Emergency Dental Care
If you’re having a Dental Emergency and need help, call our emergency hotline now!
Don’t postpone a dental emergency! Delayed treatment may lead to hospitalization and severe medical complications.
We can handle all dental emergencies and get you out of pain as soon as possible. With our state of the art equipment and technology, we can diagnose your condition, perform in office procedures, and administer medications including antibiotics and anesthetics to reduce your pain immediately.
Should you be confronted with a dental emergency, it is imperative that you contact your dentist and get treated immediately. Keep in mind, time is of the essence in most of these situations.
We treat all of our patients with the same care and compassion and believe everyone deserves to smile.
USEFUL TIPS DURING DENTAL EMERGENCIES
In case of a dental emergency, it is imperative that you stay calm. Next, see an emergency dentist right away. Remember, dental emergencies, especially those involving trauma to the jaws, gums or teeth, demand immediate expert care and treatment. Delays in addressing these emergencies may lead to complications or permanent damage to the areas involved. Additionally, treating these cases later on can mean bigger expenses on your part as they would require costly treatments.
Recommendations for common dental emergencies:
- If your tooth has fallen out in one piece due to a traumatic injury if you can, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. If that’s not possible, place it in between your cheek and gums or place in milk. If the tooth has debris rinse gently without touching the root in warm water or milk. Then, get to our office right away.
- For a cracked tooth, immediately rinse the mouth with warm salt water to clean the area. Put cold compresses on the face to keep any swelling down.
- If you bite your tongue or lip, clean the area gently with water and apply a cold compress.
- For toothaches, rinse the mouth with warm salt water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between the teeth.
- If your crown has fallen off, you need to see your dentist within 48 hours to have your crown evaluated and possibly re-cemented. Teeth with missing crowns can start to move out of their original position making it difficult to re-use the original crown.
WISDOM TOOTH PAIN / INFECTION
An infection in your wisdom teeth can prove painful and even potentially dangerous.
Symptoms of a wisdom tooth infection
The most common sign of a wisdom tooth infection is pain in the area. In some cases, infected wisdom teeth may also cause pain in the entire jaw, neck and throat, as well as headaches.
Along with the pain, a wisdom tooth infection might also cause sore throats and swollen lymph glands just under the jaw. Swelling of the face and jaw, pus drainage and the presence of a bad smell or taste in your mouth are other common signs of infected wisdom teeth. You may also find it very difficult to chew or eat.
If you suspect that one of your wisdom teeth is infected, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible.
Your wisdom teeth can become infected primarily because of their position in the mouth.
They’re often very hard to reach with your toothbrush and floss, which means they’re frequently neglected or not properly cleaned. This can cause food, plaque and other debris to accumulate on and between the teeth, promoting bacteria growth.
Sometimes, a wisdom tooth doesn’t erupt fully. When this happens, the tooth may be covered partially with a flap of gum tissue, which can also trap food, plaque and bacteria, resulting in a wisdom tooth infection.
Child’s Baby Tooth: Chances of re-implanting a completely knocked out baby tooth are slim. The typical course of action for this case is to wait for the permanent tooth to grow.
Permanent Tooth: It is imperative that you see your dentist right away as delays decrease the chances of putting back the tooth. Typically, to successfully re-attach the tooth, the procedure must be done in an hour or two. However, here at Tarzana Dental Care, we have experienced success in putting back a knocked out tooth 24 hours later. It is important to note though that, apart from seeing the dentist right away, certain steps need to be observed to ensure the success of the procedure.
* First thing you should do is to stop any bleeding from the gums. To do this, rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it. Apply pressure on the area using gauze pads. Instead of using your fingers to apply pressure, you may opt to bite on the gauze. See your dentist immediately if bleeding doesn’t stop after 10 minutes. Meanwhile, to minimize swelling, apply something cold and compress on the affected area.
* Next step is to find the tooth. Only hold it by the crown. Try to put the tooth back into the socket by holding it gently in place and trying to bite down. However, the better option is to immerse the tooth in a glass of milk (or water with a pinch of salt) and let the dentist do the re-attachment procedure as soon as possible. Should the tooth or root be dirty, clean it but make sure you do not scrub it nor clear out any attached gum tissue on the root.
A chipped tooth is rarely a dental emergency. You may opt to see your dentist a few days after the incident. However, taking precautions, particularly being extra careful when chewing, is essential not to damage the tooth further. While a chipped tooth does not result in bleeding of the gums or tooth displacement, it may trigger an irritation in the tongue or cheek due to the chipped edges.
To remedy the problem, your dentist may try to restore the normal contour and protect the pulp of the tooth by placing a crown or dental filling on it.
CRACKED OR BROKEN TOOTH
Situations involving cracked or broken teeth are different. They are dental emergencies. When faced with this kind of situation, the first thing you must do is to stop any bleeding in the gums by rinsing your mouth with warm water and applying pressure on the area with clean gauze. If the incident is caused by facial trauma, apply something cold, and compress the affected area can lessen any swelling. Taking acetaminophen may be done to ease the pain.
In case of a broken tooth, locate the broken piece or pieces of the tooth and immediately put it in a glass of milk or water. See your dentist immediately! Remember, in this case, it’s not wise to delay your dental appointment especially if you experience sensitivity or pain. Oftentimes, sensitivity is an indication that there is an exposed root. When left untreated, this can result in root damage. Consequently, a damaged root would require a root canal therapy.
Using your finger and with very light pressure, try putting the tooth back in its original position. It is important not to force it, though. To keep the tooth from moving, you can bite down. See your dentist right away, preferably within six hours, for best results.
