Emergency! Simple ways you can help

published December 5th, 2008

Injuries to the mouth may include teeth that are knocked out (evulsed), forced out of position (extruded) or broken (fractured). Sometimes lips, gums or cheeks have cuts. Oral injuries are often painful, and should be treated by a dentist as soon as possible.

Evulsed teeth

When a tooth is knocked out you should:

  1. Immediately call your dentist for an emergency appointment.  Attempt to find the tooth.  Gently rinse, but do not scrub the tooth to remove dirt or debris.
  2. Place the clean tooth in your mouth between the cheek and gum.
  3. Do not attempt to replace the tooth into the socket. This could cause further damage.
  4. Get to the dentist as soon as possible. If it is within a half hour of the injury, it may be possible to re-implant the tooth.
  5. If it is not possible to store the tooth in the mouth of the injured person, (e.g., young child) wrap the tooth in a clean cloth or gauze and immerse in milk.

Extruded teeth

If the tooth is pushed out of place (inward or outward), it should be repositioned to its normal alignment with very light finger pressure. Do not force the tooth into the socket. Hold the tooth in place with a moist tissue or gauze. Again, it is vital that the injured individual be seen by a dentist within 30 minutes.

Fractured teeth

How a fractured tooth is treated will depend on how badly it is broken. Regardless of the damage, treatment should always be determined by a dentist.

Minor fracture

Minor fractures can be smoothed by your dentist with a sandpaper disc or simply left alone. Another option is to restore the tooth with a composite restoration. In either case, you should treat the tooth with care for several days.

Moderate fracture

Moderate fractures include damage to the enamel, dentin and/or pulp. If the pulp is not  permanently damaged, the tooth may be restored with a full permanent crown. If pulpal damage does occur further dental treatment will be required.

Severe fracture

Severe fractures often mean a traumatized tooth with a slim chance of recovery.

Injuries to the soft tissues of the mouth

Injuries to the inside of the mouth include tears, puncture wounds and lacerations to the cheek, lips or tongue. The wound should be cleaned right away and the injured person taken to the emergency room for the necessary suturing and wound repair. Bleeding from a tongue laceration can be reduced by pulling the tongue forward and using gauze to place pressure on the wound area.

Outside the Clinic’s normal working hours, we have a messaging service to contact our Clinical Staff. Patients who require emergency dental treatment due to severe pain, persistent bleeding following an extraction, or for suturing of lip or oral lacerations following an accident should telephone Crystal Dental Centre.

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