• What do I do in a dental emergency?

    First, call your dentist. If the dentist can’t be reached and it is a true emergency, go to the nearest emergency room. The doctors in most ER’s can stop bleeding, treat allergic reactions, and prescribe pain medications and antibiotics until you can receive regular dental care.

  • What is considered a true emergency?

    Usually life threatening conditions like allergic reactions, uncontrolled bleeding, severe swelling. Severe pain that is uncontrolled with over the counter medications or fever or increasing facial swelling needs to treated with prescription drugs right away.

  • What if my over-the-counter pain medication doesn't work?

    Severe, spontaneous and persistent pain is usually the indication of a serious problem. Call your dentist immediately to have the situation evaluated. Never exceed the dosage on any prescription or over-the-counter medication. Patients frequently take too much acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and other pain meds, thinking if two don’t work, maybe four will. Read the label on any medication before taking it. Overdosing aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.) can lead to internal bleeding, ulcers, kidney failure, and death. Acetaminophen overdosing is the number one cause of liver failure and liver transplants in the US.

  • What if my infant has a dental emergency?

    Call your dentist, but in an urgent emergency, contact a hospital.

  • What do I do if I have a toothache?

    First, thoroughly rinse your mouth with warm water. Use a toothbrush and dental floss to clean the area and remove any lodged food. If your cheek, chin or mouth is swollen, apply a cold compress to the area outside of your mouth. Do not put heat on a swollen face as it can cause the area to swell more. Never put aspirin or any other painkiller against the gums near the aching tooth because it can burn the gum tissue and cause further complications. Anbesol and Ora-gel may be of some help, but usually provide only temporary relief. Call our office for an appointment as soon as possible. Remember, most toothaches progress quickly and you may end up with a much more serious situation than if you had sought care earlier.

  • What if I broke a tooth?

    If the tooth is broken and not loose, save any pieces if possible. If there’s bleeding, apply a piece of gauze or paper towel with pressure to the area for about 10 minutes, or until the bleeding stops. A fractured tooth can be very sensitive to cold, sweets, air, etc. Avoid chewing on the tooth and seek dental care.

  • What if a tooth gets knocked out?

    When a tooth gets knocked out completely, time is of the essence to get to the dentist! Retrieve the tooth, hold it by the crown (the part that is usually visible in the mouth), and rinse off the tooth root with room temperature water if it’s dirty or has debris on it. Do not scrub the tooth or remove any attached tissue fragments.Do not to touch the root of the tooth as this can contaminate it. Ideally, the tooth should be placed in a product such as “Save A Tooth” or “EMT Tooth Saver” that is available online. However, if you do not have one, put the tooth in a container of milk and try to get to a dentist within 30 minutes. The longer the tooth is out of its socket, the more likely it may not be able to be reimplanted in the mouth. If you can’t get to a dentist within a reasonable time, rinse off the tooth and gently place the it back into the socket making sure it is facing the right way. Do not force the tooth! Avoid eating and drinking and get to the dentist as soon as possible.

  • Extruded (partially dislodged) tooth.

    Do not eat or drink anything. Do not bite on the extruded tooth. Call our office for an appointment as soon as possible. Until you reach our office, to relieve pain, apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area. Take an over-the-counter analgesic (such as Tylenol or Advil) if needed.

  • What do I do if I lose a filling?

    Call to get into your dentist at the earliest time and to consult with them on any specific advice for your situation. In the meanwhile, keep the area free of food debris and try not to chew anything in the area. Over-the-counter dental cements are available that you may be able to use to temporary fill the void. A piece of sugar-free gum can also be applied into the cavity until you see your dentist.

  • How do I remove an object caught between my teeth?

    Try using dental floss to very gently and carefully remove the object. A helpful tip is to tie a single knot in the floss, and gently try to remove the object. If you can’t get the object out, call our office for an appointment. Never use a pin, needle or other sharp object to poke at the stuck object. These instruments can cut your gums or scratch your tooth surface.

  • What do I do if a crown falls off?

    If a crown falls off, make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible and bring the crown with you. If the tooth is causing pain, use a cotton swab to apply a little clove oil to the sensitive area (clove oil can be purchased at your local drug store or in the spice aisle of your grocery store). Until you can see the dentist, you may put the crown back over the tooth by coating the inner surface with an over-the-counter dental cement, toothpaste, or denture adhesive, to help hold the crown in place. Do not chew on the loose crown until you see your dentist. (Do NOT use super glue).

  • What do I do if a bracket or band is loose?

    If a bracket or band is loose or dislodged call your dental office for an appointment. In the meantime use orthodontic wax, gauze, or a cotton swab for any uncomfortable areas or pinching wires.