The pain and pressure build. You have an awful toothache. For emergency dental treatment, call Apple Valley Dental in Apple Valley, CA, and serving Helendale. Dr. Samuel Kim and his team offer accurate, quick and compassionate care for pressing oral health concerns such as your toothache. Learn here what constitutes a dental emergency and how to provide first aid for some of the most common.
What is a dental emergency?
It's any oral health condition which comes on suddenly and causes intense pain or loss of structure and function in the mouth. Examples include:
- A knocked out, cracked or displaced tooth
- An abscessed tooth
- Bleeding of the lips, tongue, gums or other soft oral tissues
- A lost restoration such as a crown or filling
- Cracked denture or other tooth replacement
- Intense swelling of the jaw or gums
- Jaw dislocation or fracture (this requires an immediate trip to a hospital emergency room)
- A foreign object stuck between teeth
Fortunately, your dentist and his team are available for phone consultation and same-day emergency dental treatment as needed. So, if you experience one of the above situations, call Apple Valley Dental right away for first aid advice.
What to do in the meantime
Save a tooth, stop bleeding or quell pain with the following interventions:
- Grasp an avulsed tooth by the crown, rinse it in clear water and place it back in the socket--roots downward. Hold it in place until you see Dr. Kim. If you cannot replant it, place it in a sealed container with milk, water or even your own saliva. Knocked out teeth may survive if replanted by your dentist within an hour of injury.
- Try to dislodge foreign material between teeth with dental floss.
- Save the pieces of a broken tooth or restoration in a sealed bag, and bring them to the office for possible bonding.
- Ice a swollen jaw (10 minutes on, 10 minutes off) to reduce the pain and swelling associated with a dental abscess.
- Take over the counter acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain (no aspirin).
- Place direct pressure on a laceration with sterile gauze or a clean washcloth. If bleeding does not stop within 15 minutes, call the dental office.
Preparation and prevention
Consumer Guide to Dentistry recommends keeping an emergency dental kit handy particularly if you go on a family vacation or are involved in team sports. The kit should contain:
- Vinyl exam gloves
- Gauze 4x4s
- Clean washcloth or handkerchief
- A bottle of water
- Dental floss
- Orthodontic wax to cover jagged tooth edges
- A sealable container or plastic bag
Additionally, prevention is always the best medicine or intervention. Take care of your teeth and gums with routine at-home hygiene and six-months check-ups and cleanings at Apple Valley Dental. If you notice any problems developing, call the office right away. Finally, if you or a family member play sports, use a mouth guard.
Your best emergency dentist
It's Dr. Samuel Kim at Apple Valley Dental in Apple Valley, CA, and serving Helendale. Don't hesitate to call when a problem arises. Phone (760) 247-6007.