Creedmoor Family Dentistry provides emergency dental services. We will try to bring you in to see Dr. Willis on the same day you call, even if it’s just for a quick examination. Even if you haven’t come to see us before, please contact us at our office number. If your emergency occurs after hours, please leave a message and we’ll return your call as soon as possible.
Creedmoor Family Dentistry recognizes that dental emergencies are an unfortunate fact of life. When they occur, you want to know that you can quickly receive the treatment you need. If you are in pain or have damaged your tooth, please call our office and let us know that you are having an emergency. Whenever possible, we will try to get you in the same day. If the office is closed and you are a patient, please call the office line and follow the instructions to reach Dr. Willis after hours.
First Aid for Dental Emergencies
Any injury to the teeth or gums can cause serious problems and should not be ignored. Problems such as broken teeth, lost fillings or crowns, and soft tissue injuries can worsen and cause permanent damage if not treated right away. Below is a summary of what to do for common dental injuries.
Partially dislodged tooth
Rinse well with warm water. Food debris may be pressing against your tooth, so see if you can remove it using dental floss. If your face is swollen, apply a cold compress to it. Do not put aspirin or any other painkiller on the gum near the aching tooth, as it may burn the gum tissue.
Knocked Out Tooth
If you can retrieve the tooth, keep it moist at all times. Rinse the root in running water; hold the tooth by the crown and do not scrub any tissue fragments from the root. If possible, try to put the tooth back in, but don’t force it into place. If you can’t reinsert the tooth, put the tooth in a small cup of milk, or in water with a pinch of salt, and try to see Dr. Willis right away.
Objects caught between teeth
See if you can use dental floss to gently remove the object. Never use anything sharp to dislodge the object, as you can cut your gums or scratch your teeth. If you can’t get the object out, contact Creedmoor Family
If you have a broken wire sticking out of a bracket or band that is hurting your tongue, cheek, or gum, see if you can push the wire back using the eraser on a pencil. If that doesn’t work, cover the end of the wire with dental wax, a small piece of cotton ball, or a bit of gauze until you can see an orthodontist. Never cut the wire, as you could accidentally swallow or breathe in the cut piece.
Abscesses are infections that emerge at the tooth’s root or between teeth and gums. If not treated, the infection can spread to other parts of the body and potentially lead to a life-threatening situation. If you discover an abscess – a small, painful swelling on your gum – see Dr. Willis as soon as possible. To ease the pain and draw pus toward the surface, rinse your mouth with a warm salt-water solution (1/2 teaspoon of table salt in 8 oz. of water) several times a day.
Save any tooth pieces you find. Rinse your mouth and the tooth pieces in warm water. If you have bleeding from the gum or in your mouth, press a piece of gauze to it until it stops. Use a cold compress on your face to keep down any pain or swelling.
Partially dislodged tooth
Until you can see Dr. Willis, apply a cold compress to your face close to the affected tooth to relieve pain. If necessary, take ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) as directed on the container.
As a stopgap until you can see Dr. Willis, stick a piece of sugarless gum into the cavity or use an over-the-counter dental cement. If the crown falls off, make sure to retrieve it and bring it with you when you see Dr. Willis.
Avoid Tooth Injuries
There are a few simple steps you can take to avoid injuries to your teeth. When playing sports or participating in other physical recreational activity, always wear a mouth guard. Avoid chewing hard foods such as ice, popcorn kernels, and hard candy, as these can crack or break your teeth. And never use your teeth to cut through string, plastic ties, etc. – always use scissors.