Non-Emergency Dental Problems
Please consider these first-aid measures for non-emergency minor dental problems until you can contact us or come to our office. If you are experiencing a serious or life threatening emergency, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.
Minor Dental Problems
If a dental crown comes out intact and you still have it, dry your natural tooth, apply a small dab of toothpaste inside the temporary and reattach it. You may also use a small amount of dental wax or a temporary adhesive, available at most pharmacies. Please call our office so we can professionally re-cement your crown as soon as possible. Never use a commercial glue or super glue. Temporary crowns must be replaced as soon as possible.
It’s not recommended to replant primary teeth that have been knocked out. Keep the area clean and follow a soft diet for a few days. There could be possible complications in the development of the permanent successor, especially following avulsion injuries sustained in children under 3 years of age. Please call the office or contact Dr.Gillum after hours.
The tooth is typically left to come down on its own or in rare cases we may have to extract the tooth. A radiograph will help us determine which course of action is needed. If the tooth is displaced backwards or forward, pinch the gum and re-position it as best as possible. Avoid biting in the area for 10-14 days. The tooth may become discolored or loosen prematurely. Advise our office if a bump or swelling develops, on the gum, over the tooth. Children may not complain about pain.
If a large tooth fragment is available, it can be bonded to the tooth. Otherwise we can bond to the tooth with a tooth colored filling on a permanent or temporary basis. The tooth may or may not need a root canal treatment, in the future or right away, if the nerve has been damaged or exposed. If the tooth begins to turn dark, it will require a root canal. Teeth that have been forced out of alignment need evaluated as soon as possible.
Tooth aches have multiple sources. Common reasons are tooth decay; a restoration falls out, a tooth abscess, fracture of a root or tooth crown, excessive tooth grinding or a gum infection. It could be as simple as food lodged between two teeth.
The nature of the pain is important to note. Is the pain sharp, dull, throbbing, or constant? Does hot or cold make the pain better or worse? In some people, pain results only when pressure is applied to the tooth. The best action is to call our office to schedule a visit so we can evaluate the source of the pain and provide you with the best treatment option.
Thoroughly clean the cut and hold a cold compress against it. If bleeding is excessive or it is apparent that stitches will be needed, go to your local immediate care or emergency room.
A cracked or broken tooth should be rinsed with warm water. Hold a cold compress against the affected area if swelling has occurred. Do not place an aspirin in or over a broken or painful tooth. A hole in a tooth, that is not painful, can be filled with a temporary material obtained from a drug store.
Most denture(s) problems can be repaired the same day, if we can see you the first thing in the morning. You will be without your denture till late that afternoon. Minor repairs may be able to be completed while you wait. If you detect a crack line in your denture base, please don’t wait till it gets worse. If a tooth has come out, please bring it with you if you have it.
Use dental floss to gently remove the debris, and be sure that you don’t cut your gums with the floss. Pull warm salt water between the teeth. Do not use a sharp instrument to dislodge the debris. If floss doesn’t help, call our office for assistance.
In many situations problems can be relieved with an antibiotic or pain medication, called in by the doctor, before we see you. You must be a verifiable current patient of record for us to call in a narcotic medication. In other cases, we must see you to be able to prescribe narcotics. Never take someone else’s antibiotics unless advised to do so. You never want to take antibiotics if they are not needed.