Emergency Dental Care: What To Do With a Broken Tooth
A broken tooth is a medical emergency. If the patient is unconscious or is suffering from a more serious injury than a broken tooth, call 911 immediately. Otherwise, you need to get the patient and the patient’s tooth to an emergency dentist as quickly as possible. Here are some tips from Trusteddentistry.com on how to care for a broken tooth.
Get the Tooth Fragments
Carefully pick up the tooth fragments. Try not to touch any root part of the tooth. Chances are with fragments they will be safe to pick up. Rinse the fragments in lukewarm water for 10 seconds. If the fragments are small, get a bowl of lukewarm water and drop the fragments in. Take out after 10 seconds. Place fragments in a wet paper towel so they do not dehydrate. Place towel with fragments in a clean plastic bag or plastic container to take with you to the emergency dentist. You do not need to clean the tooth. Leave any fleshy bits alone. The emergency dentist may be able to replace the fragment with bonding.
Any wounds to the head will bleed a lot. Slow down the bleeding by having the patient bite down on clean gauze or cloth. Have the person lean forward so the blood can drain out of the mouth. Encourage the patient not to swallow the blood as that can lead to nausea and vomiting. If the patients bleed so much that he or she faints, call an ambulance. See a dentist for Dental Care follow-up after the patient has been released from the hospital.
Treat Pain and Swelling
Over the counter painkillers help with the pain of a broken tooth and with the swelling of the gum area from the injury. Ice bags or cold packs also help with pain and swelling. Do not place ice directly on the injury because it could cause a nasty cold burn. It is okay for the patient to take the ice bag of cold pack to the dentist with the tooth fragment. Most dentists experienced in Emergency Dental Care can fix a broken tooth if the root is not involved. Ideally, a patient with a broken tooth needs to be in the dentist’s chair less than two hours after the injury. You can also follow them on Twitter for more information.