Caring for Your Smile in an Emergency
Not everyone experiences a dental emergency, and some patients may experience several in their lifetimes. Like all emergency situations, you can’t predict situations that suddenly place your teeth and oral health at risk. For instance, accidental trauma can lead to several different immediate dental concerns, even if you’ve spent your life taking excellent care of your teeth. Fortunately, Dr. Browne and our team are highly skilled at providing immediate and expert attention and treatment for such situations, and we’re here for you any time you may experience a dental emergency.
What to Do in an Emergency
Chipped or cracked tooth
If your tooth is chipped or cracked, then the level of discomfort you feel will depend on the extent of the structural damage to your tooth. To minimize the pain, if any, try applying a cold compress or ice pack to the appropriate side of your mouth. An over-the-counter pain reliever can also help alleviate the pain, and you should avoid eating, drinking, or chewing on anything until you can attend your emergency appointment.
If your tooth breaks, then it is more likely to hurt then a minor chip or crack. If possible, collect the broken piece of the tooth and rinse it off carefully under warm water, then bring it with you to your appointment. If bleeding occurs, then bite down gently on a moist, clean gauze or cloth until the bleeding stops. Similar to a cracked tooth, an ice pack and/or pain reliever can help alleviate any discomfort, and you should avoid exposing the tooth to any foods, beverages, or bite pressure before your appointment.
Partially or completely knocked-out tooth
If your tooth is partially knocked-out due to traumatic impact, then bleeding is more likely to occur. You can staunch it by biting down on clean, moist gauze, and you can relieve the pain with a cold compress and/or pain reliever. Avoiding pressure is even more important or you may dislodge the tooth completely. If it is knocked out, then collect the tooth, if possible, then rinse it carefully under warm water and store it in a small container of milk so you can bring it with you to your appointment.
Emergency Treatment Options
Most types of emergency dental treatments involve some degree of damage to one or more of your teeth. Whether that damage is just a minor chipped edge or a severe, tooth-wide fracture, your emergency treatment will focus on restoring your tooth’s structure to reestablish your bite function and good oral health. Depending on the extent of the damage, this may include tooth bonding, a porcelain veneer, or a lifelike dental crown.
In cases where trauma is severe enough to compromise most of your tooth structure or the tooth’s root, the next step may have to be to extract the tooth. Removing a tooth that can’t be saved serves several purposes; jagged edges of the tooth won’t hurt soft oral tissues, the compromised tooth can’t become infected, and your dentist can replace it with a lifelike replacement (such as a dental implant).
When you have to have a tooth extracted, or if your tooth is completely knocked out of its socket and can’t be replanted, then your dental emergency treatment will include planning for replacing the tooth. With a dental implant and crown, we can replace both the visible portion of your tooth and its root, creating a highly lifelike prosthesis to restore most of the vital functions of your lost tooth.
Call Us Any Time if You Have an Emergency
Emergencies happen when you least expect them, so to make sure you can receive the care you need as soon as possible, you can call any time to speak with a member of our team. To make an emergency appointment, call the office of Robert M. Browne, DDS, today at (913) 901-8585. Our office is located on the south west corner of 75th and State Line at the Crossroads of Prairie Village, Waldo, Brookside, Mission Hills, Leawood and Overland Park, just minutes from I-435 and State Line as well as I-35 and 75th Street.