If you were a kid in the 70s, you may remember a dumb TV show, Emergency!, where they went around every week zapping hapless victims with the defibrillator for any conceivable injury. Heart attack. Zap! Indigestion? Zap! Hangnail? Zap!
At Drs. of Smiles we’re not prone to overreacting, but we do want our patients to take dental emergencies seriously because by not doing so, it can make the problem worse.
Here are some typical dental emergencies.
Knocked out teeth
You were riding your mountain bike on Mesa’s great trails and you tipped over on a switchback. Now you have a knocked-out tooth. First, retrieve it and rinse if off with water. Don’t scrub it or remove any tissue fragments; they may help save your tooth. Try and put the tooth back in place, but if you can’t, put it in a glass of milk or water with a pinch of salt. The tooth has a better chance of being saved if you see us within the first few hours, so call us because we always have a dentist on call.
Chipped or broken teeth
Sometimes you bite into a sandwich or other piece of food and there’s something else in there. Something hard. If you’ve chipped or broken a tooth, try and save any pieces that you can. Just as with a knocked-out tooth, rinse your mouth out with warm water and rinse the tooth pieces. Gauze will stop the bleeding, and a cold compress held outside your mouth or cheek will help with pain. Again, call us immediately.
Loose fillings or lost crowns
Lose a filling or a crown? Call us right away. You can temporarily fill the gap with sugarless gum or dental cement. Don’t use sugared gum; it will cause pain. If a crown is off, find it and bring it with you. Reattach it is possible and you can keep it in place with over-the-counter dental cement or denture adhesive. Clove oil (in the drug store or spice aisle in the grocery) can alleviate the pain and sensitivity in the area. Since we have CEREC technology at Drs. of Smiles, if necessary, we can make a new crown for you immediately, rather than having to wait for a dental lab to make it.
If you have a throbbing toothache, first rinse your mouth with warm water to make sure it’s clean, and floss to remove any food lodged between your teeth. There are brush-on over-the-counter toothache relievers, but don’t get the substance on your gums. That will burn the gum tissue. If the toothache lasts more than a day or two, call us.
Objects stuck between your teeth
Try and floss them out. If they don’t come out, call us. Don’t use sharp objects to try and dislodge them. This can damage the teeth and gums.
Schedule a consultation
At Drs. of Smiles, we are serious about dental emergencies. No matter when accidents or other issues happen, you don’t have to live with them. Call us at (480) 834-6991. Drs of Smiles serves Phoenix, Mesa, Gilbert, and surrounding areas.
We are open 6 days a week, Monday through Saturday, with a doctor on call for after-hour emergencies.