If you have a dental emergency after office hours, please follow the guidelines below. If you need emergency assistance please contact our emergency care line at 508.668.8008.
Begin by cleaning around the sore tooth meticulously. Using warm salt water, rinse the mouth to displace any food trapped between teeth. Under no circumstances should you place aspirin on the aching tooth or on the gum. In the event of facial swelling, persistent pain, or extreme pain please contact our office immediately or go to an emergency room. For temporary pain relief, over-the-counter ibuprofen (e.g. Advil®, Motrin®) is recommended (if ibuprofen is safe for you according to your physician).
If you experience swelling, do NOT use a warm compress; an ice pack may be used for relief. If you experience swelling that travels up your face toward your eye, or down your neck, or if you are having trouble swallowing or breathing, you should be seen in an emergency room immediately.
All but the smallest fractures need to be evaluated soon after the accident. If the fractured segment is found, please keep it moist in a container of water or milk and bring it to your appointment for evaluation. Emergency treatment consists of either bonding the fragment to the fractured tooth, temporarily applying a resin material over the fractured edge or a full resin buildup of the fracture if possible.
Temporary crown off
If your temporary crown dislodges, you should be seen in our office to have it re-cemented. If it comes off after business hours you can temporarily place it back on yourself to get you through until the next time we are in the office.
- Determine which way the temporary crown goes on the tooth. It will only go on one way.
- Dry the inside of the temporary crown, and place a tiny amount of over-the-counter denture adhesive on it, such as Fixodent®.
- Place the temporary crown on the tooth and press it firmly into place with your finger. Do not bite the temporary crown into place; you might break it.
Permanent crown off
Please call our office immediately.
Call our office IMMEDIATELY. Retrieve the tooth if possible. Be sure to hold the tooth by the crown (the portion of the tooth exposed in the mouth). If the tooth is dirty, gently rinse it off. However, do not scrub the tooth or remove any tissue fragments that are attached. If you can, try placing the tooth back in place. Check to make sure it is facing the right way. Do not force the tooth into the socket. If you cannot place the tooth in the socket, place it in a small container of milk. If milk is not available, place it in a cup of water containing a pinch of salt or a product that contains cell growth medium, such as Save-a-Tooth™. Please see us as soon as possible. A knocked out tooth is more likely to be saved if you place it in the socket within 20 minutes of being knocked out.
Extruded (partially dislodged) tooth
Call our office as soon as possible. Until you receive treatment, to relieve pain, apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area. If possible, attempt to re-position the tooth to its proper position. Take ibuprofen (e.g. Advil®, Motrin®) if needed for pain (as long as you can take ibuprofen as recommended by your physician).
As a temporary measure, use an over-the-counter dental temporary cement or temporary filling material. If this is unavailable, place a piece of “orthodontic wax” or sugarless gum into the cavity (sugar-filled gum will cause pain). Call our office for an appointment as soon as possible.
Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek
Ice can be applied to any bruised or swollen areas. For bleeding, apply firm (but gentle) pressure with gauze or a clean cloth. If the bleeding does not stop with pressure or continues after 15 minutes please go to an emergency room.
Fortunately there are no major/severe emergencies in orthodontic care. Occasional glitches with the appliances can usually be fixed at home, eliminating the need for extra trips to the office. Please visit our FAQs / Tips page to answer any questions concerning orthodontic care.