Having an accident that involves your teeth can be one of the scariest types of trauma. It’s not only painful, but brings to mind images of a broken or gapped smile. Unfortunately, reports suggest that over half a million people seek treatment in the emergency room each year for dental related issues. Many emergency rooms are not equipped or trained to handle dental problems, so sometimes all you can do is wait to see your dentist.
Since it’s impossible to know exactly when an accident will happen, it’s a good idea to be prepared with items helpful in a dental emergency. Suggested items to include in a dental emergency kit are gauze, Q-tips, salt packets, a small container, over-the-counter pain medication, and sugarless gum. Also include the phone number for your dentist.
If your mouth is damaged in an accident, first rinse your mouth with warm salt water. Follow the directions on the label to take pain medication if necessary. If inner parts of your tooth like the nerves or dentin have been damaged, try covering the area with sugarless gum to protect it until you can get professional treatment.
Sometimes oral injuries can be handled at home until your dentist is available, but more serious situations require seeking care immediately from an emergency dental facility. Some symptoms that usually suggest immediate treatment include facial swelling that is accompanied by a toothache, or uncontrollable bleeding.
If your tooth is knocked out, find it and rinse it with water. Gently try to replace it in the socket. If it can’t be reinserted, place it in a small container with milk or slightly salty water. Ideally, you need to see your dentist within the first couple of hours in order to restore a dislodged tooth.
Following this advice for emergency dental care will help you handle the situation more calmly and know what to do if it happens to you or someone you are with.
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It may be obvious when you’re in a situation that requires immediate treatment by a dentist. Perhaps you’re in immense pain, or you’ve had a tooth knocked out or bleeding that won’t stop. Examples like this make it easy to decide you need help right away, but sometimes it’s not as clear. What are some other problems that may require emergency dental treatment?
A cracked or fractured tooth is serious, and often means that the tooth has been damaged both on the inside and the outside. Many times the tooth can’t be saved. If your tooth is broken, schedule an emergency appointment immediately. Remember, a cracked tooth is different than a chipped tooth, which is not as serious. You can usually wait to see your dentist at the next available opportunity for a chipped tooth.
Some lost fillings require immediate care to avoid worse issues. Fillings protect your tooth’s root from exposure, so if the filling falls out your root can be uncovered and cause intense pain. There is also increased risk for damage to your tooth’s structure, so seeing your dentist as soon as possible is suggested.
If your crown falls out, call your dentist for an appointment as soon as possible. Until you can see the dentist, try putting the crown back in place using an over-the-counter dental adhesive. Do not use any products like Super Glue. If the crown won’t stay in place, make sure you take it to your appointment with you so that it can be re-cemented correctly.
If you have a painful swelling on your gum that resembles a pimple, it might be a serious condition called an abscess. It can damage gum tissue and teeth, as well as spread serious infection to your body. See your dentist immediately for proper treatment.
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Problems with your mouth or teeth can occur suddenly. You might be injured playing a sport, eating, or even just while doing a seemingly harmless activity. You should know what types of dental problems are considered emergencies, and what to do while waiting to see your dentist. Quick action can make a big difference in saving a tooth, or limiting damage to your mouth or face.
What is considered an emergency?
Not every dental problem must be treated as an emergency, but some do require professional treatment as soon as possible. This includes a broken or knocked out tooth, lost crowns and fillings, severe toothache, infection, and injuries to the soft tissues of your mouth.
What should I do?
See your dentist as soon as possible to treat the problem and prevent further damage. Here are some steps to take if you experience any of the following common dental emergencies:
- Severe toothache – rinse your mouth with warm water and floss to remove trapped food.
- Swelling – apply a cold compress on the outside of the swollen area. Do not place any painkiller or aspirin against your gums, because it can burn your gum tissue.
- Chipped or broken tooth – if possible, save the piece that has broken off. Rinse both the piece and your mouth with warm water. If it is bleeding, hold gauze on the area. Apply a cold compress to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
- Lost filling – apply dental cement from your drugstore to fill the hollow area until you can see your dentist. Or, try placing a bit of sugarless gum into the area.
- Lost crown –try to replace the crown on your tooth and hold it in place temporarily with dental cement, denture adhesive, or toothpaste.
- Abscess – infections in your mouth can become abscessed, which is a serious condition. Rinse with warm salt water and see your dentist immediately.
- Soft tissue injuries – treat damage to your gums, cheeks, tongue and lips by rinsing with warm salty water. Hold gauze to the specific area to control bleeding, and hold a cold pack to the external area.
