We reserve appointments every day exclusively for dental emergencies. Call our office on 9300 2622 as soon as possible if you require an appointment.
Dental emergencies never seem to happen at a convenient time, and although some risks of having a dental emergency can be minimised through preventative dental care, others aren't so easily preventable. If you do have a dental emergency then it's important to take action as soon as you can as this can help decrease the risk of permanent damage to the tooth and possibly the need for expensive restorative treatment at a later date.
Common Dental Emergencies Include:
Sometimes toothache can be due to a piece of food caught in between the teeth and which is pushing the tooth out of position. Make sure this isn't the case through gently flossing around the tooth to remove any pieces of food. If toothache has caused swelling then applying a cold compress on the outside of your mouth can help reduce it and make you feel more comfortable, and taking over-the-counter painkillers can reduce discomfort. It's important not to try to put any painkillers directly on the affected tooth as this could burn the gums. Make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible, even if the toothache seems to disappear after a day or two. This is because the infection might still remain, and could cause a dental abscess.
A dental abscess is a serious tooth infection that can damage not only the tooth but also the surrounding tissues and teeth. If the infection is not treated there's the possibility it could spread to other parts of the body. For this reason it is important to seek help as soon as you can. Sometimes a dental abscess will create a pimple on the gums that is generally painful, and you can try to draw the infection and pus to the surface through rinsing out your mouth with a warm salt water solution several times a day.
Broken or Chipped Teeth
If you chip your tooth then rinse your mouth out with warm water to remove any broken pieces that could otherwise stick into your gums or cheeks. If the trauma has caused bleeding then apply a clean piece of gauze to the affected area and place gentle pressure for 10 minutes or so until the bleeding stops. A cold compress can be used to relieve any swelling on the outside of the mouth. Make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as you can to have the tooth restored as broken teeth are more susceptible towards infection and decay.
Avulsed Tooth (knocked Out Tooth)
Carefully pick up the tooth holding it by its crown which is the part of the tooth you can normally see. Rinse the tooth root to remove any dirt if necessary, but don't try to remove any fragments of tissue that might still be attached. You can try to reinsert the tooth, taking care not to force it back into the socket and making sure it faces the right way. Hold the tooth in place with a clean finger until you can get to a dentist. If you can't face during this then put the tooth in a small container with some milk, or with some water and a tiny pinch of salt. Contact us or an emergency dentist as soon as you can as reinsertion tends to be most successful if carried out within the first half an hour to an hour after the accident.
Partially Knocked out Tooth
If you're tooth has been partially knocked out of place then make an appointment to see a dentist as soon as you can. In the meantime you can take over-the-counter painkillers if required, and a cold compress applied to the outside of the mouth can help make you feel more comfortable.
Getting Something Stuck in between Your Teeth
The first thing to do is to try to carefully remove the object through gently flossing your tooth, but if this doesn't work make an appointment to see your dentist. Don't use sharp instruments to try to remove the object as you could damage your teeth or gums.
Dislodging a Crown
If you dislodge a crown or it drops out then make an appointment to see us as soon as you can, bringing the crown with you as it might be possible to re-cement it. The exposed tooth might feel sensitive, and applying a little oil of cloves can help reduce the sensitivity. Alternatively you can always purchase temporary dental cement to hold the crown in position, or you can even try using a little toothpaste but take care not to swallow your crown. Never use superglue or any other type of glue to hold your crown in position as you will damage your tooth.
Losing a Filling
If you lose a filling you'll need to make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as you can, but in the meantime you can always use temporary dental cement from your local chemists to help fill the tooth, or even a little piece of sugar-free gum.
Broken Orthodontic Wires or Braces
If you break an orthodontic wire then try to use something relatively soft such as a pencil eraser to push it back into position, or you can cover up the end with orthodontic wax, cotton gauze or cotton wool until you can get in to see us to have it mended. If one of the brackets has become loose then you can try to temporarily reattach it with orthodontic wax, or save it and bring it in for re-attachment or replacement.
Injuries to the inside of Your Cheeks and Gums or Lips
Injuries to the soft tissues of your mouth can cause quite a lot of bleeding. You can try to stop the bleeding by rinsing your mouth with a mild salt water solution, and through using a clean piece of gauze to apply pressure to the injured site. If you can't find a clean piece of gauze then a moistened teabag works well, and you need to hold it in place for between 15 and 20 minutes. It can also help to apply a cold compress to the outside of your face, and this can be useful in alleviating pain. If the bleeding fails to stop then you should visit a dentist straightaway, or alternatively go to your nearest outpatients at the hospital for treatment, continuing to apply pressure on the injured site until you can be treated.