Dental Emergencies, Accidents & Trauma
The most important thing to remember about a dental emergency is that TIME is crucial. Knowing what to do when an accident happens can make all the difference between saving or losing a tooth.
If you have experienced a dental emergency, contact us IMMEDIATELY. If you are a local patient of record, call our office at 978.449.9919, to schedule an emergency visit. If it is after hours dial 978.638.5951.
If you are experiencing any of the following, call 911 or go to the hospital immediately:
- Profuse bleeding
- Trauma to the head
Minor Dental Trauma/ Accidents
Tooth Trauma/ Loose Tooth
If you have experienced trauma to your jaw, including being hit by an object, call us immediately for an exam. If a tooth has been knocked “loose”, it is especially important that you call us right away. Sometimes a tooth can abscess as the result of trauma and/or turn dark. This could happen soon after the trauma or even years later.
Tooth Knocked Out
Time is VERY critical when a tooth has been knocked out! Hold the tooth by the crown (top) and gently rinse the tooth if it is dirty. DO NOT remove any attached tissue. Place the tooth in a glass of milk/water or a wet napkin and see us IMMEDIATELY! If you can get to a dentist within 30-45 minutes, the tooth can often be reimplemented. Subsequent treatment will be needed but at least the potential to keep your own tooth exists.
Broken/ Chipped/ Cracked Tooth
If a portion of your tooth has been chipped off, be sure to remove the piece from your mouth. Then gently rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area and call us immediately. If the broken tooth is simply chipped or cracked, it may be saved by placement of a filling or a crown. In severe cases, where the tooth has broken down to the nerve, the tooth may need root canal therapy or it may need to be extracted.
Cut Lip or Tongue
Gently clean the area to help prevent infection and apply clean, cold compresses to stop the bleeding and reduce swelling. Contact us and schedule an appointment for an examination and to prevent infection. If the laceration is severe, go to the hospital emergency room immediately.
If your tooth feels like it’s aching from within, it could be the result of decay or it could be an abscess. Temporary relief may be had by applying oil of cloves (on a sterile gauze pad) to the area. Clove oil has very effective anti-bacterial properties and is an excellent numbing agent. Call your dentist and describe your symptoms to determine whether or not you need to schedule an appointment.