In the event of a dental emergency, please call 250-746-0003
If you experience any of the following dental emergency’s, please contact us immediately. Please see general instructions for different dental emergencies below to follow until you see a dentist.
Tylenol or Advil can be taken to try and alleviate the pain for a few hours. Please use as directed by the manufacturer. Do not ignore the dental pain experienced even if it seems to have resolved itself. Ignoring it could lead to many serious complications. A toothache can be caused by many different reasons.
Cracked or Broken tooth
Sometimes fractures are fairly painless, but if the crack extends down into the root, it is likely that the pain will be extreme. Fractures, cracks and breaks can take several different forms, but are generally caused by trauma, grinding or biting. If a tooth has been fractured or cracked, you should arrange to see the dentist as quickly as possible.
Where a segment of tooth has been broken off, here are some steps that can be taken at home:
- Call our office at 250-746-0003
- Apply gauze to the area if there is bleeding for 15-30 min until bleeding has stopped.
- Place an ice pack on the cheek to minimize swelling and pain.
- Cover the affected area with over-the-counter dental cement if there is no way to see the dentist immediately.
- Take a pain reliever.
The nature of the break or fracture will limit what our dentists are able to do. If a fracture or crack extends into the pulp of the tooth, root canal therapy be the only effective way to retain the tooth. In cases of root fractures, an extraction is often the only means of treatment.
Broken Denture or Bridge
Do not attempt to glue these appliances back together yourself. Bring the pieces with you to your dentist to repair properly.
Lost filling or Crown
If a filling or crown is lost the tooth can become incredibly sensitive to temperature changes and to pressure.
Common causes of losing a crown is decay formation under the crown. The decay eats away at the underlying base of the crown and therefore changes the shape. As a result, the crown no longer fits and becomes loose.
In both cases, a visit to you your dentist should be made as soon as possible. In the case of a crown, bring it with you to your dental appointment in case it is just a matter of re-cementing it. Delay in visiting your dentist to do this can result in the teeth shifting into the space making reinserting the crown very difficult or impossible. An exposed tooth is also at higher risk for more damage by either breaking or cavity formation.
A tooth can become loose from trauma, decay or bone loss the tooth. Depending on the causation and severity of the mobility, this can sometimes be saved. A root canal or placement of a splint to stabilize the tooth may be required to maintain the tooth.
It is important to call one of our dentists immediately to make an appointment. In the meantime, use a cold compress and over-the-counter medications to relieve pain.
Avulsed tooth (tooth knocked out)
When a tooth has been knocked out of the mouth from trauma the nerves and blood vessels become damaged. However, if the tooth is paced correctly back into the socket within the hour there is a chance the tissues will regrow and you will be able to maintain that tooth for several more years. You must see you dentist as soon as you can should this occur. Until you can see a dentist, follow these steps:
- Pick up the tooth by the crown and rinse it under warm water. DO NOT touch the root.
- If possible, place it back into its socket – if not tuck it into the cheek pouch.
- If the tooth cannot be placed in the mouth, put the tooth into a cup of milk, saliva, or water as a last resort.
- It is important to keep the tooth from drying out.
- Get to the dentist, quickly and safely.
- Our dentists will try to replace the tooth in its natural socket.
In some cases, the tooth will reattach, but if the inner mechanisms of the teeth are seriously damaged, root canal therapy may be necessary.
It is important to note that in these circumstances, issues with the teeth traumatized may show up many years down the road and still be related to this incident.
Acute Jaw Injury
Your jaw may be broken, fractured or you might have dislocated it if you are unable to move your jaw, or if it hurts when you are closing your mouth normally. You need to go to the closest emergency room and contact your dentist as well, as your bite can be permanently altered.
The whole team at Cowichan Valley Dental is amazing, and I have never trusted a dental office more. They are professional while still being fun, and my teeth have never looked better 🙂
- Maaike Aarsen