In life, it’s always best to be prepared. That’s true just not for the Boy Scouts, but for everyone. You have car insurance in case you get into an accident. If you get injured, you know to call 911. But what do you do if you lose a filling? Or if a crown falls off your tooth?
At the Antoine Dental Center, we want you and your family to be prepared. We offer a whole host of services to get your mouth healthy, and to keep your smile looking shiny and white. From Professional Teeth Whitening to Short-term Adult Orthodontics, you have many options. But one of the most vital services we offer is Emergency Dental Care.
But just knowing where to go is not always enough. There are some steps you can take which may end up being the difference up between keeping a tooth, or losing one.
Things to Do Before A Dental Emergency
The first thing you should do is to save our number, 713-364-8990, in your phone. If you’re experiencing a Dental Emergency, you need to make an appointment as soon as possible. We have a team of dentists, and convenient hours, so we can get an appointment scheduled right away.
You may also want to consider putting together a dental first-aid kit. Inexpensive, prepackaged kits are readily available on the internet, or you can put together yourself. Ideally, you should have two kits. You should keep one at home, and one in your car.
Your dental emergency kit should include cotton balls, dental wax, floss, a product such as Orajel which can be used as an oral aesthetic (look for an active ingredient such as lidocaine or benzocaine), Dentemp or a similar temporary cavity filling mixture, and a container of Save-A-Tooth.
Things to Do During A Dental Emergency
The most common dental emergency we encounter is a lost or swallowed filling. First, don’t panic about swallowing the filling. As long as you haven’t breathed the filling into your lung, in should safely pass through your system in your stool.
If you believe the filling is in your lung, you should contact your doctor’s office for an appointment. A filling in your lung could cause infection. Whether you swallowed the filling or not, you do not need to save it unless it is a gold filling. Be sure and keep the area in your tooth clean by gently brushing and rinsing. You’ll want to keep food out of the filling area, and schedule a dental appointment right away.
If the missing filling is causing you pain, you can temporarily fill with the temporary cavity filling mixture in your emergency kit. If you do not have access to Dentemp or similar product, you can use sugar-free gum to fill it. Avoid using any gum containing sugar, as that can cause your tooth to become irritated or infected.
However, if you’ve lost a crown, you should try and save the crown. After the crown is cleaned and thoroughly disinfected, we may be able to reuse it. Rinse the affected tooth gently and keep it clean. If it is causing you pain, you may want to use Orajel or another numbing product.
If a tooth has been knocked out of your mouth, you will want to save the tooth. If we can treat you quickly enough, we may be able to save the tooth. Leave any tissue on the tooth, but otherwise clean it. You’ll want to place the tooth in a container of Save-A-Tooth. If you don’t have Save-A-Tooth, you can place the tooth in milk or salt water, however the tooth will likely die faster.
If you’re experiencing a toothache, you’ll want to call our office right away. A toothache is your mouth’s way of telling you that something is wrong. Listen to your mouth! Things which cause toothaches will only get worse if you ignore them.
You can swish warm water around the tooth to relieve pain; and apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth. Never use a hot compress! You’ll also want to avoid hot or cold beverages as they can make the toothache worse. If pain persists, take a mild, over-the-counter painkiller such as Tylenol or Advil. Avoid taking an aspirin based medicine because it can thin your blood, making you more likely to bleed during a dental procedure.
Make An Appointment
If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, call us at the Antoine Dental Center in Houston, TX to schedule an appointment. Our number is 713-364-8990. You can also click here to schedule an appointment.
It’s hard to know when an emergency will occur, otherwise it wouldn’t be an emergency. The best we can do is be careful and be prepared. That’s why you buckle up when you get in a car. Or wear a life jacket when riding in a boat. And put on a helmet before taking off on your bike. Hopefully, you will never need any of those, but if you do, they are ready to protect you because you are prepared.
The same goes for dental emergencies. At Antoine Dental Center, we know that preparation is key. You never know when they are going to strike, but if you are prepared, you could save your smile. With a dental emergency kit, you can minimize the damage to your teeth until you get to our office in Houston.
Broken Teeth – Something as simple as chewing on a pen cap or eating peanut brittle could leave you with a broken or fractured tooth. Sometimes an injury of this nature is very minor. For example, if all you do is chip a little enamel off your tooth, then it is more of a cosmetic issue. But if a fracture exposes the pulp of your teeth, then you have a major dental problem. An injury like this could cost you your tooth if not treated right away.
Come to our office in Houston and we will x-ray your tooth to survey the extent of the damage. from that point we will consult on what course of action is the best.
Knocked-out Tooth – It could be an aggressive elbow in a pick-up game of basketball. Or a sudden slip on the diving board. Or hitting the front brakes too hard on your mountain bike. Whatever the cause, a knocked-out tooth is a true dental emergency, but of you stay calm and act fast, there is a good chance we can save your tooth.
First of all, you’ll have to find your tooth. When you do, be careful with it while you rinse off any dirt or debris. Then put the tooth in a small container and cover it with milk, which will help keep your teeth strong and healthy until you get to our office.
Toothache – If you find yourself stricken with a sudden and severe toothache, you need to call Antoine Dental Center for a same day appointment. Toothaches are a symptom of various dental ailments, including severe tooth decay, abscess, and infection. An intense toothache can be paralyzing, so you may want to take a fast acting pain reliever to manage your pain until you get into our office.
Dental Emergency Kit
As we mentioned before, be prepared can be the difference between losing a tooth and not losing a tooth. In order to be best prepared, you need to compile several dental emergency kits and keep them in the place they will be most useful, like the kitchen and the car.
Sterile Gauze – Dental emergencies are often accompanied by blood, and when it is, you will need a way to stop the bleeding. Use clean water to moisten the gauze, and then use the gauze to apply pressure to your injury for at least 15 minutes.
Tweezers – When you need to pick up a broken or knocked out tooth, it is best to use a pair of tweezers. This will help you pick up small pieces of teeth, as well as keep the tooth clean.
Pain Relievers – Sometimes the pain from a dental emergency can be unbearable, so some fast acting pain reliever is a necessary component to your dental emergency kit. The most common are acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Motrin), and either, or both, is fine for your kit. You will want to stay away from aspirin, though, since it acts as a blood thinner, it could make it hard for wounds to stop bleeding.
A Small Container – Especially in the case of a knocked-out or broken tooth, you will need a small container handy to put the tooth in. This will also come in handy if you ever have trouble with a dental appliance, like dentures or a mouthguard.
See Us Right Away
Preparation is only part of the procedure to save your teeth. You will also need to get to our Houston office as soon as possible. Antoine Dental Center has the skills and equipment you need to keep you smiling bright.
Keep a card with our number, 713-364-8990, on it in your dental emergency kit, so you or anyone else do not have to go looking for it when you need.
Contact us for more information about what to do in case of a dental emergency.