Dental emergencies are never fun – or convenient. But we’re here to help in your time of need. If you have a dental emergency during our business hours, please feel free to stop by our office for an evaluation. If your emergency happens after hours, call our office (509-662-9624) and our answering machine will provide you with our emergency contact information.
We understand that some dental issues and pain need to be dealt with promptly, that’s why our emergency care is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Below you will find helpful information regarding certain dental emergencies.
Loss of a Tooth
Follow the steps below to manage a lost tooth, and then call our office immediately after.
- Handle the tooth by the top or crown, being careful not to touch or wipe off the root of the tooth.
- Clean the tooth using Hank’s Balanced Salt Solution (or something similar) or milk. If not available, water can be used. Do not scrub the root.
- If possible, place the tooth back into its original location. Be sure it’s facing the correct direction.
- If you’re not able to place the tooth back into the socket, put it in a cup of Hank’s Balanced Salt Solution, milk or water (water only if both of the other two options are not available). If none of these are accessible, store the tooth between your cheek and gums.
Chipped teeth that don’t cause pain are rarely considered a dental emergency. If you chip a tooth, contact our office or stop by as soon as possible.
Fractured or cracked teeth are considered a dental emergency. The trauma that caused the external crack usually indicates trauma within the tooth, as well. If you are experiencing pain or have a large, visible fracture on a tooth, contact us as soon as possible and follow these steps:
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water.
- Use gauze to apply pressure to any site of bleeding for 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops.
- Place a cold compress on any site where facial trauma may have occurred.
- Take an OTC (over-the-counter) pain-killer to reduce pain. Follow directions on the bottle.
If you are experiencing a toothache or visible swelling associated with a toothache, make an appointment as soon as possible. In the meantime, the following steps may help relieve pain:
- Rinse with warm salt water to dislodge any food debris.
- Clean the area around the tooth with gentle brushing and flossing if the site is not too painful.
- Do NOT place aspirin at the site of the toothache. This may cause a chemical burn of the gum tissue.
- Apply a cold compress on the outside of the cheek. If there's visible swelling, apply a cold compress alternating 10 minutes on, 5 minutes off.
For soft tissue injuries such as lacerations (cuts), the following steps should be taken to minimize risk of pain or infection.
- Rinse the area thoroughly with warm water.
- With gauze, apply firm, gentle pressure for 15 minutes.
- Apply a cold compress to the outside of the affected area to control bruising and swelling.
Contact us immediately if bleeding can't be controlled or if you have a large laceration associated with significant dental trauma (loss of a tooth, swelling).