Ways to Handle Different Dental Emergencies

If you take proper care of your teeth and you keep up with visiting the dentist regularly, you may think you will never have to worry about a dental emergency. Unfortunately, some dental emergencies cannot be prevented or happen unexpectedly. If keeping your teeth healthy and strong is one of your top priorities, you may be interested in learning a few ways to handle different dental emergencies. Depending on your particular situation, how you handle an emergency may lessen the negative effects of a tooth or gum injury, leading to a healthier mouth in the long run and fewer dental costs.

Most people will be unable to avoid ever having a dental emergency. Fortunately, Dr. Vann and the staff at Vann Family Dental in Charlotte, NC can help you during your emergency situation. We are specifically trained to treat any unexpected dire dental circumstances. If you cannot visit our office immediately or you are wondering how to save your tooth so it can be more safely and easily treated, here are a few common dental emergencies and the best ways to handle them.

What to Do If Your Tooth Gets Knocked Out

If a permanent tooth is knocked out during a car accident, sport, or other unfortunate event, you should find and keep the tooth. It is important that you keep the tooth moist until you are able to visit our office. The best way to keep your tooth safe and nourished is to keep it in your mouth without disrupting the roots — you can do this by gently placing it back in its socket or keeping it in the space between your cheek and gums. Some patients opt to keep their tooth in a glass of milk. For the best likelihood of having your tooth successfully re-implanted, you should visit our office within an hour of the injury.

If we are unable to save your tooth, other permanent replacement options are available. For most patients with a healthy dental structure, the best and most permanent replacement choice is a dental implant. If a dental implant is needed, we will schedule a follow up visit to talk details. A dental implant procedure involves placing a titanium rod that acts as an artificial tooth root into the jawbone. The titanium will fuse with your bone to create a lifelike, strong replacement tooth.

What to Do if Your Tooth is Cracked or Chipped

If your tooth is cracked or chipped, you should immediately rinse out the area with warm water. This will remove any debris and keep the area from immediately swelling. Gentle pressure or a cold compress on the outside of your cheek near the site will help limit bleeding. It can also help with swelling and discomfort. After the situation is controlled, visit our office to have a durable crown or filling placed over the crack or chip. A crown will reinforce the area to keep your teeth from cracking further and to keep the area clear of bacteria and decay. If the crack or chip is small, a quick dental bonding may be the only fix needed. Bonding is a tooth-colored, composite resin material that will be hardened to a durable consistency.

What to Do if an Object is Stuck in Your Teeth

When objects, whether they are food particles or a piece of floss, get stuck in your teeth, it can be incredibly uncomfortable. Your first step during this situation is to try to dislodge the object yourself by flossing. If this does not work, do not try anything else to remove the lodged particle. Any other attempts can make the situation worse and more painful. We have the tools and experience necessary to quickly and easily locate the object and remove it with specialized tools to prevent further injury.

To learn more about what to do when you have a dental emergency, call our office. We can provide you with the information necessary to help you combat difficult situations and quickly receive a solution for injury or discomfort. We can also offer you more information on common dental emergencies that could occur.

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  1. My husband chipped two of his front teeth. He washed out his mouth, and I think that saved him from infection because there was so much dirt in his mouth! I think that’s a really good suggestion. I chipped a tooth as a child, and got a lot of chlorinated water in my mouth from the water park we were at. I hate to think of all the gross things that may have gotten inside the tooth!

  2. I have only ever knocked a tooth out once. I was fortunate and was able to place the tooth back in my mouth and get to the dentist quickly to the the tooth taken care of. However, I have often heard that putting a tooth in a glass of milk was a bad idea. A friend of mine told me not to because milk is to acidic. According to him it was put my tooth in salt water or in my mouth. Is there really some controversy over the effectiveness of milk at preserving teeth?

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