What To Do When a Tooth is Knocked Out

When someone’s tooth is knocked out, it is without question a dental emergency: one of the most serious there is, especially if it’s an adult tooth. It can be scary when it happens, but the good news is that if you head straight to OnCall Dental in Fresno, there is a very good chance the tooth can be saved.

In the case of a knocked out tooth, timing is everything. When we say “head straight to OnCall Dental,” that means get here as soon as possible. If you get here within thirty minutes of the tooth being knocked out, the chances are very good the tooth can be saved.

Even if it takes you longer to get here, though, don’t give up. It is possible to save the tooth even if it’s been more than an hour.

What To Do

Technically, a knocked out tooth is called an avulsed tooth. Most likely it will happen without warning: a fall from a bike, an elbow to the mouth on the basketball court: that’s all it takes.

Here is what you should do:

  1. Find the tooth and pick it up. It may be nestled within your clothing. It is important to pick it up by the crown only – the biting and chewing part – and never by the root.
  2. If there is dirt on it, rinse it gently with water. Do not use soap, toothpaste, or any other cleanser.
  3. If you can, reposition the tooth in the socket it came from. Use your fingers to press it gently in place. Hold it there with fingers, or by gently biting down.
  4. Keep the tooth moist. If you cannot get it into your mouth, place it in milk if you’ve got some handy. Don’t waste time looking for some, though. If you can’t get it into the socket and  there’s no milk available, you can put it in your mouth between the gums and your cheek.
  5. Head straight to our office.

Once you’re here and in our chair, leave it to us. We can re-insert it, and there is an excellent chance the tooth can be saved if you’ve gotten here quickly. We may need to hold it in place with a composite material; this may be necessary for a few days.

Getting a tooth knocked out happens more than five million times every year. It is a clear emergency, but we’ve had a lot of practice. You can call ahead on your way in, but you don’t need an appointment and walk-ins are always welcome. At OnCall Dental in Fresno emergency dental care is our specialty.


Dental Emergency?

Everyone knows that pain is the body’s way of getting your attention, and saying that something is wrong. But how can you tell whether the pain in your mouth is something you can treat with an over-the-counter remedy, or requires a trip to OnCall Dental in Fresno?

Knowing when you should head into to our office is important, but so is knowing when not to! We have some thoughts on that.

  • A loose tooth. If it’s your kid, it’s probably no big deal. Children lose their teeth starting around the age of six or seven. But if you’re the one with the loose tooth, it’s anoher matter. Adults should never have loose teeth. A loose tooth may be the result of a trauma, a localized infectio or some other issue. Should you come to our office? Yes.
  • Bleeding gums. It’s not uncommon to see a little bleeding when you floss your teeth, especially if you don’t floss on a regular basis. It could, however,  be a sign of gum disease. And if the bleeding is excessive, or it happens over and over, you may be a problem. A trip to our office is a good idea.
  • A swollen jaw. Again, this could be result of a trauma. It might also be a sign of an infection. If it is accompanied by a fever, a foul taste in your mouth, or difficulty breathing or swallowing, you should absolutely head to our office.
  • Toothache. Our first question: how bad is the pain? Where would you place it on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the worst pain? If it’s a five or above, a trip to the office is in order. There are lots of different things that may be causing it, which will determine how we treat it.
  • Metallic taste in your mouth. If you’ve had metal fillings in the past, this may be an indication one of them has cracked or become loose. You may have an open filling, and that’s a serious matter. It could lead to new infections and cavities. A trip to our office is in order, right away.

At OnCall Dental in Fresno, emergency dental care is our specialty, and we don’t want you taking any unnecessary chances. You don’t need an appointment; walk-ins are always welcome.


Is It An Emergency?

If you have a dental emergency, OnCall Dental in Fresno should be the first place you call. Depending on the nature of the emergency, the sooner we get you in the office the better the chance of a successful outcome.

But first, ask yourself: is it a genuine emergency? If you have an accident involving your teeth or mouth, it doesn’t necessarily require immediate attention.

What Constitutes A Dental Emergency?

Here are some of the things you should consider:

  • Were you hit in the mouth or face?
  • Is there bleeding and/or swelling?
  • Are there any loose teeth?
  • Is there a lot of pain?
  • Are there any bulges, knots, or swelling in your gums?

