Posts for tag: dental emergency

By River Forest Dental Studio
November 30, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental emergency  

Accidents happen. It's inherently difficult to plan for them, and in the midst of one, you may be too overwhelmed to know what to do. But when it comes to accidents involving your teeth, the important thing to remember is that modern dentistry is equipped with several treatments that can help restore your smile. For greater peace of mind and more information get in contact with Dr. Gina Piccioni and Dr. John Hartmann of River Forest Dental Studio in River Forest, IL.

Not Quite an Emergency

It may be helpful to first know what does not constitute an emergency. These are dental problems that can probably wait until your next visit during business hours.

Most of the non-emergency situations are generally those that don't directly involve your natural teeth. If you've lost a filling, as long as there isn't pain associated with it, you are likely safe to wait but should contact your dentist nonetheless. Similarly, this applies to chipping a veneer or any other dental appliance, with the above caveats. But if what remains is sharp and can cut your cheeks, it's best to have it looked at straight away.

When to Call

As mentioned, pain is an indicator that something is wrong and should be examined as quickly as possible. Especially if the pain is severe. You can rinse your mouth with warm water and use over the counter anti-inflammatory medications until you can see your doctor.

If your tooth is only slightly chipped you can likely wait for a regular, though prompt, appointment. But if your tooth has cracked deep enough to hurt, or the remnant may injure you, it's a definite emergency.

Having a tooth knocked out is the most obvious reason for emergency care. The faster your tooth is placed back, the better your chances that it will properly bond. It's why the ADA recommends that you very gently attempt to place it back in its socket if no emergency treatment is available, but you should contact your dentist for guidance.

Don't handle a knocked-out tooth by its root and place it in a container with milk if you must transport it. Don't allow it to dry.

Emergency Dentist Services in River Forest, IL

You can't anticipate accidents, but you can help prevent them. Wear a mouthguard if you practice sports, avoid chewing hard foods, and using metal straws, try reusable silicone ones. Also, remember to reach for a pair of scissors instead of using your teeth to open packages. Make an appointment with Dr. Piccioni and Dr. Hartmann of River Forest Dental Studio in River Forest, IL, by dialing (708) 366-6760.

By River Forest Dental Studio
June 07, 2017
Category: Oral Health

For anyone else, having a tooth accidentally knocked out while practicing a dance routine would be a very big deal. But not for Dancing With The Stars contestant Noah Galloway. Galloway, an Iraq War veteran and a double amputee, took a kick to the face from his partner during a recent practice session, which knocked out a front tooth. As his horrified partner looked on, Galloway picked the missing tooth up from the floor, rinsed out his mouth, and quickly assessed his injury. “No big deal,” he told a cameraman capturing the scene.

Of course, not everyone would have the training — or the presence of mind — to do what Galloway did in that situation. But if you’re facing a serious dental trauma, such as a knocked out tooth, minutes count. Would you know what to do under those circumstances? Here’s a basic guide.

If a permanent tooth is completely knocked out of its socket, you need to act quickly. Once the injured person is stable, recover the tooth and gently clean it with water — but avoid grasping it by its roots! Next, if possible, place the tooth back in its socket in the jaw, making sure it is facing the correct way. Hold it in place with a damp cloth or gauze, and rush to the dental office, or to the emergency room if it’s after hours or if there appear to be other injuries.

If it isn’t possible to put the tooth back, you can place it between the cheek and gum, or in a plastic bag with the patient’s saliva, or in the special tooth-preserving liquid found in some first-aid kits. Either way, the sooner medical attention is received, the better the chances that the tooth can be saved.

When a tooth is loosened or displaced but not knocked out, you should receive dental attention within six hours of the accident. In the meantime, you can rinse the mouth with water and take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen) to ease pain. A cold pack temporarily applied to the outside of the face can also help relieve discomfort.

When teeth are broken or chipped, you have up to 12 hours to get dental treatment. Follow the guidelines above for pain relief, but don’t forget to come in to the office even if the pain isn’t severe. Of course, if you experience bleeding that can’t be controlled after five minutes, dizziness, loss of consciousness or intense pain, seek emergency medical help right away.

And as for Noah Galloway:  In an interview a few days later, he showed off his new smile, with the temporary bridge his dentist provided… and he even continued to dance with the same partner!

If you would like more information about dental trauma, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Trauma & Nerve Damage to Teeth” and “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries.”


As the Boy Scouts say, it's best to be prepared. You may never have a traumatic injury to your teeth. But what if you do? Here are four questions and answers about such injuries and their treatment that may be helpful some day.

What are traumatic injuries?
We are talking about physical damage caused by a fall, an accident, or a blow to the face. The word trauma comes from the Greek root meaning “wound.”

A traumatic injury can also cause broken, cracked, or split teeth, or a fracture to the root of the tooth. A tooth may be dislodged from its proper position, pushed sideways, out of or deeper into its socket. It may even be completely knocked out of your mouth.

What should you do if your tooth is knocked out?
With proper treatment, the tooth can be restored to its original place. You must handle the tooth gently and seek professional help as soon as possible. Rinse the tooth in cold water if it is dirty, but do not use any cleaning agent. Avoid touching the root. While hurrying to your dentist, keep the tooth from drying out by keeping it in a container of milk or of your saliva, or by holding it in your mouth between gum and cheek. It is vital to keep the tooth's living tissues moist until it can be professionally assessed and replanted in its socket. If a tooth has been dislodged but not knocked out, it must be repositioned in its socket and may be stabilized with a splint.

Who can treat a tooth that is damaged by a traumatic injury?
A general dentist, an oral surgeon or an endodontist is trained to treat such injuries. An endodontist is trained to treat the root canal(s) inside a tooth. The word comes from “endo” the Greek word for “inside,” and “odont,” the word for “tooth.” After a tooth is replaced in its socket and stabilized, root canal treatment is often needed.

What is root canal treatment?
A tooth is composed mostly of dentin, a living tissue. The top part or crown is covered by hard mineralized enamel. The soft tissue inside the tooth, the pulp, contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissues. It extends from the crown to the tip of the roots. Treatment of dental pulp injuries is called root canal or endodontic treatment and is usually needed to treat teeth that have been dislodged or fractured.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your questions about injuries to teeth and related nerve damage. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Trauma & Nerve Damage to Teeth.”

Gina Piccioni, D.M.D. and John G. Hartmann, D.D.S.

River Forest, IL Dentist

River Forest Dental Studio