Dental injuries and severe dental pain require immediate attention. Be aware of the emergency procedures described below, and always have an emergency dentists’ contact information at hand.
In the event of a chipped tooth, the patient should visit a dentist within 2-3 hours. A chipped tooth may be saved if tended to quickly. In the window of time before emergency examination, take the proper steps to minimize chances of infection. Apply gentle pressure to the gums around the tooth to stop bleeding, but never apply direct force to the chipped tooth. Rinse the mouth with warm water and apply cold compresses to control swelling. If you still have the tooth piece that was chipped off, bring it to the dentist – it may be bonded back into place.
Trauma powerful enough to knock out a tooth may sometimes necessitate a hospital emergency room visit. The patient should visit a dentist as soon as possible to maximize chances of saving the tooth. If the lost tooth can be recovered, it should only be handled by the crown, or white part of the tooth. The tooth should be immediately rinsed in cool water to remove any dirt, gently re-inserted into the empty tooth socket, and held in place with a clean washcloth. If the patient cannot re-insert the tooth, it should be kept moist until the emergency dentist visit, preferably in milk, saline solution or saliva.
Other dental emergencies that should be treated immediately include toothaches, cracked teeth, bitten lip or tongue (may require emergency room visit), and objects stuck between teeth.