Dental Emergencies

When your teeth hurt or are damaged, it can be scary and painful. At Dr. Hess Dentistry, we want to treat your dental emergencies as soon as possible and make you comfortable and happy. Please call us right away and we’ll get you on our schedule as soon as possible! If it’s outside of business hours, you can schedule an appointment at any time online.

What usually happens in common dental emergencies (such as a filling falling out or breaking a tooth)? Scroll down to read more about these situations. However, remember that this is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for a dental consultation.

 
dental emergency
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IN PAIN?

If you are in pain, please call our office right away! Dental pain caused by an emergency usually gets worse without treatment. Trying to “tough it out” or “outlast the pain” is never a good strategy. Dr. Hess and the rest of our team will make you comfortable as quickly as possible, and diagnose and treat the cause of your pain in a caring, compassionate manner.

Call us now at 317-535-5665!

IN PAIN?

If you are in pain, please call our office right away! Dental pain caused by an emergency usually gets worse without treatment. Trying to “tough it out” or “outlast the pain” is never a good strategy. Dr. Hess and the rest of our team will make you comfortable as quickly as possible, and diagnose and treat the cause of your pain in a caring, compassionate manner.

Call us now at 317-535-5665!

COMMON DENTAL EMERGENCIES

Learn about treatment of common dental emergencies and what you should be doing before you arrive at our office. Still have questions? You can always call us and ask. We want you to be as comfortable as possible!

If your tooth has been knocked out of your mouth, it’s essential to visit the dentist immediately. In this type of emergency, your tooth isn’t the only thing that’s been damaged. Your mouth is also suffering from damaged tissues, nerves and blood vessels. If the tooth can be placed back in its socket within an hour, there is a chance the tissues will grow to support the tooth again.

Here are some steps to take if you’ve had a tooth knocked out of your mouth:

  1. Call our office at 317-535-5665.
  2. Pick up the tooth by the crown (the white part that shows in your smile). Do not touch the root!
  3. If possible, place the tooth back in its socket (the hole in your gum). If that doesn’t work, tuck it into your cheek pouch.
  4. If you aren’t able to put the tooth back in your mouth, you will need to keep it from drying out. You can place it in a cup of milk or water. An athletic or sports first aid kit may have “Hank’s Balanced Salt Solution.” This is for knocked-out teeth. Put the tooth in HBSS to transport it to our office.
  5. Get to our office as quickly and safely as you can!

We will try to replace the tooth in its natural socket.  In some cases, the tooth will reattach, but if the socket has been seriously damaged, a root canal might be necessary. Dr. Hess will discuss all your options with you and make sure you’re thoroughly informed before you make any decisions regarding your dental health.

Usually, a crown comes loose while you’re eating. Once it’s out of your mouth, the remaining tooth may be incredibly sensitive to hot and cold and/or pressure.

Crowns usually become loose because the tooth beneath is decaying. The decay changes the shape of the tooth, meaning that the crown no longer fits.

Make a dental appointment as soon as possible. Keep the crown in a cool, safe place because there is a possibility that we can reinsert it. If the crown is out of your mouth for too long, the tooth is more likely to be damaged and your other teeth may shift, so it’s important to come see us as soon as you can.

If you are not able to make an appointment right away, these steps can help increase the chance that we can save your crown and keep you out of pain.

  1. Using a cotton swab, apply clove oil to the tooth to minimize pain. Clove oil can be purchased at pharmacies, or look for it in the spice aisle of supermarkets such as Walmart.
  2. Clean the crown and affix it onto your tooth with dental cement. You can buy dental cement (such as “Recapit” brand) at a pharmacy or supermarket. Do not use anything other than dental cement to attach the crown!
  3. If your crown is lost, you can smear the top of your tooth with dental cement to make it more comfortable while you wait for your appointment.
  4. Be careful! What’s left of your tooth is not as strong as the crown. Avoid hard foods and try not to chew on that side of your mouth.

