Posts for tag: Dental Emergency
For anyone else, having a tooth accidentally knocked out while practicing a dance routine would be a very big deal. But not for Dancing With The Stars contestant Noah Galloway. Galloway, an Iraq War veteran and a double amputee, took a kick to the face from his partner during a recent practice session, which knocked out a front tooth. As his horrified partner looked on, Galloway picked the missing tooth up from the floor, rinsed out his mouth, and quickly assessed his injury. “No big deal,” he told a cameraman capturing the scene.
Of course, not everyone would have the training — or the presence of mind — to do what Galloway did in that situation. But if you’re facing a serious dental trauma, such as a knocked out tooth, minutes count. Would you know what to do under those circumstances? Here’s a basic guide.
If a permanent tooth is completely knocked out of its socket, you need to act quickly. Once the injured person is stable, recover the tooth and gently clean it with water — but avoid grasping it by its roots! Next, if possible, place the tooth back in its socket in the jaw, making sure it is facing the correct way. Hold it in place with a damp cloth or gauze, and rush to the dental office, or to the emergency room if it’s after hours or if there appear to be other injuries.
If it isn’t possible to put the tooth back, you can place it between the cheek and gum, or in a plastic bag with the patient’s saliva, or in the special tooth-preserving liquid found in some first-aid kits. Either way, the sooner medical attention is received, the better the chances that the tooth can be saved.
When a tooth is loosened or displaced but not knocked out, you should receive dental attention within six hours of the accident. In the meantime, you can rinse the mouth with water and take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen) to ease pain. A cold pack temporarily applied to the outside of the face can also help relieve discomfort.
When teeth are broken or chipped, you have up to 12 hours to get dental treatment.Â Follow the guidelines above for pain relief, but don’t forget to come in to the office even if the pain isn’t severe. Of course, if you experience bleeding that can’t be controlled after five minutes, dizziness, loss of consciousness or intense pain, seek emergency medical help right away.
And as for Noah Galloway:Â In an interview a few days later, he showed off his new smile, with the temporary bridge his dentist provided… and he even continued to dance with the same partner!
If you would like more information about dental trauma, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Trauma & Nerve Damage to Teeth” and “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries.”
The actions you choose to take when you're having an urgent problem with your teeth can have a long term effect on your dental health. If you wait too long, you put yourself at risk for losing or damaging your teeth. If you're having a dental emergency, do not hesitate to have it checked out as soon as possible by Dr. John C. Koechley at his Batavia dentist office.
What Is Considered a Dental Emergency?
Some patients neglect to see a dentist urgently because they’re not sure if it’s really an emergency. Here are a few clear indications that you have a dental emergency and should visit the dentist’s office ASAP:
- Pain that makes it difficult to eat, drink or talk.
- A loose or knocked out tooth or crown.
- A chipped or broken tooth.
- Cut gums, cheeks or lips.
- Excessive bleeding from the gums.
The Potential Consequences of Waiting Too Long
Patients often put off necessary dental appointments either because they can’t take time off of work, have busy schedules or are too anxious to visit the dentist. But delaying a dental visit, especially in the case of an emergency, can have significant repercussions. Allowing dental pain from an abscess or tooth infection to persist can cause the tooth to rot away, and an infection can travel. A broken or chipped tooth may allow food particles and bacteria to enter that can cause an infection. Also, the faster you see your Batavia dentist after a tooth is knocked out, the better the chance that it can be successfully reintegrated into the bone.
General Dental Care Tips
The best way to avoid dental emergencies is to prioritize good at-home care practices and to commit to seeing your dentist at least twice per year. Brush your teeth (and gums gently) once when you wake and once before you go to bed. Floss at least once every day to remove food particles that could cause gum disease or tooth infections.
See Dr. Koechley for Urgent Care
Like any other medical emergency, it’s important that you seek help at the first sign of serious problem. Call Dr. Koechley’s Batavia dentist office at (630) 406-9441 to speak to a friendly receptionist about your urgent issue and come in to see him as soon as possible.