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
- Lose a Filling?
- OOPS - A Broken Tooth!
- What's Causing The Swelling?
- OUCH - A Denture Sore Spot!
- OH NO, Your Crown (Or Bridge) Fell Off!
- Do You Have Pain Around Your Jaw Joint?
- Broken Orthodontic Appliance?
- Cold Sores Bothering You?
- Help For Teething Pain
- HELP - My Tooth Got Knocked Out!
- Call your dentist as soon as possible for an appointment.
- Apply oil of cloves to the affected tooth. You can ask you pharmacist for this.
- Apply ice to the affected area.
- 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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
- Eat soft foods.
- Use warm, moist towels over the joint area.
- Take aspirin or an aspirin substitute for pain.
- 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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
What is bone grafting?
Bone grafting is a minor surgical procedure performed in the dental office under local anesthesia to rebuild bone in areas where it has been lost. Grafting material can be placed into a tooth socket as soon as a tooth is extracted, or in an area where a tooth has been missing for some time. Your body will then grow new bone cells, replacing this graft material over the next several months.
Why would I need this procedure before getting a dental implant?
A dental implant should last a lifetime. In order to do so, however, it needs to fuse securely to your jawbone. If you have insufficient bone volume there, your chance for success with dental implants won't be as high as it should be. Why would this happen? Bone quality and quantity almost always deteriorate when a tooth is lost, though you may not notice this is happening. Sometimes, by the time a person decides to have an implant placed, there may not be adequate bone left to ensure success. That's why we often need to place a graft first. That's also the reason you should replace a tooth as soon as possible and why many dentists recommend placing a bone graft at the time of extraction (View Step by Step Example).
Where does the grafting material come from?
It can come from a variety of sources, including your own body. These days, however, laboratory-processed bone from a human or animal donor (usually a cow), as well as synthetic materials, are frequently used.
Is it safe?
There are no safety concerns with grafting material that come from your own body. However, this method does have a disadvantage in that it involves creating a second surgical site — the place from which the bone is obtained. Mineral bone substitutes, whether they are coming from human donor bone or animal bone, pose little risk of infectious disease transmission as they undergo meticulous safety screening. Both have a similar level of risk, due to the extensive and rigorous processing the material undergoes at the highly reputable tissue banks used. This results in graft materials that have proven to be extremely safe. Also, you may be interested to know that mineral graft materials do not remain in the body but are naturally absorbed and replaced by your own bone over time.
Does the procedure hurt?
Bone grafting involves a small incision in the gum to gain access to the bone beneath it. Therefore, you may experience some post-operative soreness. Most people find this can be managed with ice packs applied to the jaw and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication and/or pain relievers.
How long does it take to heal?
You should feel back to normal in a day or two. But at this point the bone-regeneration process will have only just begun. Over the next several months your body will continue to deposit new bone cells and remove the grafting material.
Can my body reject the graft?
No, because it does not contain any genetically coded or living material — only minerals. The sole issue is how much bone your body will make in response to the graft. If the appropriate level has not been achieved by the time the graft has healed, more grafting material can be added at the same time the implant is placed.