Broken, Missing Teeth Are Dental Emergencies

by Dr. Vareldzis


A dental emergency could happen by the time you reach the end of this sentence. Hopefully, such an emergency won’t happen to you or to anyone you care about. If it does, would you know what to do? Would you know who you should call?

We are going to give you a scenario later to consider, and we’ll explain what you should do for both people involved.

If you are in need of emergency dental care right now, call 541-930-8036 to reach Hillcrest Family Dentistry if you live in or near Medford, Or.

If you are calling during our normal hours, a member of our staff will talk you through what you should do.

If we are calling outside of our regular hours, then listen for the emergency contact number to reach Dr. Vareldzis as soon as possible.

Take Me Away From The Ballgame

Here’s the scenario. Your twin sons have a baseball game today. One twin is playing shortstop and the other is in the outfield.

The batter hits a pop-up to shallow center field.

The shortstop turns and sprints toward the ball. Unfortunately, so does the center fielder. The result is a face-first collision that leaves both your son lying on the ground (and the batter standing on second base).

At this point, the game has become secondary for you and everyone else there. You rush to your sons. Both of them are bleeding. The shortstop is missing a tooth, and the center fielder has a broken tooth.

You search the ground and you find the missing tooth, but no one can locate the center fielder’s missing tooth.

If possible, put on latex or vinyl gloves before doing anything else.

Pick up the missing tooth by the crown. Avoid touching the root. You will need to rinse the tooth to remove any dirt or blood.

Have both of your sons rinse their mouths with water. If the bleeding continues, have them hold gauze in their mouths to soak up blood.

When the bleeding stops and their mouths are rinsed clean, you can ask the shortstop to place the missing tooth back into its socket. If it will stay, let him keep it there until he is able to meet with us.

If it won’t stay, he can hold the tooth under his tongue or in his cheek. As an alternative, he can keep the tough in a container of milk. In some cases, we may be able to put the tooth back where it should go.

For the center fielder, ask him to use some fresh gauze to cover his broken tooth. This is to prevent a sharp edge from cutting his cheeks, lips, or tongue.

Both can take a pain reliever to alleviate pain until they are able to see the dentist, as long as they don’t hold aspirin in their mouths. This can cause burns to the soft tissues of their mouths.

Ice or cold packs can numb their mouths and reduce swelling.

And if you haven’t already done so, call the dentist to make an appointment soon.

Treating Missing And Broken Teeth

It’s possible to put a missing tooth back where it belongs instances. If not, we have other ways to replace the lost tooth.

This can be done with a dental implant to replace the missing root and a dental crown to replace the original crown.

For the son with the broken tooth, the treatment will depend on the severity of the break.

A small-to-mid-sized break could be repaired with a dental crown.

A larger break could expose the innermost parts of his teeth. This can lead to a preventive root canal procedure, capped by a dental crown.

Preventive Efforts

You can reduce your risk of a serious injury in situations like the one described above by wearing an athletic mouthguard. We can create a custom-fitted mouthguard for you.

Please keep in mind that wearing a mouthguard during practices and games is like wearing a seat belt. It won’t stop an accident from occurring, but it can do a great deal to protect you and your teeth if and when it does.

If you are interested in getting a mouthguard for yourself or someone who you care about, please make plans to visit Hillcrest Family Dentistry.

You can call 541-930-8036 or make an appointment with our online form to get started.

And remember that you can call our dentist office in Medford, OR, to get help quickly if you need emergency dental care.