There are many possible dental emergencies. If any of these happens to occur beyond regular office hours we suggest the following options.
Call Dr. Yong Lu or Dr. Simmon Lee for help
Here are some common dental emergencies and how to handle them:
Toothaches may be caused by a variety of problems, so it is best to call us to discuss your symptoms as the treatment will vary Often the first step is to try to control the pain with over-the-counter medication such as Advil (ibuprofen) or Tylenol (acetominophen).
The next step is to determine what the cause is. Pain in the tooth may be from a cavity, a cracked tooth or an abscess. All of these require a visit to the dentist and the abscess will usually require antibiotics.
Chipped or broken tooth
Chipped or broken teeth can almost always be saved as long as the root structure has not been badly damaged. Usually a tooth-colored filling can be placed to rebuild the broken portion. In more serious cases a root canal treatment may be needed. Sharp broken edges can irritate the tongue or lip and are best treated as quickly as possible.
If the knocked-out tooth is an adult (or permanent) tooth, we may be able to put it back quickly. If the tooth is put back in place within 10 minutes, it has a fair chance of taking root again. After 2 hours, the chances are poor.
If the tooth looks clean, put it back in its place (its socket). If it’s dirty, hold the tooth by the crown and gently rinse off the root of the tooth in water. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, gently insert and hold the tooth in its socket. If that isn’t possible, put the tooth in a cup of milk and come and see us as quickly as possible. Remember to bring the tooth with you!
If you have all or part of a filling fall out just put a piece of softened sugar-free chewing gum in the spot where the filling was lost. This will protect the area for a short period of time until you can get in to see dentist. The same technique can be used if your temporary crown falls off: just soften up some sugar-free gum and place a little piece inside the crown and replace it onto your tooth.
After surgery, there will sometimes be bleeding that occurs during the first 24 hours. Biting on a gauze pad or on a wet tea bag will usually control the bleeding. If you are unable to control the bleeding you must seek immediate treatment. For more information, please consult our post-operative care instructions.