Accidents happen, even with your teeth. That’s why it’s important to know how to handle a variety of dental emergencies.
At Back of the Wasatch Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Reed Lobrot and our staff provide emergency dental services for our patients in the Heber City, Utah, area. From toothaches to knocked-out teeth, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how to help by caring for your injured tooth before your appointment.
Caring for your tooth injury before your appointment
Dental emergencies can happen at any time and in many different situations. Fortunately, there are things you can do to care for your tooth while waiting to get to the dentist’s office. The specifics naturally depend on what type of injury you have.
Teeth that come loose in their sockets are among the most common dental emergencies. Trauma, such as a fall or getting hit during contact sports, and periodontal disease are the most common causes of loose teeth in adults. In children, they usually occur during sports.
Try to lightly push the tooth back into its socket with your tongue, but don’t force or touch it; motion usually worsens things. And never try to extract the tooth yourself, even if you think that’s what Dr. Lobrot would do. You’ll only cause more pain and increase your risk for infection from an improper tooth extraction.
Dr. Lobrot generally treats loose teeth caused by trauma with a splint. Like with a broken bone, splints bind the loose tooth to the surrounding, sturdy teeth, holding it steady until the root heals and re-anchors itself in the socket. However, if the tooth is severely damaged or beyond repair, he may send you to an oral surgeon to extract it.
Dr. Lobrot treats loose teeth caused by periodontal disease with a deep cleaning called scaling and root planing. It removes plaque and tartar below the gum line and reduces gum inflammation. Once the gum tissue heals, it can better hold the tooth in place.
Knocked-out permanent tooth
If one of your permanent teeth gets knocked out, you need to see Dr. Lobrot within an hour of the injury for him to save it. It’s likely the tooth has sustained root damage and needs immediate care.
Take the following steps:
- Pick the tooth up by the crown; never touch the root
- Rinse the tooth off gently with water to clean it, but don’t remove any tissue attached
- Place the tooth gently back into the socket if you can; bite down on some gauze to hold it in place
- If the tooth won’t go back into the socket, put it between your cheek and gum or in a container of milk
- Call Dr. Lobrot to let him know you’re on your way
If Dr. Lobrot can’t reinsert the tooth, he discusses restoration options so you won’t have a gap between your teeth.
Chips, breaks, and severe mouth or tooth pain
A broken or chipped tooth, crown, or veneer isn’t generally considered a dental emergency. If you’re not bleeding or in pain, you can wait for an appointment with Dr. Lobrot so that he can repair it with a tooth-colored dental resin. Meanwhile, use beeswax or dental wax from your local pharmacy to cover sharp edges.
However, if you’ve cracked a tooth and the gums around it are bleeding, and it radiates intense pain or injures the inside of your mouth, you have a dental emergency. Pain is often an indicator of an irritated or dying nerve or an infection of the tooth or surrounding gums. Dr. Lobrot may need to send you to an endodontist for a root canal or a periodontist or oral surgeon for gum surgery.
Not sure if you have a dental emergency or what you should do while you wait? Call Back of the Wasatch Family and Cosmetic Dentistry at 435-654-4500, or book online with us today.