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Dental Emergencies 101: Your Guide to FAQs

Although it’s impossible to predict a dental emergency, there are a few common categories of dental emergencies, such as:

Each one of those situations can be scary, but there are steps you can take to minimize the damage until you can get appropriate care.

Chipped or broken teeth

Follow these steps until you can come in to see Dr. Saeghi:

Severe toothaches and abscesses

If you have a severe toothache, it could be due to an abscess (infection) around the root of your tooth. Try rinsing your mouth with warm salt water and applying a cold compress to your cheek or jaw to relieve pain. Never put an aspirin or other oral pain reliever against your gum.

Knocked out teeth

If your tooth is completely knocked out, be careful to touch only the crown. If the tooth is dirty, rinse it with water, but don’t scrub it.

Keep the tooth moist. One way is to gently place it back in the socket without touching the root. If you can’t put it back in the socket, you can hold it between your cheek and gum or place it in milk. There are also over-the-counter tooth preservation products available in drugstores.

It’s important to get to the dentist as quickly as possible. The best chance for Dr. Saeghi to save your tooth is if he sees you within one hour of it being knocked out.

If your tooth is partially knocked out, it’s still an emergency, and you should come to one of our offices as quickly as possible. Use a cold compress to ease the pain, and if you need to, take an over-the-counter pain reliever.

Objects stuck between your teeth

If there’s something stuck between your teeth, try to remove it with floss -- but don’t try to poke it with something sharp. You could damage your teeth or injure your gums.

Broken or loose braces, wires, brackets, or bands

If your broken dental appliance is poking you, try using a pencil eraser to bend it to a more comfortable position. If that doesn’t work, cover the end with orthodontic wax, a cotton ball, or gauze. Don’t try to cut the wire.

Dental emergencies can be scary, but knowing what to do, and that Dr. Saeghi will help, can keep you calm. If you have an urgent dental issue, we have multiple locations to serve you within California: Ojai, Atwater Village, and West Hills. Call the office closest to you for an emergency appointment.

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