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Many patients seeking the stability and durability of dental implants wonder what the difference is between mini implants or standard sized dental implants. The basic differences are with regard to their intended function.
A standard dental implant is larger than 3 millimeters in diameter and is made up of two parts: the screw and the abutment. The screw portion of a dental implant is made of titanium, a non-toxic metal well tolerated by the body. The success of all dental implants is due to this bio-compatibility. Materials that aren’t tolerated by the body can create a response by the immune system and may lead to serious problems over time.
With a standard implant, the screw has two threaded areas: external, to screw into the bone and internal, to accommodate any components that are screwed into the implant for security. This internal area provides for the abutment. It is on this abutment that the tooth portion of a dental implant is attached. It also holds dentures firmly in place.
A mini dental implant is smaller than 3 millimeters in diameter and has one solid piece instead of screw and abutment. A mini implant has a solid screw body with a rounded ball shape that extends out of the jawbone. This rounded ball can hold a denture with a corresponding slot, keeping the restoration firmly in place.
Because they are smaller, mini implants provide less support than a standard implant. For example, four mini implants would be needed to hold a patient’s lower dentures in place securely. For the same job, only two standard sized implants would suffice.
Consult your dentist to determine if mini implants or standard implants are right to address your missing tooth or teeth. Get the right implant for your specific needs.
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Statistics show that losing natural teeth is still a common occurrence in oral health today. You might be surprised to know that it is estimated that 70% of Americans have lost at least one tooth by middle age. That’s why dentistry has worked hard to come up with an ideal solution as a permanent, comfortable, and attractive way to restore smiles. Dental implants are the answer.
Getting a dental implant consists of having a metal rod, usually made of titanium, surgically inserted into the jaw bone. Once the area has healed from surgery, a crown is typically placed on top to complete the restoration. This procedure results in a very secure and comfortable new tooth that shouldn’t cause problems again.
There’s a long history of other types of tooth replacement options, such as dentures and bridges. Why are dental implants considered to be the preferred choice today?
Appearance – the crown that is placed on top of an implant is aesthetically pleasing, giving you a natural smile.
Tooth preparation – no preparation or reduction to neighboring teeth is necessary with dental implants. The natural tooth structure of existing teeth is preserved.
Comfort – similar to your natural teeth, implants go into your jaw bone. This offers the same comfort and security as real teeth.
Durability – implants are made to last forever. With good care, you can expect them to last the rest of your life.
Diet – there are no dietary restrictions with implants. With dentures and bridges, you might miss out on some foods that could loosen or break your appliance. Implants allow you to eat whatever you’d like.
Maintenance – cleaning implants is the same as cleaning natural teeth. Brushing and flossing is performed normally, and no soaking or external care of appliances is required because the restoration is permanently installed in your mouth.
If you’re looking for a long-term and durable solution for missing teeth, ask your dentist about implants. The success rate is high, and the convenience and comfort can rarely be beaten by other alternatives.
We treat patients from Toronto and the surrounding area
General dentistry offers exactly what the name implies: dental care related to the general maintenance of good oral health. The ideal way to look at dentistry is preventative, which means focusing on good oral hygiene and functionality before problems can take hold. Finding a qualified and skilled general dentist who you visit every six months for checkups is the best way to prevent serious dental issues and help you maintain excellent oral health.
A trip to the general dentist for you or any of your family members, no matter their age, is a smart way to keep your smile looking and feeling great. Your general dentist will help create the perfect dental plan that depends on your personal oral health and needs. A typical dental visit includes thorough examination, X-rays or other diagnostic tests, professional teeth cleaning, and any treatments that might be needed for your condition. If a certain treatment isn’t available through your general dentist, it’s likely that you’ll receive a referral to a reputable specialist to complete the work.
Every dentist is unique, so you’ll need to inquire about the specific treatments available at your dentist’s practice. Some common services that many general dentists provide include:
- Dental sealants
- Fluoride treatments
- Professional cleanings
- Gum scaling or recontouring
- Root canal therapy
- Crowns and bridges
- Dental implants
In addition to dental treatments, your general dentist will evaluate your at-home hygiene routine and make suggestions for improvement. You will learn proper brushing and flossing techniques, as well as learn about any additional products or practices that might improve your oral health. Your general dentist wants you and your family to have the best smiles and oral health possible, and will help you achieve that goal.
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