What to do in a REAL Dental Emergency

The difference between saving or losing a knocked out tooth is what you do in the first 30 minutes.

It’s a Knock Out!

Hold the tooth by the crown (NOT the root) and rinse off the root in water.  Do NOT remove any attached tissue.  Gently place and hold the tooth back in the socket.  If not possible, wrap the tooth in gauze and put it inside the cheek (only if the person is conscious).  If that’s not an option, place the tooth in milk, “Save-a-Tooth” solution, or wrap it in a wet napkin.  Get to the dentist as quickly as possible!

Partially Knocked Out Tooth

Make sure all pieces of tooth are out of the mouth so they are not swallowed or worse, inhaled.  The tooth will require immediate repositioning and stabilization of the tooth, so get to the dentist as quick as possible.

Broken Tooth

Get to a dentist quickly.  If you are in pain, try rinsing your mouth with warm water to keep the area clean.  If the heat bothers, try using a cold compress on the face to attempt relief and to reduce swelling.   Again, go to the dentist immediately.

Bite Your Tongue! (or Lip)

Clean the area and place an ice pack on the area to minimize swelling.  Use constant pressure and hold the bleeding area tightly with gauze or cloth.  If bleeding doesn’t stop in a short period of time (less than 10-15 minutes) or continues to gush without any sign of stopping, go to the hospital emergency room.

“You’ve Got Something Between Your Teeth”

Attempt to remove the object with dental floss.  If you are not successful, see the dentist .  PLEASE…do NOT attempt to remove anything from your mouth with a sharp or pointed instrument.  It’s NOT sterile, just for starters, ever heard of tetanus??!!

You should see the other guy!

For a possible jaw fracture, swelling needs to be controlled as quickly as possible using a cold compress and go immediately to the hospital emergency room.  Do NOT pass go, do NOT collect $200…GO STRAIGHT TO THE ER!

*Source: Handling your Child’s Dental Emergency, American Dental Association, 2001.

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