Dental emergencies can happen anywhere and at any time. Being prepared can make the difference between handling a dental problem and resuming your fun, or having plans ruined.
- Tips to handling emergencies - before you get to the dentist.
- Instructions to follow after you have an oral surgery.
- Information following your root canal (endodontic) treatment.
- San Bernardino
- Rancho Mirage
- Rancho Cucamonga
While you should go to an emergency room or a dentist's office if needed, here are some tips on how to handle possible minor dental problems.
TOOTHACHE:Rinse your mouth well with warm water and gently floss between the teeth to remove any trapped food. Use a cold compress on the outside of the cheek and get to a dentist as soon as possible.
BROKEN TOOTH:Rinse with warm water, apply cold compresses to the cheek and get to a dentist as soon as possible.
KNOCKED-OUT TOOTH:Rinse the tooth lightly in running water but don't scrub it, and touch it as little as possible! Put the tooth back in the socket and hold it firmly in place. If you can't reinsert the tooth, keep it in a glass or container of milk or a special tooth preserving solution available at your local drug store or from your dentist. Get to the dentist within 30 minutes, if possible, to improve the chances of saving the tooth.
OBJECTS WEDGED BETWEEN TEETH:Gently remove the object with floss and avoid cutting the gums. Do not use a sharp instrument.
LOST FILLING:Cover the filling with paraffin, and take pain medication as needed. Most pharmacies have temporary filling kits that can be used until you are able to see a dentist
BITTTEN TONGUE OR LIP:Put direct pressure on bleeding area with a clean cloth and apply a cold compress to minimize swelling. If the bleeding doesn't stop, go to a nearby hospital.
POSSIBLE FRACTURED JAW:Immobilize the jaw by any means, such as a handkerchief, necktie or towel tied around the head, and go to a hospital emergency room as quickly as possible.
After Oral Surgery
Now that your oral surgery is complete, follow these procedures to make yourself more comfortable, promote healing, and help prevent any possible complications.
- Bite with firm pressure on gauze for one-half hour, change gauze as needed. (Bleeding will have slowed before we let you go.) Keep your tongue away from the surgical site. NO VIGOROUS RINSING.
- If you should experience further bleeding, use the additional gauze provided or a moistened tea bag. Bite on one of these for one-half hour then throw it away.
- Do not wash or rinse your mouth today. Beginning tomorrow, rinse three times per day and/or each time you eat, with a solution consisting of one teaspoon of salt dissolved in a warm glass of water. Continue to do this for several days.
- Swelling is not uncommon and need not cause alarm. During the first 24 hours you may apply an ice bag or a towel filled with cracked ice to your cheek or jaw; 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off. Discontinue this after the first day.
- Some discomfort may be experienced after the anesthetic wears off. Take your medication prior to this time as directed. You may have been given more than one prescription. These are to help keep you comfortable, control swelling and promote healing.
- If you feel something rough when you place your tongue on the surgical site, you may think it is part of the tooth. Leave it alone and it will usually heal nicely. It is not uncommon for small pieces of bone to work their way to the top. If this happens, we can remove them easily.
- In case of extreme discomfort or any unusual disturbance, contact this office immediately.
- No smoking for the first 24 hours — and for 3 days if possible — following extraction. Do not use alcoholic beverages or mouth wash for 24 hours, and do not do any vigorous spitting. No drinking through straws.
- For the next day or two, a soft diet is recommended. Foods such as soup, mashed potatoes, yogurt, cottage cheese, and milk shakes are fine.
- Don't forget your post operative checkup!
After Root Canal
- Endodontic treatment can take 1, 2, or 3 appointments depending on each case. It is possible to experience any of the following symptoms after any one of these appointments: sensitivity to hot and/or cold; sensitivity to pressure; possible swelling.
- It is difficult to predict which symptoms, if any, you may experience and to what extent. In complicated cases, pain medication may be necessary.
- If you experience swelling, call our office; it may be necessary to prescribe an antibiotic for you.
- A temporary filling may be used to seal the tooth between visits.
- Be gentle on the tooth while eating until the final restoration is placed.
- During endodontic treatment the nerve, blood and nutrient supply to the tooth is removed. This will cause the tooth to become brittle and prone to fracturing which can result in the need to extract the tooth. In many cases, a full coverage crown restoration (cap) may be recommended to prevent this from happening.