Your dentist should be the first person you call if you have a dental emergency. The dentists at Gentle Dental Family Care set aside time for emergency procedures and are open on Sundays and some late evenings to accommodate emergency patients. We are available for patients in Long Island and Queens for any and all of your dental emergency needs.
Whether at home or traveling, the following tips can help you manage a dental emergency until you can get to the dentist. It is important to remember that with some dental emergencies, seeing a dentist within 30 minutes or less can mean the difference between saving or losing your tooth.
Common Dental Emergencies
Knocked Out Tooth
A knocked-out tooth is a dental emergency that requires urgent attention. If the appropriate emergency steps are followed immediately after the tooth has been knocked out, the chances are very good that the tooth can be reinserted and preserved by a dentist. If your tooth gets knocked out, here are the steps that you should take:
- Pick up the tooth by the top (crown) of the tooth. Do not touch the root(s) of the tooth.
- Rinse the tooth off very gently to ensure that it’s clean. Do not scrub the tooth or remove any tissue attached to it. Be sure to place a towel or washcloth in the sink so that the tooth does not go down the drain.
- If you can, gently place the tooth back into the socket. Hold it gently in place while trying to bite down.
- If you can’t place the tooth back in the socket, put the tooth in a small container or in a cup of milk. Note that the latter is preferable.
- Call your dentist at Dental Made Easy immediately, since getting to the dentist quickly with your tooth – in addition to following the steps above – is critical for saving the knocked-out tooth. The longer you wait to re-implant the tooth in its socket, the less chance you have of the tooth “taking” and remaining viable.
Tooth Out of Alignment or Loose Tooth
If you have a tooth that is loose or out of alignment, you should call your dentist for an emergency appointment right away. In the meantime, you can try to put the tooth back in its original position using your finger with very light pressure. Do not try and force it. You can bite down to keep the tooth from moving. Your dentist may want to splint the tooth to the adjacent teeth (the teeth on each side) to keep it stabilized.
Chipped, Cracked or Fractured Teeth
If a tooth is chipped and doesn’t hurt, this usually does not constitute a dental emergency and you can wait a few days to see a dentist. However, it is important to be careful while chewing so as not to chip it more. Your dentist may simply be able to smooth the chip out, or add some composite filling material to repair the tooth.
A cracked or fractured tooth is a serious issue constituting a dental emergency. Fractured or cracked teeth usually suggest that damage has occurred to the inside of the tooth as well as to the outside. Severe fractures are so extreme that the tooth cannot be saved. If you suffer a fractured tooth, call your dentist immediately for an emergency appointment and follow these steps:
- Clean your mouth out by gently rinsing thoroughly with warm water.
- If the fracture is caused by facial trauma, apply a cold compress to the area to minimize any swelling.
- Take acetaminophen (not aspirin) according to the packaging directions to alleviate pain.
- Never apply a painkiller to the gum because it can burn the gum tissue.
An X-ray will be needed in order for your dentist to properly diagnose the condition of your tooth. If the soft tissue inside of the tooth (the tooth pulp) is damaged, your tooth may need a root canal. If the pulp is not damaged, the tooth might only need a crown.
Some dentists make some of their permanent crowns in-office and place them in the same day; other dentists use an outside laboratory to make the crown. In this case you will have to wear a temporary crown while the laboratory makes a permanent crown. If the tooth cannot be saved, your dentist will inform you of the various alternatives for replacing missing teeth, such as implant-supported restorations and bridges.
Tissue Injury and Facial Pain
Any type of injury inside the mouth, such as puncture wounds, lacerations and tears to the lips, cheeks, mouth and tongue, are considered tissue injuries and a dental emergency. If you experience any type of tissue injury, it is important to clean the area immediately with warm water. If the bleeding is coming from the tongue, gently pull the tongue forward and place pressure on the wound using gauze. You should get to an oral surgeon or nearby hospital emergency room as quickly as possible.
To alleviate any type of facial pain associated with tissue injury, you can take acetaminophen as directed on the packaging label. Never take aspirin or ibuprofen for a dental emergency because they are anticoagulants, which can cause excessive bleeding.
Basically, any dental problem that requires immediate treatment in order to save a tooth, stop ongoing tissue bleeding or alleviate severe pain is considered a dental emergency.
A severe infection or abscess in the mouth can be life-threatening and should be dealt with immediately. Your dentist might be able to perform the first stage of a root canal, or will refer you to an endodontist (root canal specialist) to open and drain the tooth and allow the abscess to drain. If your dentist can’t be reached, seek hospital emergency room care.
If you are not sure whether or not you are having a true dental emergency, answer the following questions:
- Are you bleeding from the mouth?
- Are you in severe pain?
- Do you have any loose teeth?
- Have you been hit in the face or mouth?
- Do you have any swelling in the mouth or facial area?
- Do you have any bulges, swelling or knots on your gums?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be having a dental emergency and should call your Dental Made Easy dentist immediately.
Your Dental Health
When it comes to your health, both that of your mouth and your overall well-being, trust in the dentists at Gentle Dental Family Care. Your dentist will be able to identify any symptoms and send you to the right professionals for further care. Gentle Dental Family Care is the best dental practice in the Kew Gardens, Queens NY 11415 area and we are open on Sundays as well as late evenings. We’ve performed hundreds of dental implants, bridges, and all-on-four procedures. We are the best dental implant dentists in Queens. For a teeth cleaning or exam, we recommend coming into the office or booking an appointment here with one of our talented dental professionals. All new patients may also take advantage of our $99 Cleaning Special that includes an exam and x-rays. To set up your appointment give us a call at (718) 849-9797. We also welcome walk-ins, to accommodate patients with a busy schedule. We hope to see you soon!