Dental Emergency Care
If you have a life-threatening or severe injury, call 911 or go directly to the emergency room. At Fryeburg Dental Center, we can treat a variety of traumatic dental injuries, including teeth that have been chipped, moved or knocked out entirely. Please call our office at (207) 935-3133 for assistance. You can also find information below about some common dental emergencies and what you can do to ensure the best possible outcome.
Traumatic Dental Injuries
The quicker you act, the better chance you have of saving a knocked out permanent tooth. If your tooth is knocked out, pick it up without touching the root and gently clean it off with water. Then, put it back in its socket being sure it’s facing the correct way. Use gentle pressure to hold it in place as you make your way to the dental office. If you aren’t able to immediately replant it, tuck the tooth between your cheek and gum, or carry it in a container of cold milk.
For traumatic injuries where the tooth is loosened or has been moved, treatment needs to happen within six hours. If there’s uncontrollable bleeding, go to the emergency room right away. Thankfully, most dental injuries are less severe. The most common is a chipped tooth. If you sustain a chipped tooth, try to find the pieces of the tooth. It may be possible to reattach them. Make an appointment with us as soon as possible and bring the pieces with you to your visit.
When you experience acute or persistent tooth pain, it’s always a sign that you need to visit a dentist as soon as you can. The most common cause of tooth pain is tooth decay, which is a bacterial infection that can spread to other parts of the tooth and even into the gums.
Sometimes, tooth pain is an indication that you need root canal treatment. The procedure will not only eliminate the pain, it can also save the tooth and prevent it from having to be extracted. In other cases, pain is caused by a sensitive tooth or loose filling. The only way to know for certain what’s causing your tooth pain is to make an appointment with your Fryeburg dentist right away.
When the soft tissues of the mouth are injured or become infected, you may require emergency dental care. The gum tissue, the tongue or the lining of your cheeks can be damaged by falls, accidental bites, hot liquids or sports injuries. You can also suffer injury if a foreign body gets trapped below the gum line. Additionally, periodontal (gum) abscesses are painful and potentially serious. An abcess is a pus-filled sac caused by infection. Abscesses require immediate attention from a dentist.
If you have an injury to the soft tissues of your mouth, rinse your mouth using diluted salt water (½ teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of warm water). Clear any visible debris and if you have bleeding, press a clean, damp material against the area for 10 to 15 minutes. If that doesn’t work to control the bleeding, go to the emergency room right away.
If a foreign body gets stuck beneath the gum line, gently try to work it out with dental floss or a toothpick. If this doesn’t work, make an appointment with Dr. Harper or Dr. Hennessy so the gum tissue doesn’t get damaged or infected.
True orthodontic emergencies are extremely rare. However, if you do experience trauma or injury to the face, mouth or teeth; severe, unmanageable pain; or swelling or infection of the gums, face or mouth, seek immediate care from the emergency room or a dental professional.
For minor sensitivity, discomfort or irritation, try using a salt water rinse or taking an over-the-counter pain reliever (whatever you would take for a headache). For loose, irritating or broken orthodontic hardware, call our office at (207) 935-3133 and we’ll schedule you for a repair appointment or walk you through how to handle the situation at home.