dentist YorkvilleIt’s 11:00 on a Saturday night and you’ve just broken a tooth on your late-night snack. What do you do? These tips will give you guidance on how to proceed in the case of a dental emergency.

1. Save the tooth: If your tooth gets knocked out or if you’ve chipped or broken it, be sure to save the tooth or its pieces. Rinse in warm water, and, in the case of a tooth that has been dislodged from the mouth, you can   attempt to put it back in its spot, but do so gently. If you have to force it, it’s better to just leave it out of the mouth. Teeth or tooth segments that can’t be put back in can be stored in a small container of milk or until you can get to the dentist.

2. Stop any bleeding: Apply gauze to the injury for about 10 minutes. If bleeding doesn’t stop or is excessive, go to the emergency room.

3. Use a cold compress if you have any pain or swelling: The cold will have a numbing effect on the area and will reduce swelling.

You may be able to create a temporary fix for some problems before you can get to the dentist. If a filling falls out, a piece of sugarless gum or an over-the-counter dental cement can replace it in a pinch (but not for the long term). That cement can also be used to re-attach a lost crown for a short time. If a broken tooth leaves behind rough edges, you can use a small piece of wax to smooth the surface and avoid cutting the tongue.

In cases of all dental emergencies, visit your dentist in Yorkville as soon as possible for a permanent solution. If you are experiencing significant pain or bleeding as the result of a dental injury, go to your local emergency room for immediate treatment, but also be sure to follow up with your dentist afterward.