If your answer to any of the above is yes, then you have a dental emergency and you should make a beeline to our office.

If you’ve knocked out a tooth, then there is absolutely no doubt: it’s an emergency, and we need to see you immediately. Knocked out teeth present a small window for treatment, but if we see you within that window – at most, about an hour – then the chances are good your tooth can be saved.

Accidents can happen at any time of the day or night. They can be frightening, but some dental issues, like a toothache or even a chipped tooth, can wait for regular office hours. We suggest calling us to be sure, and our phones are answered 24/7. But if there is no severe pain and no bleeding you may not require immediate treatment.

But if there is the slightest doubt, please call us at OnCall Dental in Fresno. Emergency dental care is our specialty. You don’t need an appointment; walk-ins are always welcome.


Severe Tooth Pain?

When you are suffering with severe tooth pain, you probaby aren’t overly concerned about the cause. More likely you are thinking about relief, because severe tooth pain can get your attention like nothing else. You can find relief from severe tooth pain at OnCall Dental in Fresno.

There are any number of possible causes for severe tooth pain. The most common is tooth decay: a cavity. These are easily treated with a filling.

Tooth pain may also indicate gum disease. It happens when the gums get inflamed. Treatment is a procedure called scaling, which is a deep cleaning.

Other causes of severe tooth pain include:

  • Wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth can be impacted, which means there isn’t enough room for them to grow in. Wisdom teeth usually come in the late teens or early twenties. They cause problems for many people and extracting them is often recommended.
  • Cracked tooth. Even without having a cavity or an obvious trauma, teeth can crack. These can lead to severe tooth pain.
  • Abscess or Infection. This is usually the result of an issue, like one of the above, that has not been treated. It can cause severe pain and swelling around the affected area.
  • Worn down enamel. This can result in teeth sensitivity. You may have pain when chewing hard foods, or from hot and cold foods and beverages.

Whatever the cause might be, we’ll find it and treat it at OnCall Dental in Fresno. Toothache relief and dental emergencies are our specialties. You don’t need an appointment; walk-ins are always welcome.


Stuck Between Your Teeth

Something stuck between teeth might not sound like it’s a dental emergency. But try telling that to the person with an immoveable object lodged between a couple of teeth. It can most definitely be a dental emergency, and at OnCall Dental in Fresno, we can help.

Getting something stuck between your teeth can be not only uncomfortable, it can be painful. We specialize in dental emergencies, and whatever it is that’s stuck, we can get it out.

First, though, there are a few things you can try at home:

  • Dental floss. Tried that first, right? It may or may not work. If you have some, use waxed floss, but if you don’t use whatever is at hand. Working slowly and gently, you may be able to work the floss between your teeth and below the stuck object, and then lift it out. On the other hand, the floss may shred.
  • Knotted floss. If you can work floss between the teeth and below the object, try doing it with a knot tied to one end of the floss. Make sure the knot is on the inside of the teeth. Pull the floss taut (but not too taut) and see if you can catch the stuck object, and dislodge it.
  • Toothpicks. We generally frown on toothpicks. Consider it a last resort. Before using one, try an inter-dental pick; they’re much softer, but rigid enough for what you need to do. Use one or the other to work the object loose
  • Wedge. You can also trying wedging that toothpick between your teeth. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then try working it in a little further. Then go back to that knotted floss described above.

Each of these techniques must be done with great care. You don’t want to hurt your gums, or get that object stuck even worse. And remember, never use anything sharp and metallic, like a needle.

If nothing works, head for OnCall Dental in Fresno. Dental emergencies are our specialty, and we’ll remove that stuck object. We also provide dental implants. Keep us in your phone contacts. You don’t need an appointment; walk-ins are always welcome.


Knocked Out Tooth? Don’t Panic

When a tooth is knocked out of your mouth, you have about half an hour to get to a dentist to have it put back in. That isn’t very much time, but if you succeed, the chances of the tooth root staying alive are good. The best place to go in Fresno is OnCall Dental, where we deal with dental emergencies every day.

Of course, you have to bring the tooth with you. That sounds obvious, but in an accident like this you are likely to panic. Your instinct to get help ASAP might make you forget. Chances are good you’ll be on a playing field or playground. Get down on your hands and knees and find that tooth.

