Dental emergencies, whether it’s a broken or chipped tooth, can arise any time and at any age. When emergency dental treatment is required, it’s important to know what you can do at the scene of the accident before seeking out professional dental assistance at Dental Choice.
What to Do in an Emergency Dental Situation
The most common dental emergencies happen when a patient’s tooth is knocked out, pushed out of place or chipped. In these situations, you can do a few things to provide emergency treatment before coming to Dental Choice.
An avulsion is when the entire tooth is knocked out. If there’s a possibility of replantation of the original tooth, it’s essential to get emergency care as swiftly as possible. Every minute matters. However, in case someone is present who is willing and prepared to replant the patient’s tooth, here are some replantation techniques you can try and things you should know before seeking professional dental care:
- Replantation should be attempted within five to 10 minutes after a patient’s tooth is knocked out.
- If the root of the tooth appears to have debris on it, rinse it with clean water.
- When the root appears clean, hold the crown firmly between your fingers with the smooth, flat surface of the tooth facing forward.
- Grasp the individuals’ head and push the tooth firmly into place, holding it fast.
- Once the tooth has been replanted, it must be held in place with a wet paper towel.
- If the position is not “perfect,” don’t worry. It can be adjusted by the dental team at Dental Choice during splinting.
- If bleeding occurs, apply direct pressure for about five minutes.
In some case, attempting replantation may not be possible, either because no one is available who is willing to do it or the patient is unwilling or unable to cooperate. Replantation may also be impossible if the damage to the tooth’s socket or adjacent teeth is too substantial. In these situations, apply pressure to control the bleeding. You can then place the tooth in something that will keep it from drying out, such as milk.
If an avulsion occurs, get the patient and their tooth to a dentist as soon as you possibly can.
Another common emergency dental situation is a fractured, or broken, tooth. In these situations, replantation is not possible, but you can still assist the patient:
- Save all the pieces of the broken portion of the tooth in milk or water to keep them from drying out.
- If the nerve of the tooth is exposed, it will probably cause pain from cold, heat or air. You may need to give the patient some pain relievers.
- Emergency dental treatment will be required within 24 hours to save the dental pulp. The sooner you reach out to Dental Choice, the better.
A luxation is an emergency dental situation in which the tooth is still in the socket but in the wrong position. Luxations are categorized by one of three positions that the tooth gets misplaced into — extruded tooth, lateral displacement and intruded tooth. Depending on the type of luxation, you can take different steps to administer emergency treatment.
This type of luxation occurs when an upper tooth is hanging down or a lower tooth has been pushed up. To assist the patient before professional dental treatment, do the following:
- Reposition the tooth in the socket with your fingers and apply firm pressure.
- Remember that the individual can stabilize their tooth by gently biting down on a wet paper towel or regular towel.
- Get them to the dentist as soon as possible.
Luxation of this kind occurs when the tooth is pushed into the gum and appears shorter than it should. Intruded teeth are also locked in bone and don’t require treatment at the accident scene. Be sure you make plans to get them dental assistance immediately.
Lateral displacement is a luxation that occurs when the tooth has been pushed back or pulled forward. This emergency does not require treatment at the accident scene because the tooth is locked in bone. However, the patient still needs emergency dental treatment as soon as possible.
In Case of a Dental Emergency, Contact Dental Choice
Many different dental emergencies can occur, and the Dental Choice team is equipped to assist with treatment for many situations. You can even work with Dental Choice for follow-up care after the fact. If you’ve experienced a dental emergency, contact one of our offices in Calgary or Edmonton, Alberta.