Emergency Dentistry A dental emergency can be a scary experience. Knowing what to do during an emergency can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth. At PDX Center for Dentistry, we want our patients to be well prepared in case of an emergency. The following information is designed to help you take the right steps and precautions.

If You Knock Out a Tooth

If you knock out a tooth, you should see Samuel Seo, DMD as soon as possible. 30 minutes can make the difference between saving and losing the tooth. There are a few steps you can take in the meantime:

•  Call us as soon as it happens. If you cannot get a hold of us because it is off-hours, contact a hospital or urgent care.
•  When handling the tooth, always hold it by the crown. Touching the root could damage the cells that allow for bone reattachment.
•  Rinse the tooth in water to remove dirt. Never scrub off any excess tissue.
•  Place the tooth in a moist place, preferably back in the socket. If this is too painful, you can place it in between your cheek and gums. A glass of water and milk will also work if this is not possible. It is important to keep the tooth from drying out.

If You Fracture, Chip, or Break a Tooth

Whether or not a fracture, chip, or break constitutes a dental emergency depends on the severity. Regardless, be sure to rinse out your mouth with warm water. You can also use an ice pack or cold compress to reduce any swelling. If the injury is painful, we recommend taking ibuprofen or Tylenol. It is also important to see us as soon as possible so that we can determine the extent of your injury. Only Samuel Seo, DMD will be able to determine if immediate treatment is necessary. In many cases, a fracture, chip, or break can be treated with dental bonding. Dental bonding involves the use of composite resin to improve the appearance and structure of a damaged tooth. If the damage is moderate to severe, we may recommend a more extensive treatment, such as a dental crown or veneer. The most severe fractures may require a tooth extraction.

Preventing a Dental Emergency

There are simple precautions you can take to avoid injury or trauma to the face and teeth. For example, if you engage in any physical activity or sport that puts you at risk for injury, wear a mouthguard. We offer customized sports guards that offer superior comfort, durability, and protection over store-bought products. There are also certain habits you should avoid if you want to reduce your chances of chipping, to break, or to fracture a tooth. Chewing on ice, popcorn kernels, pen caps, and even hard candy can damage your enamel or crack a tooth. When opening a package always use scissors, not your teeth.

Call Now!

If you have experienced a dental emergency, call (503) 546-9079 now to schedule an emergency appointment. If cannot get ahold of us, seek treatment at the nearest hospital or urgent care!