We should expect the unexpected. If an emergency is extreme, then please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room or urgent care center. Most dental accidents do not require immediate attention. Typically, if an accident happens after regular business hours and the area doesn't hurt a lot, then you can wait until the next business day.
The following summary list may help you in case of a dental emergency:
Begin by meticulously cleaning around the sore tooth. Using warm salt water, rinse the mouth to displace any food trapped between teeth. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you place aspirin on the aching tooth or on the adjacent gums. In the event of facial swelling, apply a cold compress to the area. For temporary pain relief, acetaminophen is recommended. Call the office.
Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip, or Cheek
Apply ice to any bruised areas. For bleeding, apply firm (but gentle) pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth. If the bleeding does not stop with pressure, or if it continues after 15 minutes, then go to an emergency room. If the bite is painful, yet not severe, rinse with Peroxyl. It can be purchased at most supermarkets or drug stores.
Broken Braces or Wires
Remove a broken appliance only if it comes out easily. If it is lodged or painful to remove, then cover any protruding edges with wax, cotton balls, gauze, or chewing gum. DO NOT REMOVE any wire caught in the gums, cheek, or tongue; see your orthodontist ASAP. Emergency attention is usually not required for loose or broken appliances that cause no discomfort.
Rinse the area with warm water. Put a cold compress over the facial area of the injury. Recover any broken tooth fragments. Call the office.
Knocked Out Permanent Tooth
Recover the tooth, making sure to hold it by the crown (top) and not the root end. Rinse, but do not clean or handle the tooth more than necessary. Reinsert the tooth in the socket and hold it in place using a clean piece of gauze or cloth. If the tooth cannot be reinserted, then carry it in a cup containing milk or saliva. Call the office immediately. The tooth may not be savable if it is out of the socket for more than 30 minutes.
Possible Broken Jaw
In the event of jaw injury, tie the mouth closed with a towel, tie, or handkerchief. Go immediately to an emergency room. Our office is not equipped to treat broken jaws.
Bleeding After a Baby Tooth Falls Out
Fold a piece of gauze and place it (tightly) over the bleeding area. Bite down on the gauze for 15 minutes. If bleeding is profuse and prolonged, then call the office. However, it is unlikely that there will be a problem.
Cold or Canker Sores
These sores usually heal on their own within 10 days. Over-the-counter medications will usually provide temporary relief of the discomfort. If sores persist, then call the office.