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Anyone who has ever suffered from the sudden onslaught of a root canal problem, cracked tooth, or tooth/gum infection can readily identify with the need for their dentist of choice to have emergency dental services time available. Dentists often hear this kind of pain while chewing is “unbearable,” and for good reason. Most would consider these conditions as emergent, and our dentists at Dental Associates of West Michigan, offering extended weekday hours, are there for you when you are in need!

Dental trauma emergencies call for emergency dental services, for several reasons.

One can have teeth knocked out (avulsed), forced out of position and loosened (extruded), or fractured. In the case of an attack or fight, or perhaps an accident, lips, gums or cheeks are often cut. Not only can excruciating oral pain be an issue, but infection can also find a likely host in weakened, cut, or broken teeth or gums.

What can I do if a tooth is knocked out?

First step – immediately call your dentist!

Time is of the importance, as the tooth has the best chance of surviving the trauma if you can get to a 24 hour emergency dentist within an hour. Very important – handle the tooth by the crown, or top – not by the root, or pointed part on the bottom. Touching the root of the tooth can result in damage to the cells that are necessary to re-attach the tooth to the bone.

Secondly – gently rinse the tooth to remove dirt, but no scrubbing!

Place the clean tooth in your mouth between the cheek and gum to keep it moist, while you are on your way to the emergency dental clinic. It is critical that the tooth not dry out. If this isn’t possible, wrap the tooth in a clean cloth or gauze pad and immerse it in milk or saline solution, such as the solution you use for your contact lenses. If the knocked out tooth belongs to a child, and is a baby tooth, it should not be replanted, but the child should be seen by the dentist as soon as possible to make sure there are no remaining pieces of the tooth in place.

If a tooth is knocked out of position you should also call your dentist for an immediate appointment. You can try meanwhile to gently move the tooth into the correct position, but it will take the dentist’s interventions to safely and securely re-anchor the tooth to its proper position.

Remember – do not force the tooth into place!

Tooth fractures happen to varying degrees, with the most severe fractures probably not able to be recovered, due to damage to the enamel, pulp or tissue involved. You will need to see the dentist immediately to determine the severity of the fracture, and to determine the correct fix, given the assessment of the fracture.

Restorative dentistry procedures may be needed to repair the tooth.

Puncture wounds, cuts, tears or lacerations to the sensitive tissues of the mouth can all be serious if not treated emergently. In many cases, bleeding may continue, and need more aggressive measures to control it. A thorough assessment of the damage is needed by a qualified dentist, well-trained and experienced with dental emergencies. You may need suturing, or various other procedures to treat the injuries, and certainly pain relief as well.

If you do need to take something for pain, just make sure it is not Aspirin, as that may cause more bleeding.

Dental Associates of West Michigan has the experience, necessary dental emergency services, and compassion to treat any emergency dental care needs, and would certainly be happy to help answer any questions you may have regarding Emergency Dental Services.