An emergency situation can be frightening, and a dental emergency is no different! There are a wide variety of dental emergencies, all of which range in severity. The severity of your particular dental injury will dictate what you do next, and the steps you take could make the difference between needing a small repair to restore the health of your mouth or requiring an invasive procedure that may result in tooth loss, or worse. At Cooley Smiles Kenmore, we are here to help you with your dental emergency needs.
Taking Care at Home
Mild dental emergencies may not require any in the office or emergency care at all. For instance, if you have bitten your lip, tongue, or cheek, these types of injuries can often be handled in the comfort of your own home. Apply gauze to the bleeding area, and hold it in place with light pressure. If you are experiencing pain or swelling, an over the counter pain reliever or ice pack wrapped in a towel can help. Typically, these types of injuries heal within a few days. However, if your bleeding is severe, or it does not stop after 15 minutes, then you should go to the emergency room.
Toothaches are serious, but they are sometimes caused by food that has become lodged in between your teeth, which can often be managed at home. Brush and floss your teeth thoroughly and rinse with warm water. If there is nothing stuck, or you notice signs of an infection (such as redness or swelling), call our office right away.
In-Office Emergency Care
In the event of a dental emergency, before you head to the emergency room you should call our office. There are some emergencies that we can treat in our office, and will work to get you scheduled as quickly as possible. Emergencies we can treat include:
||A tooth that has been knocked out. If you have knocked out a tooth, it is possible to save it, if you take the right steps. It is important to keep the tooth moist. First, find your tooth. Handle it only by the crown as touching the roots can damage them. Rinse the tooth under water if it is dirty. If you can, put the tooth back in the socket until you can come in. If not, the tooth can be stored in a container of milk.
||Displaced teeth. If a tooth has been either partially removed from its socket or knocked deeper into it, we can help. It is important that you do not try to reposition the tooth yourself. Take an over the counter pain reliever or apply an ice pack to help with any pain. We will reposition your tooth and stabilize it.
||A cracked tooth. A cracked tooth should be addressed quickly to prevent infection. If you have cracked a tooth, rinse your mouth with warm water until you no longer see any blood. An ice pack can help deal with any pain and potential swelling. Once in our office, we will be able to assess the severity of the damage and provide you with the appropriate treatment.
When to Head to the Emergency Room
There are certain situations that do require a visit to the emergency room (or a call to 911) immediately. If you are having trouble breathing, seek emergency help immediately. Head to the ER if your bleeding is uncontrollable. Keep applying layers of gauze (do not remove saturated ones) until you arrive (or until an ambulance arrives). You should also head to the ER straight away if you suspect that you have a broken jaw.
If you have experienced a dental emergency, it is important to seek treatment fast. Call Cooley Smiles Kenmore right away at (425) 216-3367 or call 911.