When we receive a phone call from someone in pain, we arrange to see that person ASAP. Whether the patient was referred to our office, found us through social media or is a current patient, makes no difference. Our goal is to get them to our office and alleviate the pain. We feel that this is part of our responsibility being a dental professional.
Once the patient explains the problem and has completed their medical history, usually an x-ray is taken to assess the source of the pain. After an initial examination and diagnosis by Dr. Slepchik, we explain the dental options and costs to our patient.
Ultimately, our goal and our responsibility is to get the patient out of pain and then explain what follow up is necessary.
We are located in Downtown Montreal, next to the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel across from Place Ville Marie. Metro Mc Gill or Metro Bonaventure.
“Another great experience. Had an emergency they were able to see me immediately and fix my tooth with great care and precision” – Cedric F.
What constitutes a dental emergency?
Our teeth are tough, but they aren’t indestructible. Dental emergencies can be obvious, such as if you knock a tooth out when slipping on a wet floor. Other issues such as sensitivity probably aren’t emergencies, but they could be.
Not many people put seeing the dentist high on their list of things they like to do, but it’s important that you don’t ignore dental issues, as that can make dealing with them in the future more difficult.
Some things, such as a knocked-out tooth or a broken tooth, are obvious dental emergencies. We need to see you and get that tooth back in place to have the best chance of saving it. Others aren’t obvious. For instance, facial swelling usually isn’t an emergency.
If you wonder whether your dental problem that just occurred is an emergency situation or not, call our office and let’s talk. Then you’ll get an idea of the next step, whether it means you need to come in and see Dr. Slepchik immediately or if it can wait until the next business day.
What happens if I need emergency dental care after practice hours?
If you have a dental emergency but it occurs after our normal business hours, that’s not a problem because we provide on-call service for after-hours emergencies.
You simply need to call our main line, 514-875-7971, and you’ll be able to reach our on-call service.
Everyone knows that emergencies of all sorts seem to usually happen at the worst times. But that shouldn’t mean you can’t get the quality dental care that can allow you to maintain your dental health.
How can I avoid a dental emergency?
Accidents happen, but some accidents that involve your teeth can be prevented by wearing the proper protective gear. You may live and die with the fortunes of the Canadiens, and you see NHL players don’t wear full shields or grills on their hockey helmets. They can afford a mouthful of dental implants. In your rec hockey league, it’s a better idea for you to wear complete facial coverage to block those pucks and stray sticks.
The same is true for other sports and mouth guards. Mouth guards don’t just prevent or lessen concussions; they also protect your teeth.
Broken teeth and chipped teeth often are the result of some questionable uses of your teeth. Opening bottles with your molars, chewing ice, and other habits are like rolling the dice and hoping for the best. Odds are eventually you’ll crack or break a tooth. If nothing else, you’ll weaken your teeth for the future.
What are some common dental emergencies and what should I do if they happen to me?
Knocked out teeth
When playing a little pond hockey and the puck jumps off a stick and whacks you in the mouth, knocking out two teeth, this is an emergency. The good news is that knocked out teeth can usually be saved, if the ligament can be kept alive.
The first thing to do is to retrieve the knocked-out tooth or teeth and handle it gently. When a tooth is knocked out the ligament attached is destroyed. For the tooth to survive, the tooth needs all the tiny nerve fibers to remain attached. Pick up the tooth by the crown (the part above the gumline). Don’t touch the root. Rinse it off with water. Don’t shrub it clean, and don’t remove any tissue fragments still attached — they can help to save the tooth. This sounds silly but try and put the tooth back in place. If it won’t stay in place, put the tooth in your mouth between your cheek and gums. This can also sound odd, but the saliva will help keep the tooth alive. If that’s not possible, store the tooth in cold, whole milk.
