During office hours, immediate attention will be given to your situation, and you will be seen as soon as possible. After office hours, please give a call at any of our office numbers and we will give you an appointment at the earliest. If you are experiencing a serious or life threatening emergency, please visit the nearest emergency room.
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Many injuries are as a result of participation in a sport or falls, with a number requiring our care. Injuries involving the head, neck or face may require a visit to the emergency room or your family’s physician. Some of the more common emergencies are listed below with advice as to how to manage them:
Apply pressure with clean gauze or cloth. Place ice in contact with the area of the wound to control bleeding and swelling. Call us immediately. If the bleeding cannot be controlled, go to a hospital emergency room immediately.
This is often attributed to untreated tooth decay or a broken filling. Do not chew in the area if possible and avoid extremes of temperature. If swelling is present, apply cold compresses and do not apply heat or any ointment on the affected area. Call us as soon as possible and we will guide you further.
Check for any soft tissue damage, and apply cold compresses to the area. Do not chew on the area and note if the tooth is in the same position or not. If teeth that have been bumped turn color, it may very well be because the nerve has been affected. Should this occur , contact our office.
Over Retained Teeth – Baby Teeth
Lower Front: These baby teeth often times are lost with tongue moving permanent teeth that were behind in to a more forward position. No need to panic as it looks worse than it is, but let us evaluate.
Upper Front: Often times are not lost as easily and could benefit from early removal to let the teeth move forward and not get caught behind the lower teeth.
Upper Front Fractured Tooth
Rinse the mouth with warm water to remove dirt and debris from the area. Apply cold compresses to the lip and face in the area of the injury to control swelling. If you can find the tooth fragments save them, and see us immediately bringing the fragments with you.
Intruded Baby Tooth
If your child suffered trauma and there appears to be teeth missing that cannot be found, it is possible that the tooth (or teeth) were pushed into the gums. Blood and swelling in the area will make it even more difficult for the tooth to be visualized. Control the bleeding and schedule an appointment immediately to discuss treatment options.
Knocked Out Baby Tooth
Find the tooth, control bleeding, and call us immediately. Do not place the tooth back in its place, but do bring it with you.
Knocked Out Permanent Tooth in Child
- Find the tooth. Hold the tooth by the crown (the white part), not by the root (the yellow part). Replant immediately, if possible.
- If contaminated, rinse shortly with cold tap water and put the tooth back as closely to its original as is possible.
- Hold the tooth in place. Bite on a handkerchief to hold it in position and call us immediately.
- If you cannot put the tooth back in, place it in a cup of milk or saline. When milk or saline are not available, place the tooth in the child’s mouth (between the cheeks and gums)
- Seek immediate treatment. Time is of essence.
- Children between 7 and 10 years of age are more exposed to suffer avulsion (a tooth being knocked out of the mouth) due to the elasticity of the bone at this age.
Loose Braces and Wires
Contact our office. In the interim, you can make your child comfortable by covering the end of the wire or bracket with cotton, gauze, wax, or chewing gum. If any part of the appliance is loose, try to gently remove it from the mouth without force and place it in a container to bring to the dentist. Should the appliance be embedded in the gum, tongue, or cheek, call us immediately.
Self Inflicted Injury of Lip When Numb
Young Children especially can very easily injure their cheek, tongue, lips that have been anesthetized following dental work. They should be carefully observed until the numbness is gone, and frequently reminded to not bite these structures. If damage does occur call us immediately.
Canker Sores or Cold Sores
Canker sores, or Apthous ulcers are very common and not contagious. They are white ulcerations with red borders that are very painful. They always occur on the inside of the mouth which distinguishes them sometimes from Cold Sores. They usually heal on their own within one to two weeks, but children should avoid irritating, caustic foods to limit the discomfort. Palliative treatment in the form of over the counter ointments or prescription medications can be provided by our office.
Herpetic stomatitis is a contagious viral illness (Herpes Simplex Virus) and is seen mainly in young children. This condition is probably a child’s first exposure to the herpes virus, and it can result in a systemic illness with high fever, blisters, ulcers in the mouth, and inflammation of the gums.
Sometimes the blisters are very painful, often forming in groups inside the mouth, around the lips, and sometimes the face. These are contagious and are often fluid-filled. Once a child has a primary infection, it stays in the body and does have the potential to produce recurrent attacks. They usually heal on their own within one to two weeks. Treatment is often palliative with over the counter creams and ointments, although severe cases are treated with antiviral drugs.
Common Orthodontic Emergencies
If you experience any breakage or loosening of any of your appliances please call our office as soon as possible. By calling us first we will be able to schedule a time to see you. Please do not come directly to the office. If you have a scheduled appointment already, please call to let us know that you need something repaired so that we may add additional time to your appointment if needed.
Other non-emergency problems may include:
Irritated cheek tissues – Non-medicated orthodontic relief wax can be placed over brackets or wires that may be irritating the mouth.
Food stuck in braces: Dental floss, an interproximal brush or a toothpick can be used for removing food that gets caught between teeth or wires.
Wire out of place: If a wire is out of place and poking the cheek, use a Q-tip or pencil eraser to push the wire against the tooth. If this is not possible, or if the wire is still uncomfortable, place wax over the end of the wire and call our office to set up a time to have the wire adjusted and put back into place.
Soreness or discomfort: Non-prescription pain relievers, such as Ibuprofen or combiflam, can help with the temporary discomfort that sometimes occurs for the first day or two after an orthodontic adjustment.
Sores in the mouth: Rinsing with warm salt-water several times a day can help to heal sores in the mouth. To lessen discomfort, topical anesthetic treatments, can be applied with a Q-tip or cotton applicator to any abrasions or sores in the mouth.