You can’t predict when or where it will happen, but if you experience an unexpected dental problem or injury, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible.
Examples of dental emergencies
If you’ve experienced significant trauma to your face or jaw, or face immediate danger, don’t wait to get into the dentist. Call 911 or go to an emergency room for help.
Here are some examples of dental emergencies seen in our office and what to do about each scenario:
- Fractured, cracked or chipped teeth. If this happens, clean your mouth out by gently rinsing with warm water. Apply a cold compress to the area if the fracture was caused by facial trauma. You can take acetaminophen to help with the pain.
- Losing a dental crown, filling or other restoration. A crown can be put back into place with toothpaste or a small amount of denture adhesive. Get to the dentist as soon as you can to have the crown re-cemented.
- A tooth that has been knocked out of its socket. This requires urgent attention, but the chances are good that it can be reinserted and preserved by a dentist. It’s important to pick up the tooth by the top of it, not by the roots. Rinse off the tooth and, if you can, gently place it back into its socket and hold it in place while trying to bite down. If you can’t put it in the socket, put it in a cup of milk if possible.
- Oral abscess. If you have an abscess or infection, it should be dealt with immediately. You may need a root canal to open and drain the tooth, allowing the abscess to drain.
- Injury to the gums, tongue or other soft tissue. Clean the area with warm water. Take acetaminophen as directed by the packaging label. Do not take aspirin or ibuprofen as they can cause excessive bleeding.
- Damaged braces
If you experience a dental emergency, the best thing you can do is to stay calm. Our dentists will do everything they can to help alleviate pain and take care of the root of the problem.
Contact our Northern Virginia Dentists
Please call 703-214-3182 to schedule an appointment at Arlington Dental Aesthetics or 703-214-3186 for an appointment at South Riding Smiles. We serve patients in Arlington, South Riding and throughout Northern Virginia.