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Lost a Tooth or Filling? Take These Steps

Greetings San Antonio! Welcome back to the on-going blog of Advanced Dental Associates. As the summer heat starts to fade away slightly, a new season is getting ready to begin.

Namely, football season. Everyone knows there’s nothing better than high school football in Texas. “Friday Night Lights” was a best-selling book, movie, and television show for a reason.

If you’re the parent of a high school football player, you know the stress involved. Keeping the uniforms clean, driving them to and from practice, cheering for them at the top of your lungs during a game.

But do you know what to do if your high school football player has a dental emergency on the field? Sure the players wear mouth guard, but accidents do happen. A hard tackle can knock a tooth right out, or cause a player to accidentally swallow a filling.

We treat hundreds of high school athletes every year, and many of them come to us because of a dental emergency. For that reason, we want to devote today’s blog to informing you about the steps you should take in the case of a dental emergency.

The first thing you should do, is save our office phone number in your cell-phone. Our office number is 201-819-5233; if you are a regular patient of our practice, we’re also happy to give you the cell phone number of your dentist. You may also want to bookmark this page for handy reference.

Time is generally of the essence when it comes to a dental emergency, so you’ll want to call and schedule an appointment with us right away. We can see emergency patients on the same-day, to prevent pain and possibly save a tooth.

Before an emergency occurs, the next step is to consider putting together an emergency dental kit. You can find the necessary products at your neighborhood pharmacy, or order them online. For starters, your kit should have Orajel (or a similar numbing product), a cavity filling mixture such as Dentemp, and a product known as Save-A-Tooth. You’ll also want to consider purchasing cotton balls, dental wax, and a mild non-aspirin based pain medication such as Tylenol.

If you’ve lost a tooth, you’ll want to save the tooth if you can find it. Only handle the tooth by its crown, and take care to avoid touching the root of the tooth. In addition, if there is any gum tissue on the tooth, make sure it stays there. Otherwise, clean any dirt or debris off the tooth by gently rinsing it with water.

Then place the tooth in the container of Save-A-Tooth. If you do not have save a tooth, milk or saltwater can be used to hold the tooth. Save-A-Tooth can keep the tooth from dying for several hours; milk and saltwater are slightly less effective.

Use the cotton balls to stop any bleeding from the missing tooth socket, and take Tylenol or something similar for pain. Avoid aspirin because it will thin your blood, increasing the flow of blood from your tooth socket. If you can reach our office that day, we may able to put the tooth back in your mouth.

If you’ve lost a filling, do your best not to swallow the filling. Although swallowing a filling is not dangerous (it’ll pass through your stool), breathing the filling into your lung can lead to an infection. Composite fillings cannot generally be reused, but you will want to hang on to any gold or porcelain fillings.

Clean the affected tooth by gently rinsing it, and keep any food or debris from entering the cavity. A temporary cavity filling mixture such as Dentemp can be used to fill the cavity; in an emergency sugar-free gum can also be used. Take Tylenol for pain, if needed.

If you’re experiencing a toothache, do not just expect it to go away. Many times they just get worse with time. Toothaches can be caused by damage to a tooth from a hard blow, such as a football tackle. It can also be a sign that you need a root canal in order to save the tooth.

To alleviate pain before your appointment, apply a cold compress to your face and take a Tylenol. You can also try rinsing with warm water to relieve pressure.

If you need more information on what to do in case of a broken tooth, or a lost crown, then click here. (LINK TO DENTAL EMERGENCY PAGE). No matter what dental emergency you’re experiencing, the office of Advanced Dental Associates in San Antonio can help. Call 210-819-5233 to schedule an appointment.

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