When should I call my dentist for emergency care?
Here are a few common dental emergencies that may require immediate care:
- Severe tooth pain, especially if it is accompanied by swelling, fever or an unpleasant taste in your mouth
- Spontaneous or persistent bleeding of the gums
- A lost or knocked-out permanent tooth
- A broken or severely chipped tooth
When in doubt, please give us a call! We can assess your situation, offer instructions for what to do next and get you in to see Dr. Johnston as soon as necessary.
What should I do if I lose or break a tooth?
Sports injuries, hard foods and accidents are all potential sources of broken or knocked-out teeth. If you have lost or seriously damaged a permanent tooth, it’s important to stay calm and act quickly.
While you wait for your appointment, you can use a cold compress on your cheek to relieve pain or swelling. At your visit, Dr. Johnston will evaluate the problem and recommend the best treatment options, including a root canal or porcelain crown.
If one of your permanent teeth has been knocked out completely, find the missing tooth if at all possible. Being very careful not to touch the root, rinse the tooth gently in warm water. Try to place the tooth back into the socket. If this is not possible or is too painful, place the tooth between your cheek and gum or into a small container of milk.
Call our office as soon as possible — if a knocked-out tooth can be reimplanted in the first 1-2 hours after the injury, there’s a better chance of saving the tooth.
A broken tooth can be as minor as a chip in the enamel or as serious as a complete and painful breakage that exposes the interior of the tooth. If you have broken a tooth, try to gather any broken pieces and place them in a clean, dry container. Rinse the injured area with warm water, and call the office as soon as you can.