That knocked out tooth might also be tangled up in your clothing, or in the clothing of whoever you’re with. Don’t forget to look there. Wherever you find it, don’t touch the root. Pick it up by the crown.

There’s still one more thing to do before heading to our office. It’s important to keep the tooth moist, so you need to store it somehow. Milk, believe it or not, is an excellent choice: it has a natural ph balance and vitamins that will preserve the tooth in the short term. You may not have a carton of milk handy, though. Saliva will do. You can wrap it in a paper towel, or even try to replace it in the socket, though that might be damaged, too.

But as we said, every minute counts. Even an adult tooth can be successfully re-implanted if you get here in time.

One distinction: when we say “knocked out tooth,” we mean root and all. When a tooth is broken above the gum line, a root canal may be necessary.

If the tooth cannot be saved, a dental implant may be your best option. An implant is a titanium post inserted into your jaw that works like a tooth root. An artificial tooth is placed on top of the post.

At OnCall Dental in Fresno, we see knocked out teeth all the time. Dental emergencies are our specialty. We also provide dental implants. Keep us in your phone contacts. We’re here 24/7, and walk-ins are always welcome.


Weekend Dental Emergencies

Are you really more likely to have a dental emergency on the weekend, when most dentist offices are closed? It sure seems that way. At OnCall Dental in Fresno we don’t have any statistics to support that one way or the other, but we definitely have some ideas about it.

It could be that you’re more likely to have a dental emergency on the weekend, for the simple reason that we’re more active on those two glorious days between work weeks. The kids are in soccer leagues, and so are some of the adults. We try to get to the gym, or out on our bicycles for a quick twenty miles. And is there a better time for a pickup basketball game?

We get out to the movies more on weekends, too. That might not seem like a recipe for a dental emergency, but try telling that to someone with a popcorn shell hopelessly wedged between their teeth.

And then there are the toothaches. A weekend may only be two days long, but when your tooth is throbbing it can seem like two centuries.

There is no substitute for professional dental care. But there are some home remedies you can try that might bring you some short-term relief. For pain from a toothache, over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can take the edge off.

There are anesthetic gels you can find at any drugstore, too. These also work, but they must be used with care, because they can irritate your gums. Follow all label instructions carefully.

For those who prefer natural treatments, placing cloves in the side of your cheek is said to work wonders. Use a whole clove, and put it right next to an aching tooth. Clove oil can naturally settle down inflamed nerves.

Of course, there is always a good-old-fashioned ice pack. Wrap ice in a towel  and put it on the side of your face. It’s also a good idea to rinse your mouth out with warm salt water. Just be sure to spit, not swallow.

But seeing a dentist is the best course of action. On weekends, and after-hours during the week, your best bet is OnCall Dental in Fresno. We’re here 24/7 and specialize in emergency dentistry, including toothache relief. Walk-ins are always welcome.


Dental Emergencies and Pain Management

An emergency dental procedure isn’t something you can plan for. One minute you’re shooting baskets with your friends, and the next you’ve taken an elbow to the jaw and are standing there with a bloody tooth in your hand. When  that happens, make a beeline to OnCall Dental in Fresno.

Dental emergencies are our specialty. In the case of a knocked out tooth, time is of the essence. If you get here within about an hour, there is a very good chance that the tooth can be successfully re-inserted into your jaw. If it can’t be saved, you may want to think about a dental implant – but we’re getting ahead of things.

In a dental emergency one of the first things we think about is pain management. We provide several sedation dentistry options. One of them, oral conscious sedation, is not really good in an emergency situation, since it involves taking a sedative and waiting for it to take effect.

We use a local anesthetic to numb the affected area. Beyond that, nitrous oxide is an excellent choice. It’s been used in dentistry for more than a century and is known to be highly effective. You know it by its common name, laughing gas.

As it’s used in dentistry, nitrous oxide is really a mix of nitrous and oxygen. You breathe it in through a mask over your face. It works very quickly to put you in a very relaxed state. You may not laugh, especially if you’re worried about your emergency. But your anxiety will drop off considerably.

