When you have a true dental emergency, it can be a very stressful event. Dr. James R. Donley of Lumbertown Dental Wellness in North Muskegon, Michigan offers emergency care for his patients in the Muskegon County and neighboring cities. Give us a call if you are experiencing discomfort that requires prompt attention.

What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?

The primary purpose of emergency care is to get the patient comfortable and stable. While situations like a chipped filling, swollen gums, or aching wisdom teeth can cause a toothache, they are often not considered an “URGENT” true dental emergency. In most cases we can schedule an appointment to be seen at a mutually convenient time. A loose orthodontic bracket or a temporary crown that pops off are also examples of appointments that should be scheduled soon to avoid further consequences.

A true dental emergency might be a tooth broken off at the gumline or a knocked-out tooth. If you experience any of these conditions PLEASE CALL OUR OFFICE IMMEDIATELY! In addition, if you had an extraction and are experiencing bleeding that won’t stop or swelling that is starting to swell up under your eye or in your neck, then you should definitely contact us immediately.

What to Do If You Can’t Come In Immediately For a Dental Emergency?

For a tooth that gets knocked out you will want to pick it up and gently rinse it off to clean it but DO NOT SCRUB IT. Keep it moist either in milk or water and bring it with you to the office at once. Time is of the essence when trying to re-implant a tooth. If the tooth was knocked out of the socket, but is still in the gums – but pushed forward or backwards in position, try to gently but firmly reposition the tooth back into the socket. Sometimes, it will simply “pop” back into position. Again, call us and have us take a look and possibly stabilize the tooth with an orthodontic wire to hold it steady while it is healing. We had a patient come in after having a tooth knocked out at a camp. Fortunately, we were able to see them right away and reimplanted the tooth and splinted it into place!

For a tooth broken off at the or near the gumline, if the root is exposed, most likely you will need a root canal on the tooth and a crown afterwards. Again, our goal is to make you comfortable and then also to address correcting the problem.

For bleeding that doesn’t stop, sometimes taking Vitamin C and putting a cold compress on the area will help slow it down. In addition, biting on a tea bag wrapped in a gauze pad (dampen both first) has been shown to help sometimes as well. Make sure you aren’t on blood thinners or taking aspirin as that will also act as an anticoagulant and contribute to bleeding.

A temporary crown that has come off is often easily treated by lightly cleaning out the inside and drying it off and either putting a thin coating of tooth cement from the local pharmacy inside the crown then gently biting the crown back down into place. If you don’t have that, you could try some toothpaste, Vaseline, or even a denture adhesive inside the crown as a short-term measure. When that dries out, it will harden and hold the temporary on until you can get to the office.

A chipped tooth is more of a sharp edge irritant or a cosmetic issue than an emergency situation. Sometimes using a small nail file, you can buff the edge of the tooth and remove a sharp edge.

An abscessed tooth that is pressure or temperature sensitive can seem like a nightmare, but often with an anti-inflammatory and some antibiotics, it can often quiet a toothache like this down enough to wait a couple days.

Whatever your situation, feel free to contact us to find out if you should come in to the office with your dental emergency. Call Lumbertown Dental Wellness and we will take care of you!