What to do if you have a dental emergency

Hi, this is Dr. Antolak from TheGentleDentist.com in Shelby Township, Michigan. And today I’d like to talk to you about dental emergencies.

For us right now it’s the beginning of the summer and the summer time becomes potentially a lot of accidents or some accidents for children. And what I want to do is just to talk briefly about what to do if you have a dental emergency.

Many of the accidents that can take place lets say the child is on their bicycle and they hit a bump or something happens they tumble off the bike and they hit the pavement. Or they’re running along running and all of sudden they trip and they fall and they crack a tooth.

What is the best thing to do if you have a dental emergency? So I want to address a couple of things. First thing is if a tooth breaks off lets say a tooth cracks and it’s just a break like that but the tooth is still in place and stable, what I would suggest is look for that segment of the tooth that fell off.

What we can do many times with the patient coming in, we can bond in that segment of that tooth to the other part just using a thin bonding agent and literally like super glue almost it adheres from one to the other and many times that’s all that’s necessary.  That’s a very simple type of thing to do. But the important thing is to find that piece of tooth and give us a call right away.

The other more serious problem is when there will be a different level.  It’s called dental avulsion when the bone fragment do that and the tooth can fall out. It’s important at that point in time is to find the tooth. Okay? Find the tooth, and what you want to try to do is to get it right back in the socket. You can just gently, you know, a possibility is to have the child, in the mouth, just kind of, take off if there’s any dirt on it or anything like that, just to do that and just to remove some of that dirt and then try to put the tooth right back into that socket, right where it came out.

And because the reason why that is, is that there is an attachment called the periodontal ligament that separates out. And also the nerve, and the arteries and everything that feed the tooth. They come out with that when the tooth comes out. So the faster you can get the tooth back into the mouth, the better it is, better chance there is for these to reattach, reattach from the tooth to the bone.

The reason why we don’t really want to scrub the tooth to disinfect or use anything like that on it is because those will kill off the periodontal ligament. Iit’ll affect that attachment and will not allow this reassertion to be effective.

Okay if you can’t figure out how to do that you can store it in milk and then get to the dentist within a 1/2 hour so I know it’s the faster it is the better it is the faster you get tooth put in the better it is that’s the best thing.

Second best is if you as a parent have it. Put that tooth actually in your mouth. If you’ve got no other choice you want to keep it hydrated.  You want to keep it wet and damp until you get to the dentist.  He can insert the tooth back into the socket and then he can fix it. We bond it to the adjacent teeth for the short term.  And then go from there.

Sometimes, teeth can do a partial dental avulsion where it comes out, and it’s sticking out of place. Not totally loose, but sticking out of place. Once again, if it’s possible just to push that tooth back into the socket. I know it’s gonna hurt, but try to get that before the blood starts flowing where it came out, but get that in there, and the likelihood that’s gonna heal well is, is, pretty darn good.

What to do if you have a dental emergency

The important thing is getting to your dentist immediately, so by the time you’re done listening to this. Too late, you should have been calling your dentist. But, for dental emergencies, that’s what is important,  You can give us a call if you have any questions about that or even if something happens, give us a call.  586-247-3500. If during that time we’re not in the office you have the opportunity to reach me on my cell phone, which I always carry and I almost always answer. So you can reach me that way too. So if there’s any questions about that please give us a call.

Thank you.