Don't Be Blindsided by a Dental Emergency
It can happen in an instant. You fall off a bike. Your child gets hit in the mouth with a soccer ball. Sometimes, dental pain comes on without any obvious cause.
We understand that time is critical in any dental emergency situation. At Family Dental of Spokane Valley, we offer same-day appointments for urgent matters, and as early as 7 a.m. We may even be able to see you outside of regular business hours. Call our Spokane Valley, WA office at 509-850-3217.
Read on to learn more about dental emergencies, and how they should be handled. You can’t predict a dental emergency, but you can be prepared for the possibility. And that gives you the best chance for a positive outcome.
When one of your permanent teeth is knocked clean out of your mouth, it is a scary experience for sure. But did you know that if you get in to see us immediately and care for the tooth properly in the meantime, we may be able to put it right back in your mouth? That’s right — given optimal conditions, your tooth can actually reattach itself.
So how can you give your knocked-out tooth the best chance for survival?
- First of all, time is critical. Call us right away for an appointment.
- When you hold the tooth, touch it by the crown only. Do not touch the root or remove any tissue that’s attached to it (though you may carefully rinse the tooth with water if it’s dirty).
- You can try to put the tooth back into its socket. (Make sure it’s facing the right way!) Only do this if it fits properly and comfortably and you are confident you won’t swallow the tooth. We don’t recommend you have children keep the tooth in their mouth.
- If you can’t put the tooth back in its socket, store it in a small container with milk, saliva, or water with a pinch of salt (last resort). The most important thing is that the tooth is kept moist.
- We always hope to save your natural tooth. If this isn’t possible, though, Dr. Ellsworth can replace it with a bridge, dental implant, or mini dental implant.
If your tooth breaks into pieces, try to gather up and save any shards. Rinse your mouth with warm water. If you are bleeding, apply a gauze or a damp teabag to the area until it stops. A cold compress held to the outside of the mouth near the break can help relieve pain and reduce swelling. You may take an over-the-counter pain reliever if needed, but avoid topical medicines.
Call our office right away to make an appointment. Depending on the break, we may be able to restore your tooth with a dental crown. This will not only look totally natural, but will make your tooth even stronger than before!
Unexplained Tooth Pain
A severe toothache can be all-consuming and unbearable. Unexplained dental pain can stem from a number of causes — from decay to a loose restoration to an abscess — but it’s important to call us immediately to make an appointment.
A tooth abscess is an infection of the tooth pulp and must be treated right away. If you ignore it, you risk losing your tooth and the infection may spread. An abscess is typically treated with a root canal.
Put Together a Dental Emergency Kit
You may already have a first aid kit at home. But how about a dental first aid kit? By having everything you need to handle a dental emergency all in one place, you will be better prepared for handling the situation until you are able to see us. Here are some products to consider including:
- Flashlight and dental mirror enables you to see inside the mouth.
- Medical-grade examination gloves — prevent the spread of bacteria if you have to reach into someone’s mouth.
- Temporary dental cement keeps loose restorations in place and covers cavities.
- Dental wax protects soft tissues from braces wires or the sharp edges of a chipped tooth.
- Sterile gauze and tea bag: both may help stop bleeding.
- Floss, toothpicks, toothbrushes, and tweezers. Some tooth pain may be relieved by removing stuck food.
- Clove oil relieves dental pain.
- Cotton swabs for clove oil application.
- An ice pack helps with pain and reduces swelling.
- Hydrogen peroxide for disinfecting.
To book an emergency appointment at Family Dental of Spokane Valley, call our Spokane Valley, WA office at 509-850-3217. We also have a convenient online contact form, but that’s best for non-urgent situations.