Dental Emergency Procedures

To save a tooth after a dental emergency, a quick and appropriate response is required.  The following procedures are recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA) when a dental emergency has occurred.

  • When a tooth has been knocked out of the mouth, hold the tooth by the crown and rinse the root in water if the root is dirty.  The tooth should either, if possible, be placed back into its socket or be stored in a cup of milk before you rush to your dentist’s office.
  • When you break a tooth, rinse your mouth with warm water and apply cold compresses on your face to reduce swelling and then immediately head to your dentist’s office.
  • After biting your tongue or lip, clean it gently with a cloth and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling.  If, after a short time, the bleeding is still heavy or doesn’t stop, seek treatment from your dentist or from the emergency room at a local hospital.
  • When you have a toothache, rinse your mouth with warm water and then gently floss to remove any trapped food that may be placing pressure on the tooth.  Contact your dentist as soon as possible.
  • If you have fractured your jaw or injured it severely in another manner, you need immediate treatment by your dentist or from emergency room personnel.
  • When traveling and a dental emergency occurs, check the yellow pages or check online for a dentist or for the number of the state or local dental society, or visit the emergency room for treatment or a referral.
  • For those who wear braces, when a wire is loose or broken from you braces, cover the wire with wax or a small cotton ball until you can get in to see your orthodontist.

By knowing these important steps, you will be able to react quickly and appropriately when a dental emergency occurs.