Dental Emergencies

If you are having an after-hours dental emergency and are a patient of record, please call our office at (919) 363-3133 and follow the prompts to be connected to one of our doctors.

Wake Dental Care can provide emergency dental services to treat dental pain, broken teeth, or swelling. Dental emergencies are quite frightening and often painful, so prompt treatment is almost always required to alleviate pain and to ensure the teeth have the best possible chance of survival. Failure to treat a dental emergency could cause loss of your tooth or possible harm if a serious infection is present.

Wake Dental Care offers emergency dental treatments for the following dental emergencies:

Avulsed tooth (tooth knocked out)

If a tooth has been knocked clean out of the mouth, it is essential to see a dentist immediately.  When a tooth exits the mouth, tissues, nerves and blood vessels become damaged.  If the tooth can be placed back into its socket within an hour, there is a chance the tissues will grow to support the tooth once again.

Wake Dental Care will try to replace the tooth in its natural socket.  In some cases, the tooth will reattach, but if the inner mechanisms of the teeth are seriously damaged, root canal therapy may be necessary.

  1. Call Wake Dental Care: 919-363-3133
  2. Pick up the tooth by the crown and rinse it under warm water.  DO NOT touch the root.
  3. If possible, place it back into its socket – if not tuck it into the cheek pouch.
  4. If the tooth cannot be placed in the mouth, put the tooth into a cup of milk, saliva, or water as a last resort.  It is important to keep the tooth from drying out.
  5. Get to Wake Dental Care quickly and safely.

Lost filling or crown

Usually, a crown or filling comes loose while eating.  Once it is out of the mouth, the affected tooth may be incredibly sensitive to temperature changes and pressure.  Crowns generally become loose because the tooth beneath is decaying.  The decay causes shape changes in the teeth – meaning that the crown no longer fits.

If a crown has dropped out of the mouth, make a dental appointment as soon as possible.  Keep the crown in a safe place because there is a possibility that the dentist can reinsert it.  If the crown is out of the mouth for a long period of time, the teeth may shift or sustain further damage.

Wake Dental Care will check the crown to see if it still fits.  If it does, it can be recemeted easily. Where decay is noted, this will be treated and a new crown will be made.

When the Wake Dental Care is not immediately accessible, here are the steps to take:

  • Apply clove oil to the tooth to alleviate pain.
  • Clean the crown and affix it onto the tooth with dental cement.  This can be purchased at the local pharmacy.
  • If the crown is lost, smear the top of the tooth with dental cement to alleviate discomfort.
  • DO NOT use any kind of glue to affix the crown.

Cracked or broken teeth

The teeth are strong, but they are still prone to fractures or cracks, especially if the tooth already has a substantial size filling.  Sometimes fractures are fairly painless, but if the crack extends down into the root or deep into the tooth near the nerve, it is likely that the crack can cause pain.  Fractures, cracks and breaks can take several different forms, but are generally caused by trauma, grinding, and biting.  If a tooth has been fractured or cracked, it should be assessed by one of our dentists to determine treatment options. 

The nature of the fracture will limit what the dentist is able to do. Minor fractures of the teeth can sometimes be repaired with a simple filling.  If a fracture or crack extends into the root or nerve, root canal therapy and a crown may be the only effective way to retain the tooth. 

When the Wake Dental Care is not immediately accessible, here are the steps to take:

  1. Call Wake Dental Care
  2. Rinse the tooth fragment and the mouth with lukewarm water.
  3. Apply gauze to the area for ten minutes if there is bleeding.
  4. Place a cold, damp dishtowel on the cheek to minimize swelling and pain.
  5. Cover the affected area with over-the-counter dental cement if there is no way to see the dentist immediately.
  6. Take a topical pain reliever.

Dislodged/loose teeth

When a tooth has been dislodged or loosened from its socket by trauma or decay, it might be possible to save it.  If the tooth remains in the mouth and attached to the blood vessels and nerves, there is a good chance root canal therapy will not be necessary.

It is important to call the dentist immediately to make an appointment.  In the meantime, use a cold compress and over-the-counter medications to relieve pain.  The dentist will reposition the tooth and add splints to stabilize it.  If the tooth fails to heal, root canal therapy may be required.

If you have questions or concerns about dental emergencies, please contact Wake Dental Care.