Sometimes dentistry can’t wait until regular business hours. We’re here for you if you need emergency dental care. Just call us at (858) 271-1010 and we’ll call you back within half an hour.
Scripps Ranch emergency dentist Dr. Ramin Goshtasbi knows how important it is to get proper dental care in response to an emergency situation. That’s why we’re here to help any time you need us.
Common Dental Emergencies and Home Care
Some of the most common dental emergencies that people seek care for include:
- Gum, cheek, and lip injuries
- Chipped or broken tooth
- Loose tooth
- Knocked out tooth
- Objects caught in teeth
- Lost filling
- Lost crown
- Loose orthodontic brackets and bands
Most of the time, it’s good to consider what you can do to try to alleviate your condition and either put off dental care or improve the odds of getting good results. Here are some general suggestions (not intended for self-diagnosis). We encourage you to call us any time you experience what you consider a dental emergency.
Rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water. Use a toothbrush or dental floss to remove any lodged food or debris. You can take over-the-counter pain relievers, but don’t apply it directly to your gums. You can apply a cold pack to the outside of your mouth.
Check if the area is hot, swollen, is discharging, or has a foul smell. If it does, contact us immediately. Also contact us immediately if the pain makes it so you can’t sleep or work, or doesn’t respond to pain medication and cold pack.
Gum, Tooth, and Cheek Injuries
Carefully rinse your mouth with warm slightly salty water. Hold moistened gauze or a tea bag to the area of bleeding for 10 to 15 minutes.
An ice pack applied to the outside of your mouth can help control bleeding and discomfort. If bleeding doesn’t stop, contact your dentist right away.
Chipped or Broken Tooth
Save any broken pieces–don’t swallow any! Rinse your mouth out with warm water. If there’s bleeding, you can apply gauze or a wet tea bag to the area for 10 minutes or until bleeding stops. A cold compress applied to the outside of the mouth can help control swelling, bleeding, and pain.
Be aware of tooth sensitivity, as it could be an indicator that your tooth has been seriously injured. Minor chips may not need immediate attention, but sensitivity is a sign that care cannot be postponed.
Teeth are supposed to have some degree of movement, but if your tooth is loose, it may need immediate attention. If your tooth is loose because of a recent trauma, try to gently press it into place and hold it with your tongue or teeth. If it doesn’t want to go back in place, don’t try to force it. If there are tooth fragments, remove them from your mouth–don’t swallow them. Rinse your mouth gently–avoid dislodging the tooth further. If there’s bleeding, apply gauze carefully to the base of the tooth.
You can take over-the-counter pain medication or use an ice pack to control discomfort, but see a dentist right away.
Knocked out Tooth
If your tooth has been knocked out, pick it up carefully by the crown (the white part that’s normally visible). Don’t brush off dirt and debris with your hand. You can rinse it gently with warm water.
If you can fit it back into place, do so, but make sure it’s facing the right way and never force it into place. If you can’t get the tooth back in place, you can hold it between your cheek and gums or in some warm slightly salty water. If you have it, you can use a Save-a-Tooth kit.
See your dentist immediately. If we can inspect your tooth and get it properly in place within an hour, you have the highest chances of saving the tooth.
Objects Caught between Teeth
If you have something caught in your teeth, try rinsing your mouth out first, Then use dental floss or a plastic or wooden pick to try to get it out. Never use a metal object to pick at your teeth because it can cause damage to teeth and gums.
Lost Crown or Filling
If you’ve lost a crown or filling, make sure you don’t swallow it. Retain it. Make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible. If you need to do some temporary repairs, you can use over-the-counter dental cement to hold the crown in place or cover up the hole left by the filling.
If you can fit your crown back in place, do so. It will continue to protect your tooth.
Never use superglue to repair your teeth, fillings, or crowns.
Loose Bands, Brackets, or Braces Wires
If you have a wire that’s broken or come loose and is poking you, use a pencil eraser to push the wire into a more comfortable position. You can also use wax to cover the irritating portion of braces.
If a band or bracket is loose, try to secure it back in place with wax. If you can’t secure it, make sure it won’t come loose–you don’t want to swallow it.
Contact us for immediate attention.
Why You Shouldn’t Go to the Emergency Room for Dental Emergencies
The emergency room is a good resource, and if it’s the only way you can get timely attention, it may be your best option. However, there are good reasons why it is better to see a dentist for emergency care.
A dentist is specially trained in the care of your teeth and mouth and can give you the best care for your situation. A dentist is more likely to be able to save your tooth than an emergency room doctor.
Doctors at the emergency room are focused just on treating the immediate situation and may not take into account the long-term health of your mouth and teeth.
At the emergency room, doctors may not be concerned with the aesthetics of the result, whereas a cosmetic dentist like Dr. Goshtasbi is always aware of the importance of your smile’s appearance and will make sure the result is as attractive as it is functional. He will work to preserve your tooth and your long-term oral health, not just resolve the immediate situation.
If you are looking for an emergency dentist in Scripps Ranch, please call (858) 271-1010 now and we’ll get back to you in less than half an hour.