When a dental emergency strikes, you may not know what to do at first. If your initial thought is to visit the hospital or emergency room, we ask that you reconsider. When a tooth is in pain or you’ve suffered an oral injury, it’s more likely that Dr. Borsky can help you get out of discomfort and provide a detailed diagnosis of your dental issue. Give our office a call today to schedule your next emergency appointment!
When a dental emergency occurs, the first thing you should do after you’ve taken a moment to calm down is call our office. Not only does this give you a chance to schedule an appointment, but it also gives us a chance to help you stabilize your condition before you arrive. Below, you’ll learn about what to do during a given dental emergency and what you should do next to handle it before you get to Dr. Borsky’s office.
Use dental floss to remove food debris that may be stuck in between your teeth. If discomfort continues after flossing, take an over-the-counter painkiller like ibuprofen. Do not take aspirin as it can cause a burning sensation if it comes into contact with gum tissue. Apply an ice pack if swelling occurs. When you arrive, we’ll confirm if we need to remove decay and place a filling or perform another treatment to get you out of pain.
Keep any pieces of your broken tooth that you can and bring them to our office. If the break occurred as a result of an injury, use a cold compress to reduce potential swelling. Avoid chewing on that side of your mouth until you get to our office. Take painkillers as needed. When you arrive, we’ll likely need to cover the tooth with a dental crown. If the damage is too significant, the tooth may need to be removed.
Locate the tooth and do your best to stay calm. Pick up the tooth by the crown portion and avoid touching the root or removing any tissue still attached to the root. Gently rinse off any dirt or debris from the tooth, then rinse your mouth out with lukewarm water. Place the tooth back into your open socket and gently bite down to keep it in place. If this isn’t possible, keep the tooth in a container of milk, saline solution, or saliva and get to our office within the hour to have it re-implanted.
Keep the restoration and bring it to our office. Do not chew on that side of your mouth until you get seen. If you want to cover the damaged tooth, you can use denture adhesive, dental cement, or petroleum jelly to temporarily adhere the tooth back in place. We’ll likely need to replace the restoration with a new one to ensure long-term protection.
Take naproxen sodium or ibuprofen to relieve swelling and muscle pain. Apply an ice pack to your face for 10 minutes at a time, then remove it for an additional 10 minutes. If you choose to stretch or massage your jaw, apply a warm towel to your face for about five minutes. Keep to a soft diet until you get to our office. We’ll do our best to confirm the source of your discomfort and create a treatment plan from there.
If you want to avoid dental emergencies in the first place, the best thing you can do is practice proper prevention. This means brushing twice and flossing once daily. It also means staying committed to routine checkups and cleanings at our office and avoiding really tough, sticky, or crunchy foods, especially if you have dental restorations. If you suffer from chronic teeth grinding or clenching while you sleep, purchase a custom-made nightguard for optimal protection. If you play contact sports, always wear your sportsguard.
Since many different factors can go into emergency dental treatment, it’s important to keep in mind that the cost of treatment may vary from person to person. For example, treating tooth pain could require a simple prescription or a more detailed cleaning and filling placement. The best thing you can do is actually come to the office for examination. Letting a dental emergency fester could result in higher overall dental care costs and more discomfort. Once we diagnose your problem, we can provide a more accurate estimate for your emergency dental costs.