My Blog

Posts for: January, 2018

By Kimberly Chapman, D.D.S.
January 25, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

It’s important to know how to best treat an urgent dental matter when it arises.

While no one wants to think about dealing with dental emergencies, they come unexpectedly  - finding an olive pit in a nice restaurant,dental emergency breaking a tooth on a kernel of unpopped popcorn, or catching that tie-breaking grounder in a softball game with your face). 

It’s always better to be prepared if this happens to you or someone you love. Our Bothell, WA, dentist, Dr. Kimberly Chapman, is here to tell you about what problems actually require immediate dental care by a professional, and the best ways to ease symptoms before getting in to a dental office.

ANYTHING breaking, whether or not it is painful, should never be ignored or brushed off because it’s amazing how quickly these problems can end up affecting the rest of your smile. While you might just want to shrug the symptom off and assume it will go away on its own, this is a bad idea. A broken tooth may be a sign of underlying decay, and decay is usually symptomless until it is too late. Even if there is no decay now, a break in the enamel will allow bacteria inside the tooth and create a cavity.

A toothache could mean an array of problems such as a cavity, dental injury (e.g. fracture; crack), infection, or something more serious like a tumor. These problems won’t go away by themselves, so the sooner you turn to our Bothell emergency dentist the better.

The most important thing you can do is to try and save as many of the broken pieces as possible and then carefully rinse them off with warm water. If you have swelling or discomfort, you can apply a cold compress to your face to ease symptoms before coming into the office, and take an ibuprofen. Do not take an aspirin, as it will thin your blood and can complicate treatment. Tylenol will not help with swelling or inflammation either, so it will have very little benefit.

If you have a partially dislodged tooth (luxated tooth):

You need to visit us right away so that we can move the tooth back into the proper position. Do not go to an emergency room for this. Physicians receive very little training on teeth, and despite their best intentions and efforts they will not be able to correct this. If you have other serious conditions that require the emergency room visit, call our office while you are in the E.R. and then come to Dr. Chapman when you are finished in the E.R. A partially dislodged tooth may also require root canal therapy and a dental crown. In the meantime, taking an anti-inflammatory pain reliever such as ibuprofen or applying a cold compress to the side of the face where the affected tooth is can help ease discomfort.

A completely knocked-out tooth (avulsed tooth):

Handle the tooth only by the crown (never the roots). If there is dirt on the tooth, have the victim suck the dirt off their own tooth, and then try to place the tooth back in the socket but never force the tooth. It will be painful, but time is of the essence here. There are cells which are living for a few minutes that will die, and this will increase the chances of the tooth not being able to re-integrate. If that doesn’t work hold the tooth between your cheek and gum and immediately contact our office.

A dental crown that has fallen off

If a crown comes off you need to come into our office right away (don’t forget to bring the crown with you). If you can, try to place the crown over the tooth to protect it. First, apply either vaseline or a dental adhesive (which you can get over-the-counter - DenTemp is a good brand) to the tooth and then place the crown back on so that it stays in place until you can make it into our office.

It’s important to have an emergency dental team in Bothell, WA, who can provide you with the necessary care your smile needs to stay healthy. If you are dealing with a dental emergency call us right away and we’ll make sure you get the treatment you need immediately.