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, veneers, crowns and other restorative devices can be damaged or fall out of the mouth completely.
If there is severe pain, severe toothache or sensitivity, abscess, swelling, it is essential to make an appointment with the dentist as quickly as possible. In most cases pain is an indicator that something has gone wrong and needs urgent attention.
What do I do in case of a dental emergency?
Dental emergencies should be addressed at the earliest possible convenience and are best managed by your dentist.
Delaying treatment may not only make it more complex, but may also unnecessarily increase your discomfort. The pain caused by dental emergencies almost always gets worse without treatment, and dental issues can seriously jeopardize physical health.
What is considered a dental emergency?
Here are some common dental emergencies and tips on what to do until you can get to our emergency dentist service in Bassendean.
Toothache: Rinse the mouth out with warm water and floss the area to remove any debris. If pain persists, contact our emergency dentist in Bassendean immediately.
Knocked out tooth: Make an appointment to see our emergency dentist, the sooner a knocked out tooth is re-implanted the more likely it is to embed itself back into the gum.
Gum abscess and swelling: Contact our after hour emergency dentist immediately. We will be able to prescribe some pain relief and or antibiotics to settle the infection, and devise a treatment plan once the area has been assessed.
Broken Tooth: Any obvious damage to a tooth should be treated as soon as possible. Chips or fractures can affect the living tissue inside the tooth, causing problems in the future. Our emergency dentists in Bassendean can prevent the damage from getting worse.
Wisdom tooth pain: Apply an ice pack to the outside of the face to reduce swelling for just 20 minutes. Repeat as required. Additionally, you can rinse your mouth out with warm salty water every 2 to 3 hours.
Emergency Dentist Bassendean – We are here when you need us!
TOOTH KNOCKED OUT FOR ADULTS
If a tooth has been knocked clean out of the mouth, it is essential to see a dentist immediately. When a tooth exits the mouth, tissues, nerves and blood vessels become damaged. If the tooth can be placed back into its socket within an hour, there is a chance the tissues will grow to support the tooth once again.
Call the dentist.
Pick up the tooth by the crown and rinse it under warm water. DO NOT touch the root.
If possible, place it back into its socket – if not tuck it into the cheek pouch.
If the tooth cannot be placed in the mouth, put the tooth into a cup of milk, saliva, or water as a last resort. It is important to keep the tooth from drying out.
Get to the dentist, quickly and safely.
The dentist will try to replace the tooth in its natural socket. In some cases, the tooth will reattach, but if the inner mechanisms of the teeth are seriously damaged, root canal therapy may be necessary.
TOOTH KNOCKED OUT FOR CHILDREN
What do I do if my child knocks their tooth out?
Immediate management will optimise the rate of success in all dental trauma cases. Always attempt to retrieve the tooth if it has been knocked out completely. If emergency medical help is at hand ie. first aid at a sports carnival, consult them for help.
First determine whether it is an adult or baby tooth.
In the case of a baby tooth being knocked out, do not replace the tooth into the socket. Keep the tooth if you can find it and contact us for an emergency appointment, simply to ensure that it is in fact a baby tooth, the surrounding teeth remain sound and the soft tissue damage is not severe.
In the case of a dislodged adult tooth. If the tooth can be retrieved and is not contaminated, replace the tooth in the socket as soon as possible – ensure you have it the right way round! If the tooth has been contaminated with debris, rinse for ten seconds under cool running water and replace the tooth in the socket. In either case contact us immediately for an emergency dental visit as soon as possible.
If the tooth can not be repositioned at the time of the accident. Keep the tooth stored in whole milk or alternatively tucked in the cheek of the patient, careful not to swallow the tooth, and contact us immediately for an emergency dental visit.
If the tooth is partially dislodged, and no longer in its normal position, contact us as soon as possible for an emergency dental appointment. Any delay in treatment will negatively affect the chances of success.
WHY IT COMES OFF
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.
WHAT TO DO
What do I do if my temporary crown comes off?
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 the dentist 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 the dentist is 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 the 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.
Get to the dentist, quickly and safely.
The dentist 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.
A temporary crown is a provisional cover that protects the underlying tooth structure from sensitivity while the permanent crown is being made. In addition to this the temporary crown keeps the relationship of the surrounding teeth in place so no tooth movement can occur.
To avoid any movement of the adjacent teeth or tissues we strongly recommend a lost temporary is replaced as soon as possible.
