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What to Do in a Dental Emergency: A Quick Guide


image of a dental office with an empty dental chair.

One percent of emergency room visits in Canada are for dental problems, but that doesn't mean they aren't a thing to take seriously.


But what is a dental emergency? And what do you do when one happens?


Let's go through what to do in a dental emergency.


Knocked-Out Teeth


Should you accidentally knock out a tooth, handle it by the crown (the top portion) to avoid touching the sensitive roots. If the tooth is soiled, give it a gentle rinse with water. Refrain from scrubbing it or removing any attached tissue fragments.


If you can, attempt to reinsert the tooth into its socket. Apply slight pressure. If you can't, store the tooth in a container filled with milk, saliva, or a dentist-approved tooth preservation solution.


Get emergency dental care as quickly as you can for the best chance of saving the tooth.


Lost Crowns or Fillings


If you've lost a crown or filling, there are different steps to take in a dental emergency.


In the event that a filling comes loose, consider using dental cement or sugarless gum as a temporary measure to fill the cavity.


For a dislodged crown, clean it thoroughly and attempt to reattach it using dental adhesive or toothpaste until you can consult your dentist to help you with handling dental emergencies.


Refrain from consuming sticky or hard foods on the affected side, and make an appointment with your dentist to have the filling or crown replaced.


Something's Stuck


When dealing with an object lodged between teeth, gently attempt to dislodge it using dental floss. Avoid using sharp or pointed objects to prevent injury. If your efforts are unsuccessful, contact your dentist.


Soft Tissue Issues


For injuries involving the soft tissues of the mouth, rinse your mouth gently with warm water.


Apply some pressure with clean gauze or a cloth to control bleeding. Maintain the pressure for about 10-15 minutes or until the bleeding subsides. If bleeding is severe or doesn't stop, seek medical attention or visit an emergency room.


Hold a cold compress or ice wrapped in a cloth to the outside of the affected area. This will help reduce swelling. It will also help with any pain or discomfort.


Orthodontic Problems


If you or your child has braces or headgear, you can also run into orthodontic emergencies.


If a wire from your braces is poking or irritating your cheek, gum, or tongue, consider using the eraser end of a pencil. Gently push the wire into a better position.


Alternatively, you can place orthodontic wax over the protruding end. That will provide a buffer between the wire and the sensitive areas. Schedule an appointment with your orthodontist to address the issue properly.


If you accidentally swallow or inhale part of your braces or orthodontic appliance, seek medical attention immediately. You'll want to go to the emergency room rather than the dentist.


What to Do in a Dental Emergency: Now You Know


What to do in a dental emergency? With this guide, you should now be prepared when the worst happens.


Are you looking for a dentist in Victoria? Contact Sherwood Family Dental Clinic today.


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