Emergency Care Q & A
Cool Springs Laser Dentistry
You may chip, crack, or break a tooth or crown by biting on a hard piece of food or during a fall. Whether you need this immediately addressed really depends on the severity of the injury. If a tooth is knocked out, it’s important to seek immediate care. Other indications that you need emergency dental care include:
- Severe tooth cracks
- Large pieces of a tooth are missing
- The tooth has nerve damage
- Extreme pain
- Abscessed tooth
- Puncture wounds or lacerations inside the mouth
- Loose teeth resulting from a fall or blow to the face
Do as little with the knocked out tooth as possible. Hold it in the socket, if you can. Don’t wash the tooth, as you may remove some of the tooth root that may help Dr. Rice put it back in, but do remove any visible dirt or grit. If you can’t hold it in the socket, place it in a container of milk or some of your own saliva until you get to the office. Apply pressure to the open socket to help with excessive bleeding. Call us right away!
What if I’m not sure it’s a true emergency?
It’s far better to call and come in for an emergency appointment than to let an infection fester or delay the repair of a serious injury. If you call, the staff can help you determine the best course of action and how to proceed. Usually, a visit to our office is best.
Is a chipped tooth a dental emergency?
A small chip is usually not a dental emergency and can wait until the next time you can get an appointment. Chipped teeth are usually filled using cosmetic dental procedures. Do take care not to chip it further before your appointment. Just don't chew on it at all.
Cracked or fractured teeth indicate that you need to see a dentist right away. You’ve likely damaged the inside as well as the outside of the tooth. Avoid applying any oral numbing gel, as it may burn your damaged gums. A cold compress and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can help ease the pain until you get care. Above all, call us as soon as you can.