WHAT DO I DO IF MY TEMPORARY CROWN/BRIDGE/INLAY/ONLAY (‘TEMP’) FALLS OFF?
Temps are held on by a weak cement, so it is quite common for temps to fall off.
Your temp not only protects the tooth, but also helps stop other teeth from moving while you wait for your final product.
If your temp falls off please make an appointment for it to be re-cemented.
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 see the dentist as quickly as possible.
Where a segment of tooth has been broken off, here are some steps that can be taken at home:
Call the dentist.
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 there is no way to see the dentist immediately.
Take a topical pain reliever.
The nature of the break or fracture will limit what the dentist is able to do. If a fracture or crack extends into the root, root canal therapy may be the only effective way to retain the tooth. In the case of a complete break, the dentist will usually affix the fragment back onto the tooth as a temporary measure.
WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE A CHIPPED/BROKEN TOOTH?
First of all, don’t panic. Often a chipped or broken tooth is not a dental emergency, and can usually be repaired.
If you have broken an upper front tooth from trauma, call us as soon as possible as there may be additional problems from the trauma. If you still have the broken piece of tooth, please bring it with you as it may be possible to re-bond the piece back onto the tooth.
Chipped/broken teeth may also be a sign of underlying tooth decay, so please organise an appointment so we can assess your teeth.
We will do our best to fit you in as soon as possible, however there may be a wait depending on the circumstance. The dentist may place a temporary filling initially and get you to return for further treatment – your dentist will discuss this with you.
When a tooth has been dislodged or loosened from its socket by trauma or decay, it might be possible to save it. If the tooth remains in the mouth and attached to the blood vessels and nerves, there is a good chance root canal therapy will not be necessary.
An emergency situation is unannounced, we are here when you need us most. At Spring Orchid Dental our experienced team is well trained in handling emergencies. It is important to call the dentist immediately to make an appointment. In the meantime, use a cold compress and over-the-counter medications to relieve pain. The dentist will reposition the tooth and add splints to stabilize it. If the tooth fails to heal, root canal therapy may be required.
Are you planning a vacation outside Australia?
Don’t have your vacation ruined by a toothache. Prior to traveling abroad a thorough dental examination is important especially if traveling to developing countries or remote areas without access to safe dental care.
Emergency dental care abroad may be hard to find, uncomfortable, expensive, or even dangerous. Most of us take for granted the high Australian standards for infection control and safety. We seldom think about the fact that sterile instruments, gloves, disposable needles and safe water are not always routine in parts of the world. Dentists practicing in Australia are held to high standards of care and must follow infection control guidelines for disease prevention. The standards for educating and licensing dental professionals also vary in foreign countries. In Australia, dentists have been educated in accredited schools and have taken national and state boards prior to receiving a license to practice.
BEFORE YOU TRAVEL
Schedule an appointment with your dentist giving adequate time to complete any necessary dental treatment. Pressure changes especially during air travel can cause pain in an untreated tooth.
Have decayed or cracked teeth treated.
Congested with sinus problems? It may be from or affecting your teeth.
Schedule a cleaning, especially if you have any type of periodontal (gum) disease or bad breath.
Sensitive teeth should be checked before you travel.
Complete all root canal treatments.
Don’t let a dental emergency dampen your vacation. Be sure to have your teeth in great shape prior to leaving home.
In case you cannot reach our dental clinic straight away, try out these easy home remedies to alleviate some discomfort prior to your appointment.
Your situation may vary and the below is not to be considered medical advice. Depending on how severe your jaw, oral or dental pain is you may need to see a dentist immediately.
Do you suffer from a broken filling, a sports accident that requires a dental procedure urgently? If your affected tooth is related to a crown, bridges or dentures then contact us now.
Gargle salt water
Salt water helps remove bacteria from your mouth area and may lessen swelling. Insert involving a quarter and half of a teaspoon of salt to warm water and gurgle for five or more seconds. Be careful not to swallow water.
Have a painkiller
Dental pain relief medicine like aspirin can alleviate the pain when it is deflecting or you are finding it tough to sleep. Painkillers should just be consumed rather than applied directly to the teeth, since the acidity may burn off gum tissue.
Apply ice to the damaged tooth
Put a cold compress or ice pack from the cheek to help alleviate the pain. Do not apply ice directly to your tooth, as toothaches frequently cause increased sensitivity to temperature.
These home remedies offer you rapid relief from toothaches however, the result is just momentary. To eliminate the pain permanently, your dentist should see to the cause, not the symptom.