What to Do During a Dental Emergency

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What to Do During a Dental Emergency

Do you know what to do during a dental emergency? Say your child trips and falls face first on a sidewalk. He chips a tooth. Or, your dental emergencyspouse is hit with a softball and loses a tooth. What should you do about that throbbing toothache your best friend has? All these situations require expert treatment from a caring emergency dentist in Bloomfield. Dr. Stephen DeFusco, and his colleague, Dr. Heba Alani, can quickly and competently care for many pressing dental concerns. Learn here what you can do before you see the dentist.

What is a dental emergency?

A dental emergency may involve lacerations to soft oral tissues such as the gums, tongue or lips. Also, it may involve substantial damage to the "hard" tissues such as the teeth or jaw bone. Severe toothaches or fracture of a restoration (such as a filling) or a denture require quick attention from your emergency dentist in Bloomfield.

Dr. DeFusco and Dr. Alani urge their patients to contact the office immediately when experiencing pain or damage to their teeth or gums.

Examples of what you can do

A little advanced preparation--especially if your child is involved in sports--can help greatly in a dental emergency. In fact, Dr. DeFusco and Dr. Alani advise you keep dental first aid supplies handy in case a pressing situation arises. A typical dental first aid kit should contain:

  • Sterile 4x4s
  • Bottled water
  • Vinyl exam gloves
  • Dental floss
  • Sealable plastic bags
  • Instant cold packs
  • Over the counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • Orthodontic wax to cover broken wires or jagged tooth edges

Also, here is information on specific situations.

Avulsed (knocked out) tooth Rinse the tooth in plain water, leaving any clinging soft tissue in place. Grasp the tooth by the crown, and try to replace it in the empty tooth socket. Hold it in place while traveling to the dental office. If this is not possible, keep the tooth moist by placing it in a sealed plastic bag with milk or water. The American Association of Endodontists says that many avulsed teeth may be replanted and survive for years if treated within an hour of injury.

A severe toothache This may indicate a dental abscess (infection) or deep decay. Treatment is needed to stop the infection. You can apply an ice pack if the jaw is swollen. Call the office for an appointment.

Oral laceration Apply direct pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth. If bleeding doesn't resolve in 10 to 15 minutes, go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

Fractured tooth, filling or crown Save the pieces and bring them to Dr. DeFusco. He may be able to use composite resin to bond them in place, or he may replace the restoration as needed.

Don't hesitate

When oral health is suddenly compromised, contact Stephen M. DeFusco, DMD for the best possible treatment and result. Call (412) 688-8446.

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