At Greg Williams DMD, your family dentist in Tigard, we are proud to offer emergency dental care for those times when your teeth or gums get damaged. Cuts and gashes to the mouth area can appear worse then they really are, as that area is full of small blood vessels that bleed tremendously. Our Tigard dental office has same-day appointments for patients in need of urgent care. Here are some of the most common types of teeth injuries that can occur and what to do if they happen.
Knocked Out or Lost Teeth
Losing a tooth, either from an accident or commonly through playing sports, is called an avulsion. A tooth that has been knocked out in this manner is a possible candidate to re-implant and replace. If you do get a tooth knocked out of your mouth, be careful to handle it very gently, and to hold it only by its crown, being aware not to touch the root surface. If the tooth is dirty, then it can be washed with water, but never use soap on it, dry it out, or wrap the tooth up.
The best thing to do is to try to reposition the tooth back into the socket it came out of. Do this by cautiously and slowly pushing the tooth back into place with your fingers, and keep it there by with your fingers or very, very, gently biting down on it. If you can’t put the tooth back in its socket, we advise putting it against your cheek, in an emergency tooth preservation kit, or in a small amount of milk until you can see a dentist. If at all possible, it’s best to see a dentist or endodontist within 30 minutes after injury, as that is the optimal time to replace a lost tooth.
Chipped or Cracked Teeth
When you chip or crack a tooth or a crown, know that they can often be repaired by re-attaching the broken piece of tooth or by a using a filling. If the dentist sees that too much of the tooth is damaged, they may use a crown to restore the tooth. If they see that the inside of the tooth, or pulp, is affected, they may decide a root canal is needed. If you do injure the pulp of your tooth, you need to seek treatment immediately. You can bite on a clean bit of cloth until you get to the dentist, but you should avoid topical oral ointments or medicine. If a chip, crack, or split happens in your back teeth, a full crown or root canal is likely needed to return the tooth to full use.
Loose or Luxated Teeth
A tooth that is loose, or able to move around in its position, is called a dental luxation and is usually due to trauma from a blow or impact to the mouth. If a luxation occurs, a dentist can often help stabilize and reposition the tooth. If the dentist sees that the tooth is not split or cracked, he or she can often position it back into its proper place using a splint. This will help enable periodontal ligament and pulp healing. In some cases, a root canal may also be advised for seriously dislodged teeth.
Dr. Williams and his staff have many years of experience in attending to damaged and injured teeth, so call our office to schedule an appointment.