LOST FILLING OR CROWN
A lost filling may be accompanied by pain. This is due to ‘dental tubules’ or dental nerves being exposed and coming into contact with air. To relieve the pain, apply a little clove oil on the sensitive area. Placing an ice pack on the painful area may also help.
Meanwhile, if you still have the filling, put it in a safe place and bring it to your dentist. To rid yourself of discomfort, get a tooth wax or cement from the pharmacy and use it to fill the hole in your tooth.
For cases involving a dislodged crown, try to slip the crown back into its place until you see your dentist. How should you do it? Start by cleaning the inside of the crown and removing any debris present. Next, coat the crown’s inside with tooth dental cement (available in a pharmacy) and slip it back in place. Other alternatives to dental cement are denture adhesive and toothpaste. Do NOT use other household adhesives or glues. These products aren’t safe to put in your mouth and may damage the tooth and crown.
Keep in mind, the aforementioned things are just temporary solutions. It is still imperative that you see your dentist immediately when confronted with these situations.
Take the necessary steps to ensure that your mouth is clean. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. Floss to get rid of any food lodged between the teeth or under the gum line. Take prescribed pain medications. If the ache persists, contact your dentist right away.
DEBRIS BETWEEN TEETH
This is usually easily resolved with the help of flossing. However, should your attempts to dislodge the debris fail, do not hesitate to enlist the help of your dentist.
BITTEN TONGUE, LIP OR CHEEK
A cut less than ¼ inch typically heals on its own. To ensure the healing of the affected area, you can rinse your mouth with warm salt water. This helps keep the mouth sanitize and prevents further problems brought about by bacteria getting into the sore area. Rinsing every 20-30 minutes on the first day is highly recommended. Continue rinsing as often as possible until the wound completely heals. Applying cold compress on the affected area may also minimize swelling.
On the other hand, it’s best to see your dentist immediately when faced with the following situations:
* the cut is bigger than ¼ inch
* bleeding on the affected area persists longer than 10 minutes
* biting into your tongue
* tooth gets lodged deeply into your lips or cheek
BURNED ROOF OF MOUTH
While sores and blisters resulting from eating very hot food typically heal on their own, they usually cause discomfort. To ease the pain, you can take acetaminophen. Another option is to apply a topical oral anesthetic on the affected area. To keep the area clean, rinse with warm salt water after every meal. If the sores or blisters do not heal after 10 days, give your dentist a call.
GUM PAIN, SWELLING OR ABSCESS
Gum pain or swelling may indicate the presence of an abscess (infection) in the gum tissue or the tooth’s root and its surrounding areas. This condition should be brought to the attention of your dentist immediately as severe infection or abscess in the mouth can be life-threatening. Furthermore, identifying the underlying cause of the pain, swelling or abscess requires thorough dental examination.
A ruptured abscess is usually followed by a sudden flow of malodorous and foul-tasting fluid. Should you experience this, immediately rinse your mouth with warm water.
BROKEN BRACES OR WIRES STICKING OUT
Try to push the wire flat against the tooth with the help of a Q-tip or a pencil eraser. If repositioning the wire isn’t feasible, you can just opt to cover the end with dental/orthodontic wax which you can purchase over-the-counter at the pharmacy. Lastly, give your orthodontist a call.
LOOSE BRACKETS AND BANDS
Try to turn back any loose bracket into its normal position. For loose braces, you may temporarily re-attach them or minimize their movement using a small piece of dental/orthodontic wax. Problems involving loose bands are typically resolved by re-cementing or replacing them. It is important to note that, regardless of the actions you take in these situations, calling your orthodontist right away should remain on top your list.
LOST WIRE OR LIGATURE
Use sterile tweezers and attempt to put the rubber ligature back in place. Schedule an appointment with your orthodontist.
PIECE OF DENTAL APPLIANCE SWALLOWED OR INHALED
Seek immediate medical intervention. Go to the hospital emergency room and get treated!
FOOD TRAPPED BETWEEN TEETH
This is not a dental emergency and can easily be resolved with the help of a dental floss, a toothpick or an interproximal brush.
A fractured denture may not be associated with any significant pain; but it can be considered an emergency if you can’t eat or if it is aesthetically disfiguring. Our in house lab here at Tarzana Dental Care can repair your broken denture the same day in just a few hours.
Any trauma to the jaw that involves pain, swelling and inability to open the mouth, misaligned bite (possible jaw fracture) is a dental emergency which merits immediate attention. Hence, if you suffer any jaw trauma, it’s imperative that you see your dentist as soon as possible. If it’s a case of a broken jaw, it is important that you secure your jaw in place. You can do this by tying a towel, handkerchief or any piece of cloth around the jaw and over the top of your head. To control any bleeding and/or swelling, place ice pack on your face near the affected area for not more than 20 minutes at a time.
At Tarzana Dental Care, Dr. Zar will take a panoramic x-ray of the entire jaw to look for any cracks. Also expect an oral surgeon on standby. A jaw fracture would require an oral surgeon’s attention to possibly stabilize the jaw by wiring the upper and lower jaw together this may include possible hospitalization.
There are various causes of dental-related pain with the common culprits being infection, debris lodged under the gum line, cracked or broken tooth or dislodged crown or filling. Determining the underlying cause of the severe pain necessitates a thorough dental examination. So, set an appointment with your dentist right away. Meanwhile, to temporarily ease the pain, you can take acetaminophen. Do NOT use aspirin or ibuprofen as they can cause excessive bleeding. Applying ice on the affected area for 10-20 minutes may also soothe the pain.