By Brianne Jones, RDH
Please see below for advice regarding various common dental emergencies. In order to ensure 24-hour care for your child, Dr. Jones shares calls with several pediatric dentists in the south metro Denver area. If you have an AFTER HOURS dental emergency involving pain, swelling, or bleeding – please call our office to determine how to reach the on call dentist. Emergency fees may not be covered by your dental insurance since the on call dentist may not be contracted with them.
Begin by cleaning around the sore tooth meticulously. Use warm salt water to rinse the mouth and floss to displace any potential food trapped between teeth. For temporary pain relief, ibuprofen is recommended. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you use aspirin on the aching tooth or on the gums. In the event of facial swelling, apply a cold compress to the area and contact our office ASAP to get in and have it looked at.
Ice can be applied to any bruised areas. For bleeding, apply firm (but gentle) pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth. If the bleeding does not stop with pressure or continues after 15 minutes, contact our office or go to an emergency room.
Rinse the area with warm water. Recover any broken tooth fragments, if possible. For temporary pain relief, ibuprofen is recommended. Call our office to get in and have it looked at.
Recover the tooth and place under the pillow. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry does not recommend replanting a knocked out baby tooth due to risk of damaging the underlying permanent tooth bud. Call out office to get in and have the area looked out – it is likely that the adjacent baby teeth that are still in the mouth sustained some trauma, too.
Fold a piece of gauze and place it (tightly) over the bleeding area. Bite down on the gauze for 15 minutes; if bleeding continues, call our office.
Recover the tooth, making sure to hold it by the crown (top) and not the root end. Rinse with saline if you have that handy, but do not clean or handle the tooth more than necessary. Reinsert the tooth in the socket and hold it in place using a clean piece of gauze or cloth. If the tooth cannot be reinserted, carry it in a cup containing milk or saliva (ie: spit). Because time is essential in the long-term prognosis of this tooth, call our office and see Dr. Jones immediately!
Over-the-counter medications will usually provide temporary relief. If sores persist longer than 10 days, call our office to schedule a visit so that we can rule out any other potential problem.