It works quickly, and wears off quickly too. Most patients have no side effects from nitrous oxide, although they do occur in rare cases. The most common include a headache, nausea, and/or fatigue.

If you’ve had a dental emergency, the team at OnCall Dental in Fresno wants to address it immediately and restore your teeth. And with sedation dentistry we can minimize, even eliminate, your discomfort. We specialize in emergency dentistry, and are here 24/7. Walk-ins are always welcome.


Fixing Chipped Teeth

Even when you do everything right, things can go wrong. That’s why we call those things accidents. In spite of your best efforts you can still find yourself with a chipped tooth. If that happens, don’t delay: head over to OnCall Dental in Fresno, where no appointment is necessary.

A chipped tooth is bad news. The good news is that it’s a pretty straightforward repair. We actually have several options when it comes to fixing a chipped tooth, and the one we go with will depend on the nature and severity of the chip.

The quickest way to fix a chipped tooth is with cosmetic bonding. This involves applying a composite material that we can not only shape to match the tooth; we can match the color, too. In many cases there is no need to remove any of the existing tooth surface.

Were you able to find and save the chipped-off part of the tooth? Even better. We can use bonding to reattach it. Chances are it won’t be at all noticeable when we’re finished. If you don’t have the chipped off part we can use the bonding material to replace it.

Another option for fixing a chipped tooth is a porcelain veneer. Veneers are thin shells that are attached to the front of a tooth. They’re great for covering small areas of missing tooth.

A dental crown might be considered the ultimate repair, because crowns cover everything. They’re the best option if there are large pieces of tooth that are missing.

Doing everything right to avoid chipping a tooth means different things:

  • Always wear a mouth guard when playing sports
  • Don’t use your teeth to open bottles or anything else
  • Don’t chew on ice, hard candy, or any other hard object
  • Do not grind or clench your teeth

At OnCall Dental in Fresno we specialize in emergency dentistry. We also offer a range of general dentistry procedures. We are here seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. Walk-ins are always welcome.


Do I Have A Dental Emergency?

If there is a sudden problem with your teeth, the first thing you should do is call your dentist to see if you can get in for treatment right away. But dental problems have a way of happening when your dentist isn’t available. At such times, remember OnCall Dental in Fresno.

Walk-ins are always welcome here, and we will be happy to help you. But it’s important to remember that not every situation is going to be a genuine emergency.

If your teeth are giving you pain, here are some things to think about as you gauge how serious your situation is.

  • Is there bleeding? If you are bleeding from the mouth, and you cannot control it, that’s a big red flag. Head in to our office.
  • How bad is the pain? Is your pain severe? Is it the result of an accident, or is there an infection? Severe pain is another red flag that you’ve got a genuine emergency.
  • Are there any loose teeth? Even if there isn’t any pain, a loose tooth is a sign that there is a serious problem.
  • Did you lose a tooth? If you’ve had a tooth knocked out, there is no question: you have a dental emergency. The sooner you get treatment for it, the better the chances that the tooth can be saved. Time is of the essence.
  • Is there an infection? An infection, too, is definitely an emergency situation. An abcess or serious infection can even be life-threatening. It may be accompanied by swelling of the face, or knots on the gums.

Any of the above symptoms can safely be categorized as a dental emergency. OnCall Dental in Fresno is here for you.

Some things, though, are not emergencies. They may be a little frightening, but you should not have a sense of urgency.

  • Chipped teeth. If there is no pain, you can wait a day or so before getting treatment. If, however, there are sharp fragments where the chip is, or if it really hurts, consider it an emergency.
  • Lost Crown or Filling. These, generally, are not emergencies. If a crown has come off, use over-the-counter dental cement to put it back in place until you can see your dentist. You can also use denture adhesive. Do not, however, use an adhesive like super glue. If a filling has come out and it’s bothering you, a good trick is putting sugarless gum in the cavity until you get to the dentist.
  • A toothache. We know that toothaches are no fun, but provided the pain isn’t severe, it does not need immediate attention. If there is severe pain, or if there is swelling in your face, a high fever, or bumps on your gums, it is definitely an emergency situation. Head to OnCall Dental.

OnCall Dental in Fresno sees dental emergencies on a daily basis. Walk-ins are always welcome, but you can also make an appointment. We are here 24/7.