Dental Emergencies Happen. Know What to Do.

As kids we learn the proper steps to “stop, drop and roll” to prepare for an emergency situation, but what about if something were to happen to your teeth? Berkes Family Dentistry wants you to be informed and have an easy process for managing an emergency situation.

These tips are not to substitute for actual medical care and it is important that you immediately seek proper professional help.

Dental emergencies occur frequently with head trauma, accidents or injuries. Your first steps are to determine if the injured person needs to seek immediate care at an emergency room. Some key signals that someone needs immediate medical attention could include:

  1. Did the person lose consciousness?
  2. Is the person currently alert and aware?
  3. Is the person having issues with dizziness, confusion, loss of words, nausea/vomiting, pupils different sizes?

You must call 911 and get medical help right away if the person has lost consciousness, is not alert, or if they are experiencing any of the symptoms stated in #3.

If the person has only experienced issues with their teeth, follow the steps below.

Broken Tooth

  1. If possible, try to find the lost tooth piece. It is possible that it could be reattached.
  2. If there is any bleeding occurring, use medical gauze and apply pressure.
  3. Check to see if the tooth’s nerve is exposed. If so, generally the person is in more pain and will need to be more urgently.
  4. If the pain is severe, it is important to seek care from a dentist or emergency room. 

Tooth Knocked Out

  1. If possible, find the tooth. Only touch the tooth by the crown. Do not touch the root. (The crown is the part in which you chew with, the root will be the pointy end of the tooth.)
  2. If the tooth is dirty, gently rinse with water. Do not scrub the tooth.
  3. With clean hands, put the tooth back into the socket, making sure it is in the correct way. Hold the tooth in place or gently bite down on clean gauze to keep it still.
  4. If you are unable to put the tooth back in, store the tooth in milk or saline solution. Do not place it in regular water. It is also recommended to place in the person’s own saliva. The tooth can be placed between the cheek and gums.
  5. Seek medical attention right away. It is best within the first 30 minutes to see a dentist or medical professional.

Loose or Displaced Tooth

  1. To stop any bleeding, apply pressure with clean gauze.
  2. If the tooth is mobile, gently try to reposition to the proper position and keep it there. Do not force this. If the tooth will not move, leave it alone.
  3. Seek medical attention right away.

It is important in all dental emergencies to use ice packs to reduce swelling, use clean gauze to put pressure on bleeding wounds, take over-the-counter medicine for pain management, and seek professional care quickly.

We at Berkers Family Dentistry hope you never find yourself in a dental emergency. But, if you do, we hope these steps will help you remain calm in the situation and assist to the best of your ability. Please call our office immediately at 920.766.9521 so that we can see you as soon as possible.

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