Posts for: December, 2015
“Don’t panic” is your first priority when faced with a sudden mouth injury. Of course, that may be easier said than done when you or a family member has just experienced a chipped, fractured or even dislodged tooth.
It helps, therefore, to have some idea beforehand on what to do and, especially, when to do it. You should think in terms of immediate, urgent and less urgent injuries: a tooth completely knocked out of its socket requires immediate action — within 5 minutes of the injury; a tooth that’s moved out of its normal position but still in the socket is an urgent matter that needs professional attention within 6 hours; and a chipped tooth is less urgent, but still needs to be seen by a dentist within 12 hours.
As you may have gathered, the most important thing you can do when a dental injury occurs is to contact our office as soon as possible. If for some reason you can’t, you should visit the nearest emergency center.
There are also some actions you should take for a knocked-out permanent tooth because there’s a chance it can be replanted in the socket if you act within 5 minutes of the injury. First, rinse the tooth with cold, clean water (bottled or tap) if it’s dirty. Be sure to handle it gently, avoiding touching the root. Grasping the crown-end with your thumb and index finger, place the tooth into the empty socket and push it firmly into place. Apply light but firm pressure with your hand or a wad of wet tissue to make sure it doesn’t come out. Don’t worry about correct alignment — we can adjust that later during examination.
If the tooth is chipped or broken, try to locate the broken pieces — it may be possible to re-bond them to the tooth. You should store them in a container with milk or the injured person’s saliva (the same can be done for a knocked out tooth if reinserting it isn’t practical). The broken pieces should then be transported with the injured person to emergency treatment.
Taking these actions may not ultimately save a traumatized tooth, but they will certainly raise its chances for survival.
If you would like more information on preventing and treating dental injuries, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries.”
Are you missing one or more teeth? Do you want to fill in the gaps, but are not sure how? Dental implants could be perfect for you. The team at Inland Oral Surgery in Spokane, WA can work with you to help you better understand this procedure, and determine if it is the best solution for you.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a permanent solution to one or more missing teeth. The procedure implants hardware into or onto the bone in your jaw to hold prosthetic teeth in place. A post is implanted under the gum tissue of a missing tooth to act as the new tooth’s roots. The new tooth then attaches to the top of the implant. Your new teeth will look, feel and function at the same level as your natural teeth.
The benefits of Dental Implants
- Longevity: Once your procedure is finished and your implants are healed, your new teeth can last you a lifetime with the proper care.
- Easy maintenance: Dental implants are non-removable and just as easy to care for as your natural teeth. Brush and floss twice daily, and visit your dentist twice a year for normal dental examinations.
- Security: Unlike with other tooth replacement options, dental implants do not come with the risk of moving around. Implants are secured into the bone. You can take comfort in knowing that they will not create an embarrassing situation by falling out.
- Aesthetics: Your new tooth will seamlessly blend in with your natural teeth. The prosthetic tooth is color-matched to those around it and shaped to fit your mouth exactly.
- Confidence: Dentures and removable bridges may cause moving parts. This can make eating, drinking or speaking difficult or impaired. With dental implants, you can eat, drink and speak with confidence.
If you have missing teeth, dental implants could be your best option. Dr. David Gailey at Inland Oral Surgery in Spokane, WA can help you determine the best way to replace your missing teeth. Call (509) 321-1404 to schedule your appointment today!
Did you see the move Cast Away starring Tom Hanks? If so, you probably remember the scene where Hanks, stranded on a remote island, knocks out his own abscessed tooth — with an ice skate, no less — to stop the pain. Recently, Dear Doctor TV interviewed Gary Archer, the dental technician who created that special effect and many others.
“They wanted to have an abscess above the tooth with all sorts of gunk and pus and stuff coming out of it,” Archer explained. “I met with Tom and I took impressions [of his mouth] and we came up with this wonderful little piece. It just slipped over his own natural teeth.” The actor could flick it out with his lower tooth when the time was right during the scene. It ended up looking so real that, as Archer said, “it was not for the easily squeamish!”
That’s for sure. But neither is a real abscess, which is an infection that becomes sealed off beneath the gum line. An abscess may result from a trapped piece of food, uncontrolled periodontal (gum) disease, or even an infection deep inside a tooth that has spread to adjacent periodontal tissues. In any case, the condition can cause intense pain due to the pressure that builds up in the pus-filled sac. Prompt treatment is required to relieve the pain, keep the infection from spreading to other areas of the face (or even elsewhere in the body), and prevent tooth loss.
Treatment involves draining the abscess, which usually stops the pain immediately, and then controlling the infection and removing its cause. This may require antibiotics and any of several in-office dental procedures, including gum surgery, a root canal, or a tooth extraction. But if you do have a tooth that can’t be saved, we promise we won’t remove it with an ice skate!
The best way to prevent an abscess from forming in the first place is to practice conscientious oral hygiene. By brushing your teeth twice each day for two minutes, and flossing at least once a day, you will go a long way towards keeping harmful oral bacteria from thriving in your mouth.
If you have any questions about gum disease or abscesses, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Periodontal (Gum) Abscesses” and “Confusing Tooth Pain.”