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How to deal with dental emergencies

by Admin on April 27, 2012

We occasionally see patients at the practice that have had some sort of dental trauma or emergency, so we thought it a good idea to let you know what to do in such an emergency

A permanent tooth that is knocked out can sometimes be reimplanted. In most cases, only permanent, adult teeth are reimplanted into the mouth. Baby teeth are usually left out.

If you are unfortunate enough to have a tooth knocked out, immediately contact us. If you can find the tooth after the accident or injury, bring it with you.

Dental First Aid

Keep any tooth that has been knocked out (avulses) as we may be able to put it back in for you, but please do bring it to us as soon as possible as tooth will slowly start to die if it is starved of blood for too long. Please only touch the tooth only by the crown (chewing edge) to keep the chance of infection as low as possible.

Use one of the following options to transport the tooth:

  1. If you can, replace the tooth in the socket, to the same level as the adjacent teeth. Bite down gently on gauze to help keep it in place, but please be careful not to swallow the tooth
  2. If the tooth cannot be replaced in the socket, place it in a container and cover with a small amount of whole milk or saliva. The tooth can also be carried between lower lip and lower gum or under the tongue.

For additional first aid, please also follow these steps:

  • Apply a cold compress to the mouth and gums for pain.
  • Apply direct pressure, using gauze, to control bleeding.
  • Contact us as soon as you can, the sooner the better to give the best chance of reimplanting the tooth successfully and to keep the risk of infection as low as possible

If a tooth has simply chipped and has not been knocked out, this does not need to be seen as an emergency as we can repair the chip easily with dental bonding or instant veneers.

Here are some DON’Ts

  • Do NOT handle the roots of the tooth. Handle only the crown, or the part of the tooth that you can normally see
  • Do NOT scrub the tooth to remove dirt.
  • Do NOT brush or clean the tooth with alcohol or peroxide.
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