Dental Emergency Tips from Dr. Stewart

Do you know what to do if a crown or filling falls out? What should you do if your child knocks out a tooth? I’m Dr. James Stewart. Through the years I’ve seen patients with just about every dental emergency you can imagine. If you find yourself in a dental emergency situation, I hope these first-response tips help you. It’s important that you call your dentist and explain the problem, so that you can know the next steps to take.

  • Knocked Out Tooth
    If you can find the tooth, place it in a glass of milk and take it to your dentist’s office. In some cases, a tooth can be replaced and naturally reattached. Be sure to not touch the nerve of the tooth. If the tooth or the socket from which it came are dirty, gently rinse with water. If your tooth’s socket is bleeding, place a damp, soft rag over the area, but do not press down. You don’t want to damage the nerve.
  • Crown Falls Out
    If you can find the crown and it is in one piece, you can put a small drop of toothpaste inside it, then re-attach it to your tooth. It may hold until your dentist can see you. If the crown is in pieces, or if you lost a filling, you can take the pieces in to the dentist, but you’ll need a new restoration. Be ginger with the affected tooth until you can get to your dentist’s office. Do not try to replace a broken crown or filling. If it comes loose, you could choke on it.
  • Cut On or In Mouth
    In most cases, a cut anywhere on your head will bleed significantly. Rinse the area gently with water, then apply a soft, moist towel to the laceration. If your skin has been peeled back, replace the skin over the wound after rinsing with water. A small cut will heal on its own, but a deep or wide cut may need stitches. If bleeding does not stop in a few moments, go to the emergency room.
  • Toothache, Swelling, Pain in the Mouth
    If you aren’t allergic or sensitive to it, take Ibuprofen to reduce pain and swelling. You can also place an herbal tea bag on the affected area in your mouth; this may help reduce the pain and swelling, as well. If your discomfort is to be expected (for instance, following a dental procedure), your doctor should have provided postoperative instructions. If your pain is unexpected, make a dental appointment as soon as possible.

If you don’t have a dentist or need a new one, feel free to call my dental office in Livonia. I serve patients from Farmington Hills, Farmington, Plymouth, Northville, Novi, Dearborn Heights, Dearborn, Garden City, Westland, Redford, and surrounding areas. Just dial 734.425.4400, and my front desk will fit you in as soon as possible. Should you experience significant pain or bleeding, be sure to go straight to the nearest emergency room for immediate assistance.