Dental Emergencies


  • Permanent Tooth has been knocked out:

Locate the tooth. Try not to touch the root of the tooth if possible. If you try to handle the tooth, the best way is by the crown (the part of the tooth you see in the mouth). Rinse the tooth gently with saline solution (or salt water made from distilled water, if possible) or milk. If the tooth is not broken in any way, try to place it back into the socket (sometimes the tissues swell too much and you can no longer see the socket). Have the patient hold the tooth in place without placing a lot of pressure on the tooth. If you cannot put the tooth back into the socket, store it in milk and seek medical or dental attention. When a permanent tooth is evulsed (lost) from the mouth, time is of the essence. The sooner the tooth is placed back into the socket, the greater the likelihood of the tooth healing properly.

  • Primary Tooth has been knocked out:

We usually do not replace primary teeth into the oral cavity once they have been lost because damage to the developing permanent tooth can occur. However, you should seek out dental care for your child as soon as possible to have a dentist evaluate the oral situation and make recommendations.

  • Permanent Tooth is broken:

If you have a broken permanent tooth, find the pieces (the dentist may want to see the fracture lines) if possible, and seek dental attention as soon as possible. To decrease the chances of swelling, cold compresses may help.

  • Broken Brackets and/or Wires during Orthodontic Treatment:

If there are any small or removable pieces, remove them and bring them with you to the dentist. If there is anything sharp causing the patient discomfort, you can bend it or cut it off using wire cutter or pliers that have been properly cleaned before using them in the mouth. Call Dr. Gonzales as soon as possible, so he can assess what to do next in order to ensure continuity of care. If the patient has been injured in anyway by the appliances in his/her mouth, seek dental attention immediately (e.g., a wire is stuck in the patientís gum or cheek).

  • Cut, Bruised, or Bitten Lip, Tongue or Cheek:

Apply a cold compress to the area to decrease the chances of swelling. Bleeding can best be stopped with firm pressure to the area for some amount of time using gauze or a clean towel. If the bleeding does not stop, seek dental or medical attention.

  • Toothaches:

Keep the area clean and see your childís dentist right away. If there is any swelling, that is a sign of a very serious dental infection and the child should be seen right away. A cold compress can help with swelling, but the sensation of cold may cause the child some pain as well. Do not place anything on the gum next to the tooth (e.g. aspirin, ointment) as some of these remedies may actually cause a chemical burn to the gums.