When you experience a true dental emergency, you should first call your dentist and determine when you can be seen. In some cases, you may be able to head directly to your dentist’s office, but in other cases, you may need to wait a few hours or until the next day.
The information below contains tips on how you can preserve your health and comfort before you receive dental care. Please note that this guide is not a substitute for care or advice from your dental professional. You should always have your smile evaluated by a dentist after an emergency.
If your tooth is sore or has been knocked out of place, you can use over the counter pain relievers and cold compresses to dull the discomfort. While not all dental emergencies are painful, you can easily make yourself more comfortable at home before you are seen by a dentist. If your pain is too severe to control with standard pain relief medication and ice, be sure to tell your dentist so they can prioritize your care.
Saving Broken Teeth or Restorations
In many cases, you dental emergency may involve a severely broken tooth or a loose crown or bridge. If a piece of your natural tooth has been fractured and fallen out, collected pieces of dental enamel, as they may be bonded back in place to ensure your tooth looks natural and healthy. If your tooth has been knocked-out entirely, you can preserve it in a small container with either milk or saliva. You can also put the tooth back in the socket or hold it between your cheek and gums if that is comfortable.
If your dental prosthetic is loose or damaged, this needs to be preserved as well. You can try over the counter dental cement as a temporary fix for loose crowns, bridges, and fillings, but this should by no means be considered a permanent reattachment method in lieu of seeing the dentist.
It’s vital to see a dentist as soon as possible if your dental problem is painful or has severely damaged your teeth or previous dental work. While non-emergency issues are also concerning, they can potentially wait for a less urgent appointment. Non-emergencies include minor, aesthetic damage to teeth, irritating dental appliances, and adjustments to loose or ill-fitting dentures.
If you’re experiencing an urgent dental problem, Dr. Ryoo – our Fullerton emergency dentist – encourages you to call his office as soon as possible for an evaluation.