If you are having an emergency and require medical attention, please call 911.
Trauma to the face, teeth, or gum tissues can be a scary experience. In some cases, knowing what to do can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth. At Ashley Bennett and J.J. Perkiomaki DMD PC, we pride ourselves on providing the very best in patient education. The following information is designed to help you stay calm, and make the right moves when facing a dental emergency.
What is a Dental Emergency?Dental emergencies include injury to the mouth, such as teeth that have been fractured, cracked, chipped, forced out of position, or knocked out. A dental emergency may also involve lacerations to the lip, gum, and cheek tissues. If you have experienced a dental emergency, try not to panic. While they can be painful, most dental emergencies are nowhere near the severity of other medical emergencies. However, you should still call us as soon as possible to schedule an appointment, especially if you have knocked out a tooth.
What if my Tooth is Knocked Out?The first thing to do if your tooth has been knocked out is to call us to schedule your emergency appointment. Next, be sure to handle the tooth by the crown, never the root. Touching the root can damage the existing cells that make it possible to reattach the tooth. Once you have the tooth in hand, gently rinse it in water to remove any dirt. Never scrub any remaining gum tissue off. If possible, place the tooth back into the socket to keep it moist. If not, placing it in another area of the mouth also works. If this too is uncomfortable, you may place the tooth in a glass of water or milk, just as long as you keep it from drying out.
What if my Tooth is Fractured or Loose?Other injuries to your teeth may prove to be less serious. For instance, minor chips, cracks, or fractures may not require immediate treatment. However, it is still vitally important that you schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Only Dr. Perkiomaki or Dr. Bennett will be able to determine the extent of the damage.
Fractured Tooth: If your tooth has a moderate or severe fracture, be sure to rinse your mouth will warm water. You can also use an ice pack to reduce any swelling and take ibuprofen to reduce pain.
Loose Tooth: If a tooth has been pushed out of position, you can attempt to reposition the tooth to its normal position. Be sure to use light finger pressure as you do not want to force the tooth. Once the tooth is back in position, be sure to bite down to keep it from moving.
How can I Prevent a Dental Emergency?There are simple precautions you can take to avoid a dental emergency. When playing or participating in any sport or recreational activity that involves physical contact, be sure to wear a mouthguard. A mouthguard is a plastic appliance that protects the teeth from traumatic blows to the face.
Another way to avoid a dental emergency is to eliminate poor oral health habits. Chewing on ice, pen caps, and other hard materials can cause your teeth to chip or crack. Be sure to avoid using your teeth to cut or open packages as well.
Are you Having a Dental Emergency?If you have experienced a dental emergency and need immediate care, call (503) 292-8996 now! If the emergency has taken place outside of our regular business hours, you may need to seek treatment elsewhere, such as urgent care or the hospital.
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