At Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry, we hope you never experience a serious dental emergency. It’s important, however, to know what to do in such a situation. Here is a quiz on dental emergencies and less urgent oral issues.
1. One of the wires on your braces breaks. What do you do?
a. Cut off the loose piece.
b. Put a piece of orthodontic wax on the end if it is irritating your tongue or gums. Schedule an appointment with your orthodontist to have it fixed.
c. If the wire has cut your gums, rinse with a solution of salt and water.
Both b and c are correct. If you don’t have a piece of orthodontic wax, you can use a cotton ball to cover the sharp end. If you cut off the loose end of the wire, you risk swallowing it.
2. Your five year-old falls off his bike, hits his face on the sidewalk, and knocks out one of his front teeth. What do you do before driving immediately to the nearest Boulder County dental office or Boulder ER?
a. Put the tooth back in the socket.
b. If the tooth is dirty, scrub it with a brush.
c. Put the tooth in milk.
The answer depends on whether it is a permanent tooth or a baby tooth. If a permanent tooth is knocked out, it may be successfully re-implanted if done quickly. Make sure you only hold the tooth by the crown, never touch the root. If the tooth is dirty, rinse it gently with water being cautious not to brush off any tissue attached. It is best to reinsert the tooth into the socket. This may not be possible with younger children. Because it is essential to keep the tooth from drying out on your way to your Boulder County dentist or nearest Boulder area emergency room, you can put the tooth in a cup of milk. Baby teeth should not be reinserted because it can potentially damage the emerging tooth.
3. You lose a filling and the tooth starts hurting. After scheduling an appointment with your Lafayette dentist, what do you do in the meantime?
a. Save the filling.
b. Take an OTC pain reliever.
c. Put an aspirin on the tooth.
Both a and b are correct. Though your Lafayette dentist probably can’t use the same filling to repair the problem, it may reveal important information about the cause of the separation. Never put an aspirin on a tooth because the acid in it could irritate your gums.
4. One of your teeth suddenly darkens. What are the possible causes?
a. The nerve inside the tooth is damaged.
b. It is side effect of a medication you are taking.
c. Gum disease.
d. An infection.
The answer is all of the above.
For any dental emergency or other oral condition, call an urgent dental care office or Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry in Lafayette. We have been providing quality dental care for Boulder residents since 1998. If you add our address and phone number (720-862-3630) to your phone contacts right now, you won’t have to search for it in the case of an emergency. When trying to save a knocked-out tooth, every minute counts.
Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry
1140 W South Boulder Rd, Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado 80026