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Emergency Dentistry


Rendering of tooth on emergency kit at Roth Family Dentistry in Missoula, MT 59803-1420When an emergency arises, we hope our patients are prepared with some information to help. There are some steps that you can take to alleviate stress and can even improve the outcome. Reviewing this information before an emergency can help you be prepared.

A dental emergency can include infection, the fracture of a tooth, a tooth being avulsed and entirely knocked out, or the pain of exposed dentin. As with any emergency, extreme symptoms such as a high temperature, severe bleeding, or a loss of consciousness, indicates the need for immediate medical attention from the nearest medical facility. A patient’s oral health can wait until they are medically stable.

Tips to Help in a Time of Dental Crisis


•  Pain: Tooth pain can range from discomfort to severe pain. We will want to see you as soon as possible to diagnose the issue and help you resolve it. Sometimes, pain can occur when it is not easy to be seen such as evenings and weekends. If this happens, we recommend the following tips to help until you can be seen. First, brush, floss, and rinse the area. It’s possible that some food or debris became stuck or in contact with the dentin layer, and cleaning the area may help. Following cleaning, you can take an over the counter analgesic as directed to provide temporary relief. If the pain persists, you can attempt rinsing or gargling warm salt water. This can help if infection is present. Most importantly, contact our office to be seen as soon as possible.
•  Fracture or Crack: A tooth fracture or crack will require being seen as soon as possible for restoration. If you are unable to be seen immediately, there are some tips to help. Cleaning the area can reduce discomfort to remove any debris. If the dentin layer is exposed, you may be in pain. There are store bought dental putty products that can provide temporary relief through covering the affected area. Finally, show extreme caution for the area avoiding chewing in that area until the area can be restored.
•  Large Fracture or Knocked Out Tooth: If a large piece of tooth or the entire tooth has been broken or knocked out, time is of the essence. We ask that the tooth structure be collected and though it can be lightly rinsed if it fell in dirt, that it not be scrubbed. What may appear to be dirt or tartar buildup may actually be important ligaments. If possible, it’s best to try and place the knocked out tooth back in its socket while traveling to our dentist office. Otherwise, placing the tooth piece under the tongue to keep it wet with the saliva enzymes works. If the patient is very young or not in a condition to hold the tooth in their mouth, a cup of milk is the next best option. Water can cause disruption to some of the cells.
•  Impact Injury and Loose Tooth: A fall or collision can result in a severe impact injury that can jar or even loosen one or more teeth. In some situations, time will tell. In others, we may be able to intervene with a splint to help the tooth become firm once again in the root. We will want to see the patient to determine the best course of action.

If you are facing an emergency dental situation, follow the steps above, and call Roth Family Dentistry as soon as possible at 406-728-2745.
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Roth Family Dentistry, 725 SW Higgins Ave., Missoula, MT 59803 • 406-728-2745 • kathyrothdds.com • 6/14/2022 • Key Phrases: dentist Missoula •