What’s Considered a Dental Emergency?

What’s Considered a Dental EmergencyWimmer Dental in Centennial can always help when you have problems with your teeth, but sometimes it’s hard to know what’s considered a dental emergency and should be addressed right away. It helps if you know what to do if you find yourself in a dental emergency. The first thing you should do is call our office. We will assist you in resolving your emergency and getting you in to see Dr. Wimmer as soon as possible.

Here are some tips from an article in the  Consumer Guide to Dentistry on what you can do until you can get to our office for emergency services.

Loose or Repositioned Tooth

If you have a tooth that is loose or repositioned, it’s important to call us right away.

  • Do your best to push the tooth back into its right position. You can press it gently with your finger, but don’t try to force it back in place.
  • You can gently bite down on the tooth to keep it from moving.
  • Sometimes we may need to splint the tooth to the teeth next to it to keep it stabilized.
  • If the tooth is repositioned and stabilized in one hour or less, it has a much better chance of staying alive. If it takes longer than an hour you could end up losing your tooth.

Knocked-Out Tooth

A knocked-out tooth needs immediate attention. If you follow these suggestions immediately after the tooth has been knocked out, the opportunity for us to reinsert the tooth is very good.

  • If the tooth has been knocked out completely, hold it by the white crown end, rinse it gently with water only, (do not wipe it or scrub it). Rinse the tooth socket with water, and place the tooth back into the socket.
  • If you can’t get it back in the socket, store the tooth in Hank’s Balanced Salt Solution or Save-A-Tooth (available at pharmacies), milk, or saliva by keeping the tooth between your cheek and your gums, be careful not to swallow the tooth!

Chipped and Cracked Teeth

What if your tooth gets chipped but you don’t feel any pain? You should still call us, but if there is no pain there may not be anything you need to do immediately. You might be able to wait a few days to come see us. In the meantime, be careful while chewing so as not to damage your tooth anymore. We may be able to smooth the chip out or add some composite filling material to repair the tooth.

A cracked tooth is serious because there is probably damage to the inside of the tooth as well as to the outside. Sometimes the fracture is too severe for the tooth to be saved. If you crack your tooth, call us and we will get you in as soon as possible.

In the meantime:

  • Clean your mouth out by gently rinsing your mouth with warm water.
  • If facial trauma caused the fracture, keep a cold compress to the area to keep any swelling down.
  • Take acetaminophen (not aspirin) for your pain.
  • Never apply a painkiller (even Orajel) to the gum because it can burn the gum tissue.

At your appointment, we will take X-rays to diagnose the condition of your tooth. You may need a root canal if the soft tissue inside the tooth is damaged. If the pulp isn’t damaged, the tooth may just need a crown. If the tooth can’t be saved, your options may be dental implants or bridges.

Injuries Inside the Mouth

Any injuries inside the mouth to the lips, cheeks, mouth and tongue, are tissue injuries and are considered dental emergencies. Clean the area that’s injured with warm water. If your tongue is bleeding, pull it out and put pressure on the wound using gauze. Don’t take aspirin or ibuprofen which can cause increased bleeding. But you can take acetaminophen for the pain.

Temporary Crowns

If your temporary crown comes off, don’t worry, it’s not an emergency. Just put it back over the tooth so that the tooth stays in place. Call us so we can get you in to see Dr. Wimmer.

A temporary crown can easily be put back onto your tooth by placing either toothpaste, Vaseline, Chapstick or even a little bit of denture adhesive into the temporary crown and putting it onto your tooth with a little bit of pressure.

Infection or Abscess

An infection or abscess in your mouth can be a very serious emergency and will need immediate care.

Avoiding Emergencies

Most emergencies can’t be anticipated but there are a few things you can do to help prevent some of them. If you have routine checkups we can make sure your teeth are in good shape and catch any potential problems before they become an emergency. Please wear a mouthguard when you play sports. It’s really important because the mouthguard will help keep your teeth from being broken or knocked out. Avoid chewing on ice or anything hard that could break your teeth. Get a dental checkup before you travel for an extended period of time.

If you have any injuries, severe pain, or trauma to your teeth give us a call and explain your situation. Our staff at Wimmer Dental in Centennial knows what’s considered a dental emergency and we will tell you how you should address your problem. If it is an emergency, we will do everything we can to fit you into our schedule as quickly as we can. Please let us know as soon as possible so we can offer you the appropriate advice and get you an appointment. Our friendly staff will help you in any way that we can. We offer a variety of dental treatment services and our office also caters to the needs of our anxious and fearful patients, Dr. Wimmer provides oral sedation and nitrous oxide to alleviate your fears and provide a pleasant experience for your visit.