A knocked out tooth can cause panic in any heart, but quick thinking and staying calm are the best ways to approach this and all other dental emergencies. Dr. Elaine Gorelik and the dental care experts at Trident Cosmetic and Family Dentistry in Los Angeles encourage you to call their office as soon as possible for guidance regarding emergency dental treatment. Taking the right steps now can prevent additional damage and costly dental restoration.
A broken or displaced tooth is usually not a cause for alarm, as long as decisive, quick action is taken.
If the tooth has been knocked out, try to place the tooth back in its socket while waiting to see your dentist. Before doing so, gently rinse the mouth of any blood or other debris and very gently rinse but do not scrub or use cloth to wipe off the tooth. Handle the tooth with care, holding it by the crown without touching the root. After replacing the tooth in its socket, place a cold cloth or compress on the check near the injury to help reduce swelling.
If you cannot place the tooth back in its socket, place it in a container of warm milk, saline or the victim's own saliva. Keep it in this solution until you arrive at the emergency room or dentist's office.
It is best to rinse gently with warm water and apply a cold pack or compress to the cheek near the injured tooth. Ibuprofen may be used to help keep swelling down. If the tooth fracture is minor, the tooth can be sanded or restored by the dentist if the pulp is not exposed.
Dental problems that require quick treatment in order to save a tooth, stopping bleeding from a laceration, or alleviating severe dental pain are considered emergencies.
Also, a severe infection (abscess) in a tooth can be life-threatening and requires care quickly. Your dentist might perform the first stage of a root canal to open and drain the infection from the tooth. If you can’t reach your dentist for some reason, seek care at your local hospital/emergency room.
Also, call your dentist immediately for an emergency appointment if you have a loose tooth as an adult or your child has a loose permanent tooth. You can try to shifting the tooth back in place using your finger and very light pressure, but never try to force the tooth into position.
For further information about knowing when to call for emergency dental care, please speak to your provider at Trident Cosmetic and Family Dentistry.