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Dental Emergencies

Dental Emergency in Scottsdale?

Dental emergencies are inconvienient, frightening and painful.  Prompt treatment is always recommended to alleviate pain and to ensure the teeth have the best possible outcome.

Sometimes teeth become fractured by trauma, grinding or biting on hard objects.  In other cases, fillings, crowns and other restorative restoration can be damaged or fall out completely.  If there is severe pain, it is essential to make an appointment as quickly as possible.  The pain caused by dental emergencies almost always gets worse without treatment, and dental issues can sometimes jeopardize physical health.

Types of dental emergencies and how to deal with them


Avulsed or Subluxed Tooth (When the tooth is knocked out or displaced)

If a tooth has been knocked clean out of the mouth, it is essential to get to the office immediately.  When a tooth is lost, tissues, nerves and blood vessels become damaged.  If the tooth can be placed back into its socket within an hour, there is a chance the tissues can heal to support the tooth once again.

Here are some steps to take:

  1. Call the office.
  2. Pick up the tooth by the crown and rinse it under warm water.  DO NOT touch, scrub or clean the root.
  3. If possible, place it back into its socket – if not tuck it into the cheek pouch.
  4. If the tooth cannot be placed in the mouth, put the tooth into a cup of milk, saliva, or water as a last resort.  It is important to keep the tooth from drying out.
  5. Get to the office, quickly and safely.

The tooth and socket will be assesed to try and replace the tooth in its natural socket.  In some cases, the tooth can be replaced and secured. Sometimes root canal therapy may be necessary.

If the tooth is displaced try to push the tooth back into position and get to the office ASAP.


Lost filling or crown

Usually, a crown or filling comes loose while eating.  Once it is out of the mouth, the affected tooth may be incredibly sensitive to temperature changes and pressure.  Crowns generally become loose because the tooth beneath is decaying.  The decay can cause shape changes in the tooth making the crown no longer fit.

If a crown has dropped out of the mouth, make a dental appointment as soon as possible.  Keep the crown in a cool, safe place because there is a possibility that the dentist can reinsert it.  If the crown is out of the mouth for a long period of time, the teeth may shift or sustain further damage.

When the dentist is not immediately accessible, here are the steps to take:

  1. Apply clove oil to the tooth to alleviate pain.
  2. Clean the crown and affix it onto the tooth with temorary dental cement that can be purchased at the local pharmacy.
  3. DO NOT use any kind of glue to affix the crown.

The dentist will check the crown to see if it still fits.  If it does, it will be cleaned and recemented. Where decay is noted, this will be treated and a new crown will be made.


Cracked or broken teeth

The teeth are strong, but they are still prone to fractures, cracks and breaks.  Sometimes fractures are fairly painless, but if the crack extends down into the root, it is likely that the pain will occur.  Fractures, cracks and breaks can take several different forms, but are generally caused by trauma, grinding and biting.  If a tooth has been fractured or cracked, there is no alternative but to see the dentist as quickly as possible.

Where a segment of tooth has been broken off, here are some steps that can be taken at home:

  1. Call the office.
  2. Rinse the tooth fragment and the mouth with lukewarm water.
  3. Apply gauze to the area for ten minutes if there is bleeding.
  4. Place a cold, damp dishtowel on the cheek to minimize swelling and pain.
  5. Cover the affected area with over-the-counter dental cement if there is no way to see the dentist immediately.
  6. Take a pain reliever.

The nature of the break or fracture will limit what the dentist is able to do.  If a fracture or crack extends into the root, root canal therapy may be the only effective way to retain the tooth.  In the case of a complete break, the tooth may need to be removed.


Dislodged/loose teeth

When a tooth has been dislodged or loosened from its socket by trauma or decay, it might be possible to save it.  If the tooth remains in the mouth and attached to the blood vessels and nerves, there is a good chance root canal therapy will not be necessary.

It is important to call the dentist immediately to make an appointment.  In the meantime, use a cold compress and over-the-counter medications to relieve pain.  The dentist will reposition the tooth and add splints to stabilize it.  If the tooth fails to heal, root canal therapy may be required.

If you have questions or concerns about dental emergencies, please contact the office.




Michael L Bleeker, DMD
7502 E Pinnacle Peak Rd #B119 Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Phone: (480) 306-8510 URL of Map