If you are experiencing pain due to a dental emergency it is important to seek immediate treatment. In addition to greatly reducing your discomfort, receiving prompt treatment can often reduce the likelihood of further dental problems or complications developing.
What should I do if I have an avulsed tooth? (knocked out tooth)
If the tooth is still whole, it may be possible to save it. Avulsed teeth need to be placed back in the socket as soon as possible, but before you attempt to re-socket the tooth, you need to examine it to make sure it is clean. If needed rinse the tooth with milk. Take care to handle the tooth by the crown, do not touch the root.
To re-socket the tooth, hold it by the crown and insert the root back into the socket, then bite down on a clean cloth or handkerchief for approximately 20 minutes. If you cannot get the tooth back into the socket, place it in the side of your mouth, between your cheek and gums and arrange an emergency dental appointment immediately.
In the case of small children, it is advisable that the tooth is transported to the emergency dental appointment in milk. This is because there is a danger of the child swallowing the tooth. Where the avulsed tooth is a milk tooth, it is generally not advisable to replace it. Book an dental appointment so that the dentist can check to make sure that no fragments of the avulsed milk tooth remain in the socket.
What should I do if I have an extruded tooth? (partially dislodged tooth)
Sometimes a tooth may become partially dislodged due to an impact injury, this is known as an extruded tooth. It is important that you leave the tooth as it is and book an emergency dental appointment immediately. Do not pull the tooth out, blood vessels and the tooth nerve may still be connected, greatly increasing the chance of the tooth being saved.
What should I do if I have a tooth Fracture? (chipped tooth)
There are several types of tooth fracture:
Enamel is the whitish outer layer of a tooth. Enamel fractures can cause little sensitivity, sharp edges left by the fracture can lead to irritation of soft tissues such as the tongue or lips. An application of wax over the fracture can provide temporary relief. Book an emergency appointment so that your dentist can repair the tooth.
Enamel & Dentine fractures
Dentine is yellow to brown in colour, fracture involving dentine may be sensitive to hot and cold. If the fracture has exposed this layer of the tooth it is recommended that you visit your dentist within 48 hours to seal the dentine and prevent problems with the nerve, regardless of whether or not the fracture is causing pain. Avoid hard foods and hot or cold extremes. Over the counter painkillers such as ibuprofen may help relieve your discomfort.
Enamel, Dentine, & Pulp fractures
An Enamel, Dentine, and Pulp fracture can be identified by the visibility of dark red pulp at the centre of the tooth. If the Pulp is exposed book an emergency dentists appointment immediately. Avoid solid foods and hot or cold extremes. Over the counter painkillers such as ibuprofen may help relieve your discomfort.