How to Handle 5 Common Dental Emergencies Before Reaching Our Office

How to Handle 5 Common Dental Emergencies Before Reaching Our Office

Nobody wants to have a dental emergency, but life happens. Do you know what to do if you’re experiencing an emergency, or even if it truly is an emergency?

At Riverdale Dental Arts, Dr. Sheldon Kupferman and his staff handle both routine and emergency dental cases for their patients in Riverdale, the Bronx, New York. They’re also passionate about educating their patients, so they’ve put together this guide on dental emergencies so you’ll know what to do if you experience one.

Is it really an emergency?

If you’re not sure whether you have a true dental emergency, ask yourself:

If you answered yes to any of them, you have an emergency. If you’re still not sure, call Riverdale Dental Arts, and our staff will help determine if you need immediate treatment.

How to handle 5 common dental emergencies

It’s important you know what to do before you reach our office if you have a dental emergency. Here are five scenarios.

1. Knocked-out tooth

If you lose a permanent tooth, it requires urgent attention, and you have only about an hour’s window if Dr. Kupferman is going to save your tooth.

If you wait too long, or if the socket is damaged, Dr. Kupferman may not be able to reimplant the tooth. In that case, he discusses restoration options with you.

2. Loose tooth or tooth out of alignment

A loose tooth, or one knocked out of alignment, is also a dental emergency, since the tooth (and perhaps the surrounding gum tissue) is likely damaged.

Call the office to make an emergency appointment. While you’re waiting, see if you can put the tooth back in its proper position using gentle pressure; never try to force it. Bite down to prevent the tooth from moving. When you get to the office, Dr. Kupferman will probably splint the tooth, shoring it up against the adjacent teeth to keep it stable while it’s healing.

3. Chipped, cracked, or broken teeth

A chipped tooth that doesn’t hurt usually isn’t a dental emergency. Just be careful biting down so you don’t chip it more. Dr. Kupferman may be able to smooth the edge or add some composite material to repair it.

If your tooth is cracked or fractured, it’s a dental emergency, since the inner part of the tooth is also probably damaged. Call our office immediately for an emergency appointment. While you wait:

Dr. Kupferman will take an X-ray to properly diagnose the condition of your tooth. If the soft, inner pulp is damaged, your tooth may need a root canal. If it isn’t damaged, you may only need a crown. If the tooth is too damaged to be saved, he’ll discuss restoration options with you.

4. Tissue injury

Puncture wounds, lacerations, and tears to the lips, cheeks, mouth, and tongue are all dental emergencies. Clean the area immediately with warm water. If your tongue is bleeding, pull it gently forward and press gauze on the wound. Make your way to the nearest hospital emergency room for treatment. You can follow up with Dr. Kupferman once you’re stable.

5. Infections and abscesses

A severe dental infection or abscess (pus-filled cyst, often at the tooth root) can be life-threatening and needs immediate attention. Signs of an infection include pain that’s almost unbearable and a tooth that’s sensitive to hot and cold — and even air.

Call our office immediately for an appointment. Dr. Kupferman will most likely open the abscess and allow it to drain, as well as perform the first part of a root canal, removing the inner pulp and affected nerve to alleviate your pain and save the tooth root.

If you’re ever unsure if you have a true dental emergency or not, contact Riverdale Dental Arts for instructions on what to do. And if you do have an emergency, give us a call immediately at 

845-479-6927. For non-emergency appointments, you can also book online.

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