Most people have bandages and compresses on hand as quick medical first aid kits. However, those same people are unlikely to be prepared for a tooth crisis. Our most frequent emergency calls are about these five occurrences:
Your tooth (or your child’s) was knocked out. Rinse the tooth in warm water and then either store the tooth in your saliva or milk. Both saliva and milk help keep the roots from becoming dry and damaged. Call your dentist immediately, as he may be able to reattach the tooth by affixing it to the adjacent ones.
You broke a tooth (in half or down to the gum line). In this case, there is no need to keep the portion of the tooth that broke. To reduce the chance of further breakage and increase the chance of saving the tooth, call your dentist as possible to discuss the situation.
You chipped a tooth. In most cases a dentist can fill in that chipped area with tooth colored material. A chipped tooth is not an emergency to the health of your tooth. However, you may be concerned about how you may look or feel a sharp edge. Until you can see your dentist, use a little wax from an unlit candle (softened under warm water) and place it over the gap of any edges to keep from cutting your lip or cheek.
Your crown is loose. As long as you’re not in pain, dab some toothpaste on the base of the crown and put in back on the tooth. The fluoride will act as a temporary adhesive. Call your family dentist for his next available appointment.
You have a tooth ache. In the case of a tooth ache, the symptoms, cause and severity will determine whether your tooth ache is an emergency. Think about your recent activities. If your tooth ache is a result of night time clenching, recent teeth whitening, or a hot and cold sensitivity, this is not an emergency and will most likely pass on its own. However, if your tooth ache wakes you up in the middle of the night, you can’t put any pressure on it, or it is loose or swollen, call your family dentist immediately.