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Online Dental Education Library

This section of our Web site will provide our patients with information they can use before and after their treatment. Right now, if you have a dental emergency or oral concern, review our suggestions and then call us at 908-874-4555. After hours emergency phone numbers are available on our phone system.

When Dental Emergencies and other oral problems occur...
Smiling, kissing, and eating... These are some of the wonderful things for which we need our mouths and teeth! Of course, keeping our mouths and teeth clean and healthy is a major concern, but emergencies can arise. Here are some first aid tips to use before you can get some relief from your DENTIST!

TOOTHACHE HELP
Hopefully this won't ever happen to you, but if it does follow these tips:

  1. Call your dentist as soon as possible for an appointment.
  2. Apply oil of cloves to the affected tooth. You can ask you pharmacist for this.
  3. Apply ice to the affected area.
  4. Take aspirin or an aspirin substitute to ease the pain.

The best treatment is to let your dentist help you right away. Teeth don't heal themselves. Sometimes a person will have a toothache for 2-3 days and it will "go-away". Don't be fooled! The problem is still there. Remember seeing your dentist early can prevent pain, expense and maybe tooth loss!

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LOST FILLING?
See your dentist as soon as you can. Why? The soft inner part of the tooth exposed when a filling is lost can decay quickly! If you can't see a dentist right away, be sure to keep the tooth super clean. If pain should develop, try some aspirin or an aspirin substitute until you see your dentist.

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OOPS - A BROKEN TOOTH!
Most often, a broken tooth is a result of a blow to the face or from chomping on especially hard foods. If you happen to break a tooth, don't panic! See a dentist as soon as possible and if the tooth hurts, take some aspirin or an aspirin substitute. Hot or cold foods and drinks can aggravate the tooth so do avoid them. A broken tooth can be scary and even embarrassing! Get to a dentist quickly.


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WHAT'S CAUSING THE SWELLING?
Swelling can mean many things. Usually, it means a nasty infection. Immediate professional attention is very important. Call your dentist right away!


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OUCH - A DENTURE SORE SPOT!
Your dentist can usually relieve the cause of irritation quite easily. Adjustments after fitting dentures are very common! Until then, a little Ora-base applied to the spot will serve as a bandage if the area is really sore. If your dentures are old and loose, for your sake, don't try to reline them yourself or use denture adhesives. This can make matters worse, so see your dentist for any denture problem!


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OH NO, YOUR CROWN (OR BRIDGE) FELL OFF!
First, check the crown or bridge to see if it's in one piece. If it is, place a thin coat of petroleum jelly inside the crown or bridge. Then, carefully press it back in place. It is important to keep the teeth in their proper position by replacing the crown or bridge immediately. Do not chew on the replaced crown or bridges as it may come off again. This is only a temporary solution. Be sure to call your dentist as soon as you can to have the crown or bridge examined and re-cemented.


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DO YOU HAVE PAIN AROUND YOUR JAW JOINT?
This pain is often related to your teeth. If you are bothered by jaw joint pain, try these temporary solutions:

  1. Eat soft foods.
  2. Use warm, moist towels over the joint area.
  3. Take aspirin or an aspirin substitute for pain.
  4. Avoid talking, chewing and clenching as much as possible!

Be sure to call your dentist for attention. This type of pain requires treatment, which should not be delayed. These symptoms can worsen.


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BROKEN ORTHODONTIC APPLIANCE?
If this should happen to you, place a ball of wax over the broken and/or jagged wires to prevent stabbing the inside of your mouth. Your pharmacist often has this type of wax for these types of emergencies. Call you orthodontist for immediate assistance.


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COLD SORES BOTHERING YOU?
Cold sores are symptoms of a virus and can be awfully painful. As with any virus, these sores run their course in about 7 to 10 days. If these sores appear on or about your lips, keep them moist with some petroleum jelly. Your dentist will be able to help with a new prescription drug especially for these sores. If the sores aren't gone within 7 to 10 days, or worsen, call your dentist!


