When to Seek Emergency Dental Care
When most people experience mouth pain or an injury to the teeth or gums, the problem can instantly seem like an emergency. The small vessels and nerves in the mouth intensify pain and bleeding, but not all oral problems warrant immediate care. To help you determine whether a dental problem requires emergency treatment, please call us at 704.664.5311 or refer to the details below.
If you sustain an injury to the mouth or teeth that causes uncontrollable bleeding or loss of consciousness, you should call 911 and/or go to the nearest emergency center immediately. Once your condition has stabilized and you are recovering, you can contact our office to schedule an appointment for corrective dental measures if needed.
Emergency Dental Problems
Emergency dental problems that would necessitate an appointment within 24 hours include a severely fractured or avulsed (knocked out) tooth, severe pain in the teeth or gums, or severe swelling. In this case, call 704.664.5311, and we will meet you at our office.
If you have a routine dental problem such as a chipped tooth, cavity/toothache, detached crown or a loose orthodontic wire, please call our Mooresville office during normal business hours. Ideally, we’d like to see you within a few days to assess your problem and determine proper follow-up care. Do not delay as small problems can quickly progress into a more damaging infection or fracture. To assure prompt care, we’ll make every effort to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Until then, consider the following home remedies to relieve discomfort.
If sharp edges or sensitivity is a problem, apply orthodontic wax or temporary filling material (available at your local drug store) to the chipped area until you can come in for an appointment.
We understand that toothaches can be painful. To provide temporary relief until you can schedule an appointment, take an over-the-counter pain reliever (such as ibuprofen) and apply a cold compress to the area. Keep the tooth clean and free of food particles by rinsing with salt water (one teaspoon salt to a glass of warm water). You may also apply oral analgesic gel around the tooth and gum line. For a natural remedy, try putting a clove of crushed garlic or a few drops of clove oil or vanilla extract on the affected tooth.
Detached or loose crowns should be assessed within 24 to 48 hours. If a permanent or temporary crown has loosened, and you can’t get to the office by the next day, you can temporarily reattach the crown using denture adhesive. Carefully clean the inside of the crown, and then apply denture adhesive to the inside. Place the crown back on the tooth and press. This should hold the crown in place for up to 48 hours. Never reattach a crown with super glue.
Loose Orthodontic Wire
To keep a wire from cutting or bruising the cheek, apply orthodontic wax over the end of the wire. Replace wax as necessary until you can visit our office.
To relieve teething pain in babies and toddlers, apply an oral analgesic (such as baby Ambesol®) to the affected area and/or give the child a soft, chilled teething ring to chew.
When a permanent tooth is knocked out
If a permanent tooth is knocked completely out, save the tooth and seek care immediately. If possible, rinse the tooth of any debris gently and try to put it back in the socket. DO NOT SCRUB IT TO CLEAN!!! The fine tissue and tiny ligaments on the root will help the chance of the tooth surviving. Minimizing the time out of the mouth is important. If you are unable to re-implant the tooth, keeping the tooth moist for transport is critical. For transporting the tooth, tooth saving kits can be purchased at drug stores with solution to keep it hydrated. Milk is a good substitute if a kit is not available. Keep a kit in your team’s first aid kit. You can keep the tooth in water as a last option.