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If you’ve ever completed a basic first aid certificate, you may have noticed that precious little attention is put on treating teeth in the case of a dental emergency. Well, other than use a cloth or mask to provide CPR/EAR.

Unfortunately, this means that in a dental emergency many people will act based on nothing more than an old wives tale, or something they remember hearing from the junior footy coach. But how true are the common conceptions of what to do? It’s good to know that DV Dental offers Perth emergency dentist services, with priority given to cases that require immediate care.

First Aid: How to treat a knocked out tooth.

Urban Myth: It’s best to put the tooth in a glass of milk.
False. In fact, the best way to keep a knocked out adult tooth is to reposition it back in the socket it came from. If that’s not possible, putting it in the side of the cheek is the next best option. The main idea is to keep the tooth moist, no matter what.

Milk is a suitable medium when a completely knocked out tooth can’t be comfortably held in the mouth. Doing so will help keep the tissue cells on the root alive until the tooth is reimplanted. Keep some UHT in the first aid kit, it’s also a suitable option in cases of a partially chipped tooth.

A few things to remember:

– Never touch the root, as this can cause permanent damage.
– Only ever handle the dislodged tooth by the crown, the chewing surface.
– Keep the tooth moist at all times.

As first aid, gently place the tooth back in the socket, and keep it in place either by holding it with fingers or carefully closing the bite. Should a tooth be dirty, carefully rinsing it with milk or plain water is okay, but do not dry it!

Urban Myth: After 30 minutes the chance of reimplantation drops significantly
True. Immediate action is needed. Ideally, you should visit an emergency dentist within 30 minutes for the greatest chance of successfully reimplanting the tooth. As much depends on the root tissue being kept alive, the quicker you make it to an emergency dentist, the better.

The best idea is to pop DV Dental in your speed-dial now:
DV Dental (08) 9246 9911
LifeCare Dental (08) 9221 2777 (after-hours)

Urban Myth: Putting Aspirin on a cracked or broken tooth will help.
False. Worse than that, Aspirin can damage the area. Being an acid, it is toxic to the nerve tissue in the tooth and could leave you actually feeling worse. Pain medication may be suitable to reduce pain when taken as directed, but for a cracked or broken tooth, we’d recommend the following:

– Rinse your mouth with warm salty water to clean the area
– Keep area as clean as possible with gentle tooth brushing and flossing
– For pain, Toothache drops may help temporarily;
– Or use clove oil applied to the gum area (not the tooth surface) with a clean cotton swab.
– Importantly, see an emergency dentist as soon as possible

Other Dental Emergencies
If you experience swelling, large abscesses, unexplained bleeding, ongoing jaw pain or any of the above, please contact DV Dental immediately for an appointment on (08) 9246 9911.