There are many reasons that you may need an emergency dentist, such as knocked-out tooth, cracked tooth or toothache. Knowing what to do can mean the difference between saving a tooth or losing one. Here are some common dental emergencies, what to do and how to prevent them.
1. Knocked-out tooth. If it is an adult tooth, keep it moist at all times. 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 in milk. Call us immediately. The chance to save the tooth decreases significantly after 2 hours. If it is a baby tooth, try to find it, keep it moist and come to see us. Dr. Hu will evaluate the tooth to determine if the entire tooth, or just part of it, came out. Treatment will be evaluated based on the developmental stage of your child's dentition.
2. Cracked tooth. Unlike knocked-out tooth, cracked tooth may not always be easily detected. It can show a variety of symptoms, from pain on biting to pain to hot or cold temperature. Common reasons for cracked tooth including chewing on hard food such as candy or ice, tooth grinding or jaw clenching. Depending on the location and severity of the fracture, treatment options include bonding, root canal treatment and placing a crown, or extraction. If you suspect that you have a cracked tooth, avoid chewing on that side of your mouth and call us for evaluation before the problem gets worse.
3. Toothache. There are many types of tooth pain. It may be sharp, throbbing or constant. Sometimes, it happens when pressure is applied to the tooth. Treatment for toothache depends on the cause. It may require filling, root canal therapy, antibiotics, or extraction. As pain is usually a sign of infection, proper identification and treatment of toothache is important to prevent the spread of infection to other parts of the face and skull and possibly even to the bloodstream.
4. Tongue or lip injury. If you bite or injured your tongue or lip, clean the area gently with water and apply a cold compress. Please call us for emergency visit so we can evaluate if there is also injury to your teeth. Go to your local emergency room if there is excessive bleeding, the bleeding wont's stop or you are in a lot of pain. For our orthodontic patients, we strongly recommend that you wear mouth guard for braces to protect your mouth from potential injury while playing sports. You can get an orthodontic mouth guard at any major sporting goods store or we can order you one at our office.
5. Wisdom tooth infection. Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last teeth to erupt in your mouth. Because of that, there is often not enough space for them to grow in straight. They will erupt sideways or get trapped under the gum and bone (impaction). This can lead to painful wisdom tooth infection because bacteria or food pieces get trapped under the gum near your wisdom teeth, leading to infection.
No matter what the reason may be, Dr. Hu is always ready to help with his compassion and skills. Dr. Hu has extensive training in oral surgery and is experienced in complicated extraction and wisdom tooth extraction. He can also take care of root canal treatment (RCT) and crown in one visit if this is the indicated treatment you need to alleviate your toothache. If you are experiencing pain or had an unfortunate injury, please give us a call and we will take care of you right away.