Whether you bike the Mount Vernon Trail in Alexandria, VA or run through Georgetown in Washington, DC a dental emergency can occur without warning.
These issues may range from a painful toothache to a serious mouth injury that results in dental damage. No matter the circumstances, our experienced emergency dental team can help. You can reach us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 703-299-4614. We proudly serve patients from across the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
How to Handle a Dental Emergency
The most important thing to remember in the event of a dental emergency is: don’t panic! By staying calm and following a few key guidelines, you can keep the situation under control until you see Dr. Singer.
Depending on the type of dental emergency you’re dealing with, keep the following tips in mind:
- Locate the tooth and handle it by the crown and not by its root.
- Re insert it back in the socket as soon as possible.
- If it soils, rinse the tooth with cold water tap water is fine and put the tooth back in the socket in the jaw.
- To keep the tooth in place in the jaw, bite down on a tissue or towel and see the dentist immediately.
- If its not possible to put the tooth back in the socket and hold it there, put the tooth in a cup of milk, saline, or Tooth Saver-if you have it on hand (commercially available at sporting good stores and here). When milk or saline are not available, the tooth should be placed between the cheek and gums. Do not store the tooth in plain water.
- Seek a dental appointment as soon as possible for treatment.
Children between 7 and 10 years of age are more likely to experience avulsion or knocked out tooth due to the elasticity of the bone in incomplete formation of the root at this age. Studies have shown that kids with an overbite have a 30% chance of suffering damage or trauma to their top front teeth.
Good oral hygiene is absolutely necessary in the healing period.
Once you have taken these initial steps, contact us as soon as possible. We can answer any other questions you have about your problem and set up an emergency dental appointment with you. The following is a useful link to information on dental traumas: http://www.iadt-dentaltrauma.org/for-patients.html
Other Types of Dental Emergencies
Besides the situations listed above, you may also need immediate dental attention for:
- Damage to a dental crown/bridge
- Damage to a porcelain veneer
- A lost filling
- An object stuck between teeth
Although not all dental emergencies are avoidable, its always a good idea to wear a protective mouth guard if you are an athlete. Also, to prevent chipped and cracked teeth, do not chew on ice or other hard objects, and avoid using your teeth as a device for opening or cutting things.
Emergency Trauma Dental Care
- Reimplantation/stabilization of teeth avulsed (knocked out) accidentally
- Repair of broken facial bones
- Reconstruction of damaged teeth and jaws
- Bone grafting
- Gum grafting
As an Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at George Washington University Hospital, Dr. Singer is on-call for dentoalveolar and facial trauma, including lost and displaced teeth and fractured jaw bones. The range of traumas Dr. Singer treats includes auto, bicycle, and work- related accidents, falls, and trauma resulting from assault. George Washington University Hospital presents many unique reconstructive and trauma patients to Dr. Singer.
Dental trauma is injury to the teeth, gums, and jawbone. The most common type of dental trauma is a broken or displaced tooth.
Auto, bicycle, and work-related accidents and assaults are among the various ways teeth can be displaced, or knocked out or broken. Teeth that are knocked out, cracked, displaced forcefully, or loosened due to direct impact or pushed into the jawbone are also considered dental trauma. Oftentimes, these kinds of trauma to the teeth are very painful and can cause permanent tooth loss if not promptly and properly cared for.
Jaw fractures are common types of facial fractures also seen at George Washington Hospital. In a jaw fracture repair, Dr. Singer realigns the broken pieces of bone with wires and/or metal plates and screws. The prognosis in most jaw fractures is typically very good when the fracture is properly treated in a timely manner.