Dental emergencies seem to happen at the least-convenient times—when you’re camping, in the middle of your family vacation, on holidays, or during nasty weather. Fillings loosen, teeth get broken or knocked out, and crowns come off when you least expect them to. Nothing replaces expert dental care, but when your dentist isn’t readily available, what can you do? First of all, have a dental emergency kit such as Emergency Essentials’ “Dentemp Custom Teeth Filling Kit” on hand. Then follow these suggestions:
- If the person with the injured tooth or teeth is bleeding, rinse the mouth with lukewarm water and be sure the tooth or tooth pieces are expelled into a tissue.
- Press a wad of clean gauze to the injured area for about 10 minutes or until bleeding stops.
- Rinse a dirty knocked-out tooth with clean water but do not scrub, brush, or remove any attached tissue fragments. If the tooth can be replaced in the gum, make sure it’s facing the right way and gently push into place, but never force it into the socket.
- If it can’t be put into place, put it in a little milk or water with salt, and take it with you to the dentist, preferably within one hour of the accident to have the best chance of saving it. (Some families keep on hand a product called “Save-a-Tooth,” which is a growth medium and good for 24-hour preservation of a tooth.)
- For a partially-dislodged tooth, leave it in place and take Advil or Tylenol. Apply a cold compress such as Emergency Essentials Instant Cold Pack and get to a dentist as soon as possible.
- For a lost filling, cap, crown, or inlay, if you have nothing better to repair it with, have the person chew a little sugar-free gum and push the gum into the open cavity to protect the nerves from pain caused by heat and cold. If you have a dental repair kit such as Dentemp, cleanse your hands thoroughly or use clean vinyl gloves. Rinse the mouth, prepare the dental cement according to directions, and push it into the cavity, smoothing the surface so that it doesn’t stick up and interfere with the person’s bite or irritate the soft tissues of the tongue or cheek. If a cap or crown has come off, apply a little clove oil if you have it, then coat the inner surface of the crown with temporary dental cement (or denture adhesive or even toothpaste!) and replace the crown, holding it in place until the seal takes. Don’t chew on that side, and see your dentist as soon as possible. Note: DO NOT use super glue!