Dental Emergency Guide

For instructions on how to immediately care for knocked-out teeth, broken teeth and other common emergencies before your appointment, see our guide below. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911.


Toothaches

Rinse your mouth with warm salt-water solution (1/2 teaspoon of table salt in 8 ounces of water).
Use dental floss to remove any lodged food.
If your mouth is swollen, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek.
Take over-the-counter pain reliever and use as directed.
Contact Dr. Robert Choi's dental office as soon as possible.
Warning: Never put aspirin or any other painkiller against the gums near the aching tooth because it may burn the gum tissue.

 

Chipped or Broken Teeth
  1. Save and rinse any broken pieces.

  2. Rinse the mouth using warm water or saline mouthwash.

  3. If there's bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops.

  4. Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek near the broken/chipped tooth to keep any swelling down and relieve pain.

  5. Contact Dr. Robert Choi's dental office as soon as possible, and bring any pieces with you.

Knocked-out tooth
  1. Save the tooth, hold it by the crown (the part that is usually exposed in the mouth), and rinse off the tooth root with water if it's dirty. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments.

  2. If possible, try to put the tooth back in place in its original position. Never force it into the socket.

  3. If it's not possible to reinsert the tooth in the socket, put the tooth in a small container of milk (or cup of water that contains a pinch of table salt, if milk is not available) or a product containing cell growth medium, such as Save-a-Tooth.

  4. Until you reach our office, apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area, to relieve pain.

  5. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever (such as Tylenol or Advil) if needed. Aspirin or aspirin substitutes should be avoided as they can slow clotting.

  6. Have the tooth re-implanted within 1-hour of being knocked out by Dr. Robert Choi, or an Emergency Room or other 24hr dental service, if you can't reach our office in time.

  7. Tip: Teeth re-implanted within 1 hour of being knocked out have the best chance of being saved.

Extruded Tooth (partially dislodged)
  1. Contact Dr. Robert Choi's dental office as soon as possible.

  2. Until you reach our office, apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area, to relieve pain.

  3. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever (such as Tylenol or Advil) if needed. Aspirin or aspirin substitutes should be avoided as they can slow clotting.

 

Objects Caught Between Teeth
  1. First, try using dental floss to very gently and carefully remove the object.

  2. If you can't get the object out, contact Robert P. Choi's dental office.

  3. Warning: Never use a pin or other sharp object that can cut your gums or scratch your tooth surface, to dislodge a stuck object.

 

Lost Filling
  1. As a temporary measure, stick a piece of sugarless gum into the cavity (sugar-filled gum will cause pain) or use an over-the-counter dental cement.

  2. Contact Dr. Robert Choi's office as soon as possible and bring the loose filling with you.

Lost Crown
  1. To relieve pain, use a cotton swab to apply clove oil to the sensitive area.

  2. If possible, temporarily adhere the crown over the tooth using an over-the-counter dental cement, toothpaste, or denture adhesive. Do not use super glue!

  3. Contact Dr. Robert Choi's dental office as soon as possible to make an appointment and bring the crown with you.

 

Bitten Tongue or Lip
  1. To stop any bleeding, rinse your mouth with a mild salt-water solution (1/2 teaspoon of table salt in 8 ounces of water).

  2. Use a moistened piece of gauze or tea bag to apply pressure to the bleeding site. Hold in place for 15 to 20 minutes.

  3. To control bleeding and relieve pain, hold a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area for 5 to 10 minutes.

  4. If the bleeding doesn't stop, see Dr. Robert Choi right away or go to a hospital emergency room. Continue to apply pressure on the bleeding site until you can be seen and treated.

 

Abscess
  1. Abscesses are a serious condition caused by infection of gums and roots that if left untreated, can damage surrounding teeth and spread to other body parts.

  2. Contact Dr. Robert Choi's dental office if you have an unusually painful pimple-like swelling on your gums.

  3. To relieve pain, rinse your mouth with a mild salt-water solution (1/2 teaspoon of table salt in 8 ounces of water) several times a day.

Broken Braces Wires
  1. If a wire breaks or sticks out of a bracket or band and is poking your cheek, tongue, or gum, try using the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire into a more comfortable position.

  2. If you can't reposition the wire, cover the end with orthodontic wax, a small cotton ball, or piece of gauze until you can get to our dental office.

  3. Warning: Never cut the wire. A loose wire can easily be swallowed or inhaled into your lungs.

Loose Brackets and Bands
  1. Temporarily reattach loose braces with a small piece of orthodontic wax. Alternatively, place the wax over the braces to provide a cushion.

  2. If the problem is a loose band, save it and call Dr. Robert Choi's dental office to schedule an appointment to have it recemented or replaced (and to have missing spacers replaced).

GET STARTED TODAY

675 Mariners Island Blvd #101

San Mateo, CA 94404

Office Hours

Mon: 9am - 4pm
Tue-Thur: 8am to 5pm
Saturdays by Appointment

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