Last week we addressed which dental emergencies were immediate concerns, and which could be addressed at a near-future appointment. Now we would like to discuss the types of treatments you should expect when you come into one of our many DentistsRUs offices.
Emergency Care Review
Oral traumas should be addressed immediately -even if simply over the phone- to see if treatment is required and/or how quickly you should come into one of our offices. After which, the dentist will conduct an oral examination and most likely request an x-ray to better understand the full scope of your dental issues.
Until which time, immediate pain relief can be offered with an over-the-counter pain medication.
Emergency Care – Best Practices
If you have chipped your tooth or knocked one or more of your teeth completely out, and you are able to retrieve any of those teeth …it is advised to bring your tooth or teeth into the dental office with you. In some cases, your tooth can be re-implanted back into your mouth through a procedure called reimplantation.
Emergency Care – The Particulars
If the chip you incurred is small and there is no pain involved, it is ultimately up to you to decide when you want to see a dental professional. It can sometimes be smoothed and bonded back to an esthetically pleasing condition.
It might not seem to be the case, but a cracked tooth can actually cause more pain and damage than a chipped tooth, as it could allow debris down into the inner cavity of your teeth where there is no enamel to protect against bacteria.
In these cases, a root canal or an extraction might be suggested, and if a root canal is required, often a crown will be recommended also. Especially if it is a large area that needs filling. A crown will maintain the tooth’s strength and structure.
Cracks are not always visible to the naked eye, or even with an x-ray, but the pain associated with it will be noticeable, and increase over time.
*See also next weeks “Case for a Cracked Tooth” post to better understand what to look or feel for.
Knocked Out Tooth
As mentioned, it is actually possible to reimplant a tooth, but it is important to have it done as quickly as possible after that tooth has been knocked out. As time (minutes) pass, the cells on the root die, making it progressively less likely for reimplantation.
Do not rinse or try to clean the tooth, if possible place it in a glass of whole milk and bring it with you to the office. If there is no milk around, your saliva will work too. Be gentle with it, try not to touch the root or let it dry. Reimplantation of your tooth, within the first 30 minutes, has the greatest chance of success, with a variable success rate up to 2 hours. Following which, your dentist will conduct a root canal usually 2 weeks post-reimplantation, once the tooth has had a chance to secure itself again in your mouth.
It might go without saying, but a broken jaw should not be moved whatsoever. Firstly, it will be incredibly painful, secondly – it could cause further damage. Rather, secure it with some sort of material underneath the jaw, tying it to the top of your head. Also, keep swelling down by administering a cold compress …whether that is a bag of peas or an actual ice pack. Then go immediately to the emergency room or call your dentist.
We are here to help …so do not hesitate to call us!
Burnaby Sedation & General Dentistry | 250 – 3433 North Rd. Burnaby, BC | 604.568.2211
Langley Sedation & General Dentistry | #103 – 19978 72nd Avenue Langley, BC | 604.514.6499
Tri-City Sedation & General Dentistry | #1412-2929 Barnet Hwy, Coquitlam, BC | 604.942.5222
Coast Meridian Sedation & General Dentistry | #103 3380 David Ave, Coquitlam, BC | 604.942.1110
New Westminster Sedation & General Dentistry | 243-800 Carnarvon St. New Westminster | 604.525.1116