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How Would You Handle A Dental Emergency?

dental_anxiety_1 __Sunrise Dental | Chapel Hill | Durham | Raleigh | Cary, NC
If you have teeth or you know someone with teeth, then some day, you may have to deal with a dental emergency. Most of us have basic first aid supplies to handle small injuries, but would you know what to do if someone’s tooth was knocked loose or if someone broke a wire on his or her braces? If you don’t know, that’s OK. In today’s blog, we will review the kind of dental first aid you can provide. You should also remember to call the nearest Sunrise Dental office  to get help as soon as you can. You can reach us at:
  • Chapel Hill – 919-914-0844
  • Raleigh – 919-578-9923
  • Durham – 919-213-9757
  • Cary  – 919-902-5121
If you are calling outside of our regular hours, listen for the emergency contact number on our answering machine. In a life-threatening situation, always call 911. Dealing With Different Types Of Dental Emergencies Dental emergencies can happen at any time. How you handle it will vary depending on what type of emergency you are facing. Here’s a short review of what to do in some common dental emergencies. ► Braces With A Broken Wire What you will need: Vinyl or rubber gloves, gauze, dental wax, a pencil with an eraser on one end What you should do: First, put on the gloves. Any time you may be touching another person’s blood or saliva, you need to protect your skin. If there is any blood, use the gauze to clean the mouth. Place a piece of dental wax on the exposed ends of the broken wire. Then, use the eraser end of the pencil to gently push the wire flat against the person’s teeth. If you need to eat before you are able to see one of our dentists, stick to soft foods like eggs or yogurt. ► A Tooth Has Been Knocked Out What you will need: Vinyl or rubber gloves, gauze, milk and a container What you should do: Try to find the tooth. If you do find it, be careful to pick the tooth up by the crown. Avoid touching the root. Rinse the tooth to remove any blood or dirt. Also, have the person who lost a tooth rinse his or her mouth to remove any blood. Gauze can help with the cleaning, and gauze can soak up blood if the bleeding continues. If possible, try to carefully place the tooth where it was. If the tooth will stay in place, leave it there until you can see a dentist. If the tooth will not stay in place, you need to keep it moist. Do this by placing the tooth in a container with milk. If milk is not available, use saliva from the person who lost the tooth. In some cases, it is possible to re-place the tooth. In other cases, the tooth will need to be replaced in another way. ► A Tooth Has Been Broken Or Chipped What you will need: Vinyl or rubber gloves, gauze, dental wax, milk and a container, ice pack What you should do: As with the knocked out tooth, try to find any piece or pieces of the chipped or broken tooth. Rinse the tooth to remove dirt. The person with the chipped tooth should also rinse his or her mouth to remove any blood. Gauze can be used to clean blood and stop bleeding. Place the pieces of the tooth in a container with milk or saliva. It’s possible that the chipped tooth may have a sharp edge or point. While wearing gloves, cover the chipped tooth with gauze or dental wax to reduce the risk of accidental cuts. Ice packs can be used to reduce swelling. ► A Severe Toothache What you will need: Vinyl or rubber gloves, dental floss, warm water What to do: The toothache may be because something is stuck between the person’s tooth. If needed, wear gloves and use dental floss if it appears something may be stuck. If this does not work, gargle with warm water and take an over-the-counter pain reliever, and call our office. However, do NOT place aspirin directly against the gums or other soft tissues. Aspirin can burn these tissue and create new problems. There When You Need Help At Sunrise Dental, we understand that emergencies don’t happen on a convenient schedule. If you or someone you love is having a dental emergency, call us at any time at the office closest to you:
  • Chapel Hill – 919-914-0844
  • Raleigh – 919-578-9923
  • Durham – 919-213-9757
  • Cary  – 919-902-5121