What to do in an emergency dental situation
Here are a few dental emergencies and specific suggestions Dr. Van Pelt advises in an emergency situation. If any of these situations ever occur, contact Dr. Van Pelt immediately or seek emergency medical attention to ensure the best outcome.
Chipped Tooth - Before you see Dr. Van Pelt, rinse your mouth with warm water, and reduce any swelling by using cold compresses. He may fix the tooth using a filling, or recommend a root canal and a crown. There is no way to treat a cracked tooth at home. You need to see your dentist. If your tooth hurts all the time, it may have a damaged nerve or blood vessels. This is a serious warning sign and your dentist needs to be informed of this situation right away.
Tongue or Lip Injury - These injuries may happen as a result of tear, puncture wound or laceration to the area. In any of these cases it is important to clean the cut area, and reduce the swelling using a cold compress. If the cold compress cannot stop the bleeding, visit the emergency room of the nearest hospital. With injury to the tongue, pull the tongue forward and place a piece of gauze to put pressure on the affected area.
Cracked Tooth - A cracked tooth may be invisible to the eye, and may be invisible even in an X-ray. Dr. Van Pelt will use methods like bonding or root canal treatment depending on the size of the crack and the location. There is no way to treat a cracked tooth at home. You need to see your dentist. If your tooth hurts all the time, it may have a damaged nerve or blood vessels. This is a serious warning sign.
Broken Jaw – A broken is a very serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. If you think your jaw might be broken, Dr. Van Pelt advices using an ice pack to reduce the swelling, then getting to an emergency dentist or an emergency room as soon as possible.
Toothache – To provide quick relief, place an ice pack pressed against your face right at the source of the toothache. Then, schedule an appointment with Dr. Van Pelt to determine the cause of the problem.
Knocked Out Tooth – Time is of the essence with a tooth that has been knocked out. It is important to contact an emergency dentist as soon as this occurs.
If the tooth is found, don’t remove any of the tissue fragments that may be attached to the tooth. Insert the tooth back into its socket, and if this is not possible, place the tooth in a glass of cold milk, or wrap in a clean cloth to take to an emergency dentist as quickly as possible.
Within 10 minutes of the accident, the tooth has a very good chance of affixing itself once again and taking root. Waiting more than 2 hours will result in a slim chance of tooth taking root again.
Objects Caught Between Teeth - Never use sharp or pointy tools to remove any object that is stuck between your teeth. Instead, use dental floss carefully to remove the object. Take care to protect your gums. If you cannot dislodge the object, contact Dr. Van Pelt immediately.
Extruded Teeth - Extruded teeth are teeth that have been pushed, either inside or outside. In such cases, the tooth should be pushed back to its normal position by using mild finger pressure. Do not force the tooth back into the socket, and quickly make an emergency appointment to see a dentist.