Dental Emergencies during the Holidays

Published on December 1, 2015 | News

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The holidays should be filled with family, friends, fun and, of course, delicious holiday food! Our Access Dental offices will be closed from December 25-27 so that our dental teams can spend time with their loved ones. Unfortunately, dental emergencies also seem to happen during these inopportune times.

We just hate seeing our patients in pain! So what do you do when you have a dental emergency, but our offices are closed? Existing patients can call our after-hours emergency number to be connected to an on-call dentist at (800) 870-4290. For others, here are some remedies you can try depending on what the emergency is.

Severe Toothaches

dreamstime_xl_21193084dkOver-the-counter pain medication (for example, ibuprofen or acetaminophen) work well for many people when they experience dental pain.

Please do NOT directly apply an aspirin directly to your teeth or gums as it may burn away your gum tissue. If you are an existing patient, call our after-hours emergency number to speak with our on-call dentist.

Abscess or Swelling

Abscesses are serious infections that can damage tissue and surrounding teeth. They can occur around the root of a tooth or in the space between the teeth and gums. If left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of your body. Contact your dentist as soon as possible if you experience any swelling in or around your mouth. Some patients may experience considerable swelling along their lower jaw.

If you are a current patient, call our emergency after-hours number to speak with a dentist. If you have swelling in or around your mouth, unfortunately there is limited treatment that we can do until the swelling goes down. Our dentist may prescribe antibiotics, or if the swelling and inflammation is severe, we may advise you to go to the Emergency Room for more strong medication. If you are unable to access the After Hours Emergency Line, please seek emergency or urgent care in the Emergency Room.

Broken or Chipped Teeth
If a tooth is broken, find the fragment and go straight to the dentist, especially if the tooth is bleeding from the middle and not just the gums. If there’s bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. If you’re not able to see the dentist right away, rinse your mouth using warm water. Apply an ice pack to the outside of your mouth/face near the broken/chipped tooth to reduce swelling and help relieve any pain.

Knocked Out Tooth

If a tooth has been knocked out and if it’s been less than 30 minutes since the injury, be sure to avoid touching the root of the tooth, and do NOT try to clean it. Place it in saliva (or milk), and then either go straight to the dentist or contact our dentist after-hours (existing patients). Keep the tooth moist at all times.

If you are not near the dentist and tooth is knocked out, you can try to place it back in – the gum site may be numb immediately following an injury, so this shouldn’t hurt. If the tooth can be placed back in the mouth within 30 minutes, the chance for a full recovery increases though is not guaranteed. Be sure to see the dentist as soon as possible.

If a tooth has been dislocated, make sure you or your child sees a dentist immediately. Please be sure to seek attention at an Emergency Room to ensure there is no other injury to the jaw.

Lost Filling

A lost filling may not be an emergency, but it can be painful, especially if tooth tissue is exposed. If your filling came out when our offices are closed, you can try to use an over-the-counter dental cement directly on the tooth surface. This will help seal and protect the area until you can see the dentist.

Lost or Broken Crown

If a crown falls off and you still have it, you may be able to place it back on your tooth. Be sure to first clean the inside of the crown and then coat the inside of the crown with over-the-counter dental cement. If you can’t find dental cement, you can try denture adhesive.

These are not permanent solutions so be sure to make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible and bring the crown with you. When a crown is missing for a long time, your teeth may move into the space where the crown was. If this happens, your crown may no longer fit. Do NOT use any household glues and do NOT use super glue!

If you don’t have the crown or if the crown is broken, be sure to make an appointment as soon as you can. The tooth structure under your crown is not as strong as the crown or tooth enamel. Your tooth can be damaged more.

We wish you and your loved ones Happy Holiday and Happy New Year!

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