Life if full of bumps and scrapes, but it is nothing modern dentistry and medicine can’t handle.  A dental emergency can be alarming, but if handled correctly it does not always have to end in a trip to the hospital.  Here are some dental emergency scenarios and how to handle them properly, safely and efficiently.  These pieces of advice are from the Canadian Dental Association and were compiled by the best dental health professionals in the country.

Chipped or Broken Tooth

Luckily, teeth that are broken can usually be saved.  If you contact our office and explain what occurred to break or chip the tooth, we can almost certainly see you as soon as possible.  If it is a small or less significant chip or break, the dentist will use a white filling to mend the tooth back together, or use a crown or cap which is a permanent covering or extension of your tooth to make it match your smile again.  If the break is more severe, you might need a root canal procedure to repair it.

Tooth Knocked Out

Children lose their baby teeth all the time, but if the tooth that has been knocked out is an adult tooth or a permanent tooth, your dentist may be able to put it right back into place.  But remember, time is of the essence!  If you put the tooth back in place inside of ten minutes, it has a good chance of repairing its original roots.  If that’s not possible, or if you’re in danger of swallowing the tooth, put it in a cold glass of milk and bring it to your dentist as quickly as possible.

Again, the sooner you seek help, the higher the chances the root will attach itself.  The reason to use milk to preserve your tooth as opposed to ice or something else is due to milk’s high calcium content.  The cooler temperature of liquid milk combined with calcium (a bone-friendly substance) makes for an excellent method of preserving both the tooth and the freshly broken root.

Lost Filling

In the unlikely event of losing a filling, you can buy yourself some time by putting a piece of partially chewed, sugarless gum over the spot where the filling fell out.  Putting a soft, pliable substance over the damaged area of your tooth will prevent further damage from occurring to the tooth, and prevent any further damage to the freshly exposed cavity.  Obviously, this is only a temporary solution until you can see your dentist.

Your dental health is important and it is equally important that you know how to respond in the face of a dental emergency.  And remember: don’t wait to see a dentist after any one of these scenarios.  Come see us right away!