How To Handle A Dental Emergency

Dental emergencies can happen at any time.  Do you know what to do if you or your child has a dental emergency?  Being prepared for this situation can make the difference between saving and losing a tooth.  Below are examples of common dental emergencies and a quick summary of what to do in that situation.

If you knock out a tooth:

– Find the tooth if possible.  Pick it up by the crown (the portion of the tooth visible above the gum) and gently rinse with water.

– Try placing the tooth back into the socket, but do not force it.  If you cannot place the tooth back in, place it in a cup of milk.

– Rinse your mouth with warm water.  If bleeding occurs apply a piece of dampened gauze or a moist tea bag.

– Call our office immediately at 509-235-6241.


If you have a broken tooth:

– Try to find the broken pieces to prevent swallowing or inhaling it.

– Rinse your mouth out with warm water.

– Call us right away at 509-235-6241 to rule out a more serious problem.


If you experience a toothache or swelling:

– Rinse your mouth with warm water and floss between the teeth to remove any food debris that may be causing the pain/swelling.

– Call our office as soon as possible at 509-235-6241 to rule out a more serious problem.


If you lose a dental crown:

– Save the crown and clean out the inside.

– If possible coat the inside of the crown with Vaseline and put it back on.  DO NOT use household glue or super glue.

– If the crown does not stay on put it in a zip lock bag in a safe place and bring it with you to your appointment.

–  Call and make an appointment to have the crown recemented.


If you bite your tongue or lips:

– Gently rinse the area with warm salt water or clean gently with a cloth.

– If bleeding persists apply a moistened gauze or tea bag.

– If you have any concerns or the bleeding does not stop, call our office for an appointment.


How to avoid dental emergencies:

– Never use your teeth to cut things, use scissors.

– Do not chew ice, hard candy, or popcorn kernels

– Wear a mouth guard when playing sports or doing recreational activities.

–  Be sure to schedule your routine dental cleaning and exam.