Emergency situations happen, it is a simple fact of life. While protecting your smile is always important, you also need to know what to do in the case of a broken or missing tooth. Time is of the essence in these situations; and if you treat your biological material improperly, you could further harm it or make it unlikely to be able to be reattached.
For these reasons, you should familiarize yourself with what to do in this event. So that when the time comes, hopefully enough information has stuck with you that you are able to make proper decisions. Today, your Newport Beach, CA dentist explains some of the things you will need in order to restore your smile quickly. But also, those things that can make your situation worse!
What To Do
The first thing in any dental emergency is to try to stop and understand what has happened. You will want to isolate the area from anyone passing through if it is a public space. And if you can readily figure out the damage, it can help you in future steps.
Of course, if you have any concern that this may be a life-threatening injury, please head immediately to the emergency room. They have the resources to keep you alive, and that is obviously the most important goal first and foremost. Some people may live in a more rural area that does not have an emergency dentist available, especially if the accident happens during the night. The ER is a great place for these patients, as well, at least initially.
Try to remain calm during all this, though I know that is a big ask. The more of your wits you are able to keep about you, the more successful you are likely to be in restoring your smile.
Gather all the pieces of dental material that you can, and place them into a paper towel or a bit of cloth. These can be invaluable in recrafting your mouth, and we would like to keep as much of your natural material as possible. It helps you down to a cellular level.
If it is the entire tooth that has been lost, rinse this with some water as quickly as you can, to limit the amount of bacteria that are able to grow on it. If it fits back within the socket of the tooth, place it there until you have reached your dentist. Place a lost tooth into some milk or saltwater. Tap water can do further damage, so please do not let it soak in this while you wait.
Try to stop any bleeding, if you can, as well. Biting down on a piece of fabric helps, and if you have a home first aid kit, it should have gauze. This works perfectly for this situation, and if you are lacking that, then a clean t-shirt is also a good material.
And you will want to reach your dentist as soon as you safely can! The mouth heals incredibly quickly, and while normally we love that, it can lead to difficulty in replacing lost material.
Give Us A Call!
If this happens to you, please give Dr. Hofkes at Balboa Dental Surgery a call at (949)630-0143. Or stop by our office here in Newport Beach, CA!