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HELP FOR TEETHING PAIN
Teething can be a difficult time for babies and mommies! If your child seems to be uncomfortable, apply some Ora-jel to the area where the tooth is erupting. This gel is pleasantly flavored and can be applied directly to the problem area. Time cures this problem, so be patient!


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HELP - MY TOOTH GOT KNOCKED OUT!
First, find the tooth. Immediately after, call your dentist. Then wrap the tooth in clean wet gauze. It's important not to clean the tooth. Cleaning can damage the attachments on the tooth. Success is greatest if you see your dentist within thirty minutes after the accident. The longer you wait, the less possibility of success! Get to your dentist quickly!


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If you have teeth that are missing or need to be replaced, chances are you'll be deciding between a number of treatment options, each of which comes with a price tag. As you're weighing those options, you will probably learn why dental implants are today's premier solution to the problem of failing or lost teeth: They have the highest success rate of any tooth replacement procedure; they are the most lifelike in terms of looks and function; and with proper care, they can last the rest of your life.

Implants represent a significant investment for many people; however, when you look at all the options, we think you will find that they also offer the best value. Still, it's wise to weigh all the choices for tooth replacement — even the option of doing nothing. But can you really put a price tag on not taking action? When it comes to tooth replacement, you certainly can... and the true cost of doing nothing might surprise you.

The Hope: A Short-Term Gain?

In the short run, perhaps, the cheapest option is not to get treatment at all. Of course, you'll still be living with the obvious consequences of missing teeth — not only in terms of your appearance, but also with the difficulties you may experience trying to speak and eat normally, and the loss of self-confidence that goes along with these issues. Plus, there are the less-visible problems — like potential nutritional deficiencies, and an increased likelihood of continued bone loss — that can result from missing teeth.

These problems are quite real, but they're hard to put a price tag on. In one area, however, the price of waiting can be measured in dollars. To see how, let's look at what happens inside your mouth when teeth are lost.

The Reality: A Long-Term Loss

Consequences of Tooth Loss.Once you start to lose teeth, the bone in the jaw that formerly supported them begins to deteriorate. Over time, it can significantly decrease in volume and density — and as it does so, it may create changes in the facial appearance. Here's what happens: as you continue to lose more and more teeth, and as the bone atrophies (degenerates), the distance between nose and chin can decrease, the lips curve into a frown, and the lower third of the face partially “collapses.” You may have noticed that people who are missing teeth appear unhappy. Loss of bone structure is part of the reason why.

Removable dentures don't solve the problem of bone loss — they generally worsen it. In fact, bone loss is the reason why removable dentures need periodic adjustment and replacement: They put too much pressure on the jawbone, which causes it to erode even faster.

At a certain point, treatment may become imperative. The problem is, it's much more difficult to place implants when the bone quality and/or quantity has diminished. Bone grafts may be needed if the area of the missing tooth doesn't have enough bone volume to support the proper size implant. If several teeth are being replaced, it may also be necessary to use up to six or more implants, where only four would have been needed if the situation had been treated promptly.

The Bottom Line

By itself, the lack of sufficient bone doesn't mean that implants are out of the question. In fact, bone grafting is presently a relatively common in-office procedure that can be done as one stage of the implant process. However, chances are that treatment will now be longer, more complicated... and more costly.

How much more? That depends on the individual case; however, it's not uncommon to see a 50% increase in the total treatment cost if this type of additional work is needed. You could call that the cost of waiting. So if you're weighing tooth-replacement alternatives, don't forget that every option has its price — even doing nothing. When you consider the real value they offer, we think you'll agree that dental implants are the optimum solution for replacing missing teeth.

Related Articles

Losing Teeth - Dear Doctor Magazine

The Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth For those missing even one tooth, an unsightly gap is actually the least significant problem. What's of far greater concern is the bone loss that inevitably follows tooth loss. Dental implants can preserve bone, improve function and enhance psychological well-being. Learn how implants serve both as anchors to support replacement teeth and preserve bone... Read Article


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Towne Centre Family Dental and the Implant & Smile Makeover Studio

908-874-4555
419 US-206 Hillsborough Township, NJ 08844