In Case of Emergency
Dental Emergency Information
Handling Dental Emergencies
Any dental emergency like an injury to the teeth or gums can be potentially serious and should not be ignored. Ignoring a dental problem can increase the risk of permanent damage as well as the need for more extensive and expensive treatment down the road.
Here’s a quick summary of what to do for some common dental problems.
- Toothaches First, thoroughly rinse your mouth with warm water. Use dental floss to remove any lodged food. If your mouth is swollen, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek. Never put aspirin or any other painkiller against the gums near the aching tooth because it may burn the gum tissue. Call us at 248.742.5500 to schedule an emergency appointment.
- Chipped or broken teeth Save any pieces. Rinse the mouth using warm water; rinse any broken pieces. If there’s bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth, cheek, or lip near the broken/chipped tooth to keep any swelling down and relieve pain. Call Stannard & Studt & Wolf Dentistry at 248.742.5500.
- Knocked-out tooth Retrieve the tooth, hold it by the crown (the part that is usually exposed in the mouth), and rinse off the tooth root with water if it’s dirty. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, try to put the tooth back in place. Make sure it’s facing the right way. Never force it into the socket. If it’s not possible to reinsert the tooth in the socket, put the tooth in a small container of milk (or cup of water that contains a pinch of table salt, if milk is not available) or a product containing cell growth medium, such as Save-a-Tooth. In all cases, call us at 248.742.5500 to schedule an emergency appointment as quickly as possible. Knocked out teeth with the highest chances of being saved are those seen by the dentist and returned to their socket within 1 hour of being knocked out.
- Extruded (partially dislodged) tooth Call us at 248.742.5500 to schedule an appointment with your dentist right away. Until you reach your dentist’s office, to relieve pain, apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever (such as Tylenol or Advil) if needed.
- Lost filling As a temporary measure, stick a piece of sugarless gum into the cavity (sugar-filled gum will cause pain) or use an over-the-counter dental cement. Call Stannard & Studt & Wolf Dentistry at 248.742.5500 to schedule an appointment with one of our dentist as soon as possible.
- Lost crown If the crown falls off, make an appointment by calling us at 248.742.5500 and bring the crown with you. If you can’t get to the dentist right away and the tooth is causing pain, use a cotton swab to apply a little clove oil to the sensitive area (clove oil can be purchased at your local drug store or in the spice aisle of your grocery store). If possible, slip the crown back over the tooth. Before doing so, coat the inner surface with an over-the-counter dental cement, toothpaste, or denture adhesive, to help hold the crown in place. Do not use super glue!
- Broken braces wires. If a wire breaks or sticks out of a bracket or band and is poking your cheek, tongue, or gum, try using the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire into a more comfortable position. If you can’t reposition the wire, cover the end with orthodontic wax, a small cotton ball, or piece of gauze until you can get to our office. Never cut the wire, as you could end up swallowing it or breathing it into your lungs. We can be reached at 248.742.5500.
- Loose brackets and bands. Temporarily reattach loose braces with a small piece of orthodontic wax. Alternatively, place the wax over the braces to provide a cushion. Call Stannard & Studt & Wolf Dentistry at 248.742.5500 and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. If the problem is a loose band, save it and call us for an appointment to have it recemented or replaced (and to have missing spacers replaced).
- Abscess Abscesses are infections that occur around the root of a tooth or in the space between the teeth and gums. Abscesses are a serious condition that can damage tissue and surrounding teeth, with the infection possibly spreading to other parts of the body if left untreated.
Because of the serious oral health and general health problems that can result from an abscess, call us at 248.742.5500 to schedule an emergency appointment. If you discover a pimple-like swelling on your gum that usually is painful. In the meantime, to ease the pain and draw the pus toward the surface, try rinsing your mouth with a mild salt water solution (1/2 teaspoon of table salt in 8 ounces of water) several times a day.
- Soft-tissue injuries. Injuries to the soft tissues, which include the tongue, cheeks, gums, and lips, can result in bleeding. To control the bleeding, here’s what to do:
- Rinse your mouth with a mild salt-water solution.
- Use a moistened piece of gauze or tea bag to apply pressure to the bleeding site. Hold in place for 15 to 20 minutes.
- To both control bleeding and relieve pain, hold a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area for 5 to 10 minutes.
- If the bleeding doesn’t stop, call us at 248.742.5500 to schedule an emergency appointment or go to a hospital emergency room. Continue to apply pressure on the bleeding site with the gauze until you can be seen and treated.
For any other type of emergency problem, contact our office at 248.673.7300 or go to your nearest emergency room. We will do everything possible to help you with your dental emergency. Dr. Stannard, Dr. Studt and Dr. Wolf are committed to providing you with immediate care for your emergency dental needs.