At University Dental Associates, we know that dental emergencies can happen even after the practice has closed. That’s why we have a dentist on call seven days a week to address emergency dental care for our current North Carolina patients. Knowing what to do could mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth. Just call your local University Dental Associates and you will be routed to our after-hours on-call healthcare professional.
- Post your local dental office phone number – Just like any emergency phone number (family doctor, police and fire department), your dental office phone number should be included in your contacts list.
- Dental emergencies – The following tips can help you with dental emergencies as they arise:
- Toothache – Many conditions can cause toothaches. Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to ensure there is no food or other debris caught in between teeth. If you are experiencing pain, swelling, fever and/or generalized weakness that you believe is related to the tooth problem, please call our office immediately as this could indicate a serious medical condition.
- Broken/cracked tooth – A broken or cracked tooth may or may not be painful. Stop any bleeding by applying gentle pressure. Rinse the area with warm water to cleanse. Use a cold compress to keep swelling down and call our office immediately.
- Knocked out tooth – Hold the tooth by the crown and rinse off the root of the tooth in water if it is dirty. Do not scrub or remove any attached 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 get to the dentist as quickly as possible (don’t forget to bring the tooth with you!).
- Lost filling or broken crown – A lost filling may be replaced with temporary material that can be purchased at the drug store. The filling should then be replaced permanently by your dentist to prevent decay from food or bacteria. A broken crown should be re-cemented to avoid decay on the remaining tooth structure. A small amount of temporary material or even toothpaste can be used to hold the crown in place until you can see your dentist.
- Bitten Lip or Tongue – Clean the area gently with a cloth and apply cold compresses to reduce any swelling. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, go to the hospital emergency room immediately.
- Possible broken jaw – Apply cold compresses to control swelling. Go to the nearest hospital emergency room immediately.
Thousands of dental emergencies from minor injuries to abscessed teeth take place every day. Knowing what to do can lessen the pain and save a tooth that might otherwise be lost.