At your appointment, Dr. Hess will see if the crown still fits. Any decay will be treated. If your crown no longer fits, we may be able to make you a new one.

Usually, fillings fall out when you’re eating and applying pressure to the tooth. Without the filling, your tooth may be incredibly sensitive to hot and cold and/or pressure.

Make a dental appointment as soon as you can. Your tooth will be more likely to decay again without the filling to protect it, so it’s important to see us as soon as you can. It is not necessary to save the pieces of the filling.

If your tooth is painful, you can take these steps to be more comfortable while you’re waiting for your appointment:

  1. Using a cotton swab, apply clove oil to the tooth to minimize pain. Clove oil can be purchased at pharmacies, or look for it in the spice aisle of supermarkets such as Walmart.
  2. You can also put dental cement directly on your tooth to help seal and protect the area before you are able to see Dr. Hess. Dental cement (such as “Recapit” brand) can also be purchased at a pharmacy or supermarket.
  3. Be careful! Your tooth will not be as strong without the filling. Avoid hard foods and try to chew on the other side of your mouth.

Dr. Hess stands behind his fillings. If you’ve lost a filling he recently placed, we will gladly replace it at no cost.

Your teeth could break or crack for many reasons, such as a blow to your mouth, grinding your teeth, or even just biting on something too hard. The break might seem painless at first if it doesn’t extend down to the pulp, but you will still need to visit our office as soon as possible before it gets worse. If your tooth has cracked or broken all the way down into the pulp, you are probably in a lot of pain and should see us immediately!

Here are the steps to take if a piece of your tooth has broken off:

  1. Call our office at 317-535-5665.
  2. Rinse the broken piece of tooth and your mouth in lukewarm water.
  3. If you’re bleeding, apply sterile or clean gauze with pressure to the area for 20 minutes.
  4. Place an ice pack wrapped in a towel on your cheek to minimize swelling and pain. Apply the ice pack for 20 minutes, then leave it off for 20 minutes. Repeat.
  5. If you are in pain, you can try a topical pain reliever (like “Orajel” brand) from a pharmacy or supermarket. You can also take oral pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Tylenol), as long as these medications are approved by your doctor.

The treatment Dr. Hess proposes will depend on the type of fracture or break. If it extends all the way to the tooth’s pulp, a root canal and crown may be required in order to save the tooth. If you have saved the broken piece of tooth, we may be able to temporarily affix it to your tooth. Dr. Hess may be able to repair a small crack or break with a tooth-colored filling. Treatment depends on the nature of the crack or break and which tooth you have damaged, so call us today to make an appointment and learn how we can make your smile beautiful and comfortable again.

Loose teeth are exciting for kids, but not so much for adults! The good news is that we may be able to save your tooth. After a traumatic event, if the tooth remains in its socket there is a good chance Dr. Hess will be able to save it and avoid a root canal. However, it’s important to see the dentist as soon as possible. Call us at 317-535-5665.

A loose tooth can be stabilized with splints and often heals on its own. If the damage is too severe, however, a root canal may be necessary. Visit us as soon as you can!

While you’re waiting for your appointment, these steps can make you more comfortable and reduce the chance of further damage to your tooth:

  1. Call us at 317-535-5665.
  2. Place an ice pack wrapped in a towel on your cheek to minimize swelling and pain. Apply the ice pack for 20 minutes, then leave it off for 20 minutes. Repeat.
  3. If necessary, take over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Tylenol), as long as these medications are approved by your doctor.
  4. Be careful! Avoid hard foods and try not to chew with the loose tooth.

If your loose tooth has been caused by decay, Dr. Hess will talk to you about options for removing the decay and minimizing the chance that it will decay further.

Questions?

We want you to be as comfortable as possible at home before your appointment and in our Whiteland, Indiana office. If you have further questions about how to treat pain or discomfort before you’re able to come in for an office visit, give us a call.

If you’re new to our office and facing a dental emergency, rest assured that we will treat you like family as we make your smile comfortable and healthy. Save time in the office by downloading new patient paperwork here.