Dental Health is a part of a small group of offices in the Denver area that
share resources. One of the doctors is always on call and is available in the
case of a dental emergency. If you are having a dental emergency after hours or
on a week end, please call the office for the doctor on call information
With regular dental visits and by following our
recommendations for treatment, rarely do any of of patients experience a dental
emergency. However, certain events can be unforeseen.
You're having a
tickling contest with your loved one and his or her knee accidentally collides
with your teeth, knocking out a dental crown. Or your child falls off the
jungle gym and loses a tooth. Or you wake up at 2 a.m. with an excruciating
toothache. These situations, and others like them, require emergency dental
care. But taking care of dental emergencies isn't completely out of your hands.
There are some basic self-help rules that can mean the difference between
saving and losing a tooth.
Knocked Out Tooth
out tooth is a common accident, especially among children, sports related
activities and even on the road. In the US alone, almost five million teeth get
knocked-out from the mouth every year. Ninety percent of these teeth could have
been saved and reinserted back if proper preservation techniques has been used
during the time of the accident or incident.
First, do not scrub or
clean the tooth. Simply place the tooth in a container of clean water or
ideally milk, then immediately go to a dentist (both the tooth and patient).
Dr. Howell lives in the area and would be happy to see you on a week end but in
this case, time is of the essence. If you are at a soccer tournament in the
Springs, find the nearest dentist.
Normally a loose or lost filling is an indication of new decay
that will require treatment. Often the exposed inner portion of the tooth will
be sensitive to hot or cold. Covering the area with soft wax or using over the
counter temporary filling material from the pharmacy can stop the pain. Clove
oil on a pellet of cotton can be applied to a more painful area of a tooth. Be
sure and not apply this to your gum tissue.
Lost or Loose
As long as the crown is in place, the inner part of the tooth will
be covered and protected. If possible, try to put the crown back on the tooth.
Over the counter temporary cement is available at the pharmacy. Do not use
super glue. You can make your own cement with a thick mixture of Vaseline and
corn starch. Make sure the tooth and crown are cleaned out. Also, make sure you
do not swallow the crown.
Lost Denture Tooth
A denture tooth
that comes off your denture can be embarrassing if it is a visible tooth.
However, you should avoid using super glue to make a repair. The can become
more problematic because you may have difficulty refitting that tooth, making a
more professional repair more difficult. If you had a special event, such as a
marriage, then crazy glue might be in order but it would be better to wait a
day or so and have it professionally repaired.
If you break your full or
partial denture, be sure and keep all the pieces as they can often be
An area of swollen gums may be a minor
area of localized inflammation/trauma or it may be a sign of a more serious
periodontal problem. First, rinse the area with warm salt water to flush it out
and make sure there is no debris that may be causing the discomfort.
Traditional over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, acetaminophen
(Tylenol), and Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin) may also help curb the pain.
Do not place any of these pain medications directly on the tooth or gum. This
can cause serious burns and
There is a difference between
inflammation and infection. Slight reddening of the gum tissue and swelling of
the gum tissue can indicate inflammation, a minor condition. More severe
swelling, swelling in the face, neck or cheeks or the presence of pus indicates
an infection that will require antibiotics.
Infection can be from the
gums requiring periodontal treatment or it can indicate an infected tooth that
would require root canal treatment. Infection requires antibiotics as soon as
possible. Severe infection sometimes requires hospitalization which would
involve your medical doctor or the emergency room.
Minor puncture wounds
or lacerations to the check, lips or tongue will often heal on their own but
severe pain or bleeding will require more immediate care.
If a wire or loose bracket is causing an irritation, cover the end
of the wire with some wax or a piece of gauze. Do not wait for your next
orthodontic appointment as this will only delay treatment and prolong the
If your jaw hurts when it is moved
or you cannot close your mouth in a normal manner, immobilize the jaw with a
towel or tie. Go to the oral surgeon or hospital. A blow to the head can be
especially life threatening to a child.
To Tell Us When You Call
done to determine the type of emergency treatment you require. Make sure to
follow up on what we tell you and to attend your return appointment. Remember
antibiotics are not the answer for all situations. An antibiotic will only keep
the infection from spreading and can be used to rule out sinusitis and other
infectious outside the tooth. Antibiotics cannot clear up an infection inside
the pulp of a tooth. Taking too many antibiotics can cause you to build up an
immunity to antibiotic therapy in your future.
||How long has it hurt?
||What makes it hurt?
||Does it keep you awake at
||How much does it hurt?
||Have you been taken anything for the
||What is the location of tooth or pain?
||What symptoms are you having? (swelling,
|Dental Health of Longmont
|312 Main Street, Longmont, CO. 80501
2nd & 4th Friday's mornings
|Serving the preventative, restorative,
cosmetic and dental wellness needs for Longmont, Berthod, Mead, Niwot, Dacono,
Firestone and Frederick.
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