There are several steps you can take before you come in and on your way to our office to protect your oral health and prevent further injury. What these are will depend on your specific emergency and the type of dental care needed.
If you have a knocked-out tooth, you need to act quickly to give our dentists the best chance of re-implanting it. On your way to our Nashville dental office, take the following steps to minimize the impact of damage:
- Avoid touching the tooth's roots
- Handle the tooth with extreme care
- Keep the tooth moist by storing it in a container or baggie with saliva or milk
You may also keep the tooth in its socket on your way to the dentist, if you think it will stay in place. Make sure it is facing the correct direction and do not force it into place. If it does not easily go back into place, keep it moist and seek the attention of our Nashville dentists immediately.
Although minor chips or cracks can be easily concealed by our dentists with dental bonding or veneers at your next appointment, serious breaks need immediate attention from an emergency dentist. If the dental damage is severe enough, it may require a partial denture to repair the site. To minimize pain and preserve your smile on your way to our Nashville dentistry practice, you should:
- Rinse your mouth with warm water
- Relieve any pain with a cold pack or over-the-counter pain medication
- Apply pressure to the site with gauze or a moist tea bag to staunch any bleeding
Our dentists can typically address broken teeth in a single appointment thanks to our in-office CEREC® system.
You need to see an emergency dentist if you crack a tooth. These injuries are difficult to assess on your own. Sometimes the tooth looks fine but hurts when pressure is applied or when you drink a hot or cold beverage. If a tooth consistently hurts there may be nerve damage. This should be considered more than just a toothache, and is a symptom of a serious dental condition that requires immediate emergency dental care.
Soft Tissue Injury
Because of the abundance of blood vessels in your mouth, injuries to your tongue, lips, or cheeks usually heal very quickly. If you have experienced trauma to the inside of the mouth, you should first rinse out your mouth with saltwater or hydrogen peroxide. This should clear out the blood, allowing you to determine the severity of the injury. Should bleeding continue, apply pressure using a clean cloth for a minimum of five minutes. A cold compress or ice can reduce bleeding, limit swelling, and help with any discomfort.
Seek the attention of an emergency dentist if:
- Pressure and cold compresses do not control bleeding
- The cut is clearly deep
- The cut crosses the border between your lip and the skin on your face
- There is a puncture in your lip
If the symptoms of an infection develop after the first day or two, contact our emergency dentists right away as your injury may require antibiotics.