If you are having dental pain or a dental emergency, Dr. House and our Wilton Manors dental team make it a priority to get you in as soon as possible. If you need immediate attention after hours, call our emergency phone number listed in on our answering machine and our on-call staff member will help you. If you are unable to reach our office during an emergency, dial 911.
While dental emergencies are rare, they can happen, and it's important to know how to take care of your teeth no matter what.
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How should you handle a dental emergency?
Bitten lip or tongue:
If you experience heavy bleeding that won't stop from a laceration or from outside trauma, a visit to the emergency room may be indicated. If it is a mild to moderate bleeding, we will get you in as soon as possible to evaluate the injury.
Object caught in teeth:
Try to swish aggressively with salt water or Listerine. Do not place aspirin or Tylenol directly onto the gum tissue. Do not press object further into gums with a toothpick; if object does not easily dislodge within a few hours, contact us so we can remove it.
Broken, chipped, or fractured tooth:
Try to find all pieces of the tooth if possible. Note if there is bleeding in the gums, or coming from the tooth, or both. Note if the tooth is loose. Note if any trauma has occurred to the surrounding tissue (gums, lips, or cheeks). Avoid cold foods and chewing food in the area until treatment at our Wilton Manors office can be obtained. Call the dentist immediately.
Believe it or not, placing the tooth in a cup of milk is really the best thing to do. If you do not have milk, place in a glass of water. Do not scrape off any of the soft tissue that may be stuck to the tooth—that soft tissue is important in the body accepting the tooth back into the mouth. Gently rinse off any dirt or debris.
If it is a baby tooth, do not re-implant into the mouth. If the tooth is permanent, place it back in the mouth if you feel confident you can place it correctly. The best chance of the tooth surviving is if it has been out for less than five minutes.
Even if you do place the tooth back in place, you must see a dentist immediately, as the tooth will likely need a root canal in the future. The tooth may also drift or move if it is not splinted in place. The longer a tooth is out, the less of a chance of successful re-implantation, so get to the dentist ASAP!
Get to the dentist as soon as you can. Toothaches are a generally a sign that something is not right with your tooth. A crack or cavity may be getting close to the nerve of your tooth, allowing cold, hot, or sweet sensations to make the tooth hurt whenever you eat. If bacteria is able to get all the way to the nerve, it will cause an abscess or infection that cannot be fixed without a dentist.
Go to the emergency room. Sometimes a broken jaw may not require splinting, but if the fracture is severe enough, it can lead to changes in your jaw joint or bite which would be permanent. Splinting a jaw is something that needs to be done by a surgeon.