the swelling. Plan to see us within the next couple of days.
Broken Filling or Crown
Avoid chewing on your broken tooth. If the restoration is a crown, place it in a zip-top bag and bring it to your appointment. Depending on which tooth is broken, we may need to see you the same day or can schedule you out a few days in advance. If you use a temporary filling kit from the drugstore, keep in mind that it won’t provide any added reinforcement for chewing or biting into food. All it will do is prevent food from packing down into the cavity and may help with some sensitivity.
Call Us if You’re in Pain
Dr. Behbahani offers emergency dentistry for patients of all ages. If you’re a new patient, we encourage you to call. Depending on when you’re contacting us, we can arrange our schedule to try to see you the same day or talk to you over the phone to give you advice until you can get back to our office.
In pain? Call our Phoenix emergency dentist today.