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5 Things to Do When You Have a Dental Emergency

What should you do if you're experiencing a dental emergency? Our Ottawa dentists provide some words of advice on how to reduce pain - and potentially help your oral health - until you can see a dentist.

I have a dental emergency. What should I do?

Dental emergencies can take many forms and happen any time of the day or night. You may have a tooth knocked out, an abscess, injury to the gums or other painful condition.

Did you know that the speed with which you act during a dental emergency can influence the final outcome? We’ll explore a few common dental emergencies and what you can do to give yourself the best chance of a positive result.

1. Identify your dental emergency

Here are some common dental emergencies and quick explanations of what you can do:

Severe Swelling

Do you have moderate to severe swelling on your face, mouth or neck areas that are causing you to have difficulty breathing or swallowing? Your face will often appear inflamed and you may see red or purple bruising starting to form.

Chipped, Broken or Knocked Out Teeth

Chipped, broken or knocked out teeth often have jagged edges. There may be parts of the tooth still in your mouth or the entire tooth and the root may have fallen out.

If you’ve fractured or chipped a tooth, try to find the missing piece and bring it to your appointment. Be careful to only hold the tooth by the crown (the part that’s visible in your mouth, which you use to chew food).

Rinse the tooth in water. Do not use soap or chemicals, and do not wrap it in tissue or a towel, as this can damage it. Also ensure you don’t rub or agitate the tooth.

If you can, hold the tooth in the socket it fell out of. If this is not possible, attempt to preserve it and keep it moist by placing it in a container of your saliva, or a glass of milk. Your dentist may be able to reattach the tooth.

Lost Crown or Filling

Lost crowns or fillings may leave pieces in the mouth or you may have lost the entire restoration. Try to locate the crown or filling, and rinse it. Do your best to place it back on the tooth.

2. Use home remedies for pain or swelling

You might consider holding an ice pack to your face to minimize pain and swelling, and rinsing your mouth with warm water.

3. Stay Calm

As painful as a dental emergency can be, it will pass. Breathe deeply and try to stay calm as you contact your dentist and ask for advice.

4. Contact our Ottawa dental office immediately.

Call our office immediately for any dental emergency. We can make an appointment for you to see a dentist as soon as possible at our dental clinic. Our dentists can examine the swelling or affected area to determine the cause and plan the best approach to treatment.

5. Consider dental restorations, surgery or other treatment options.

Your dentist will explain your treatment options, which may include a crown, tooth extraction, dental implants, or alternatives. The dentist can also provide a referral or recommendation for a specialist if required. At Sandy Hill Dental, we take a preventive approach to treatment and always use the most non-invasive treatment options at our disposal.

Bookmark our website or type "dentist near me" into your favourite search engine, and our information will likely come up. We will be happy to answer any questions, address pain or other symptoms and explain treatment options in language you can understand.

Are you experiencing a dental emergency? Contact our Ottawa dentists right away, so our team can schedule an appointment for you as soon as possible.

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