Dental emergencies are quite frightening and often painful. Prompt treatment is almost always required to alleviate pain and to ensure the teeth have the best possible chance of survival. Sometimes, teeth become fractured by trauma, grinding, or biting on hard objects. In other cases, fillings, crowns, and other restorative devices can be damaged or fall out of the mouth completely. If there is severe pain, it is essential to contact our office immediately. The pain caused by dental emergencies almost always gets worse without treatment, and dental issues can seriously jeopardize physical health.
Cracked or Broken Teeth
The teeth are strong, but they are still prone to fractures, cracks, and breaks. Sometimes fractures are fairly painless, but if the crack extends down into the root, it is likely that the pain will be extreme. Fractures, cracks, and breaks can take several different forms, but are generally caused by trauma, grinding, and biting. If a tooth has been fractured or cracked, there is no alternative but to schedule an appointment as quickly as possible. In the meantime, here are some steps you can take to alleviate pain:
– Rinse the tooth fragment and the mouth with lukewarm water
– Apply gauze to the area for ten minutes if there is bleeding
-Place a cold, damp dishtowel on the cheek to minimize swelling and pain
– Cover the affected area with over-the-counter dental cement if you cannot see us immediately
– Take a topical pain reliever
– The nature of the break or fracture will limit what we are able to do. If a fracture or crack extends into the root, root canal therapy is often the most effective way to retain the tooth. In the case of a complete break, your dentist will usually affix the fragment back onto the tooth as a temporary measure.
Lost filling or Crown
Usually, a crown or filling comes loose while eating. Once it is out of the mouth, the affected tooth may be incredibly sensitive to temperature changes and pressure. Crowns generally become loose because the tooth beneath is decaying. The decay causes shape changes in the teeth – meaning that the crown no longer fits.
If a crown has dropped out of the mouth, make a dental appointment as soon as possible. Keep the crown in a cool, safe place because there is a possibility that we can reinsert it. If the crown is out of the mouth for a long period of time, the teeth may shift or sustain further damage.
When we are not immediately accessible, here are the steps to take:
– Apply clove oil to the tooth to alleviate pain.
– Clean the crown, and affix it onto the tooth with dental cement. This can be purchased at a local pharmacy.
– If the crown is lost, smear the top of the tooth with dental cement to alleviate discomfort.
– DO NOT use any kind of glue to affix the crown.
– We will check the crown to see if it still fits. If it does, it will be reattached to the tooth. Where decay is noted, this will be treated and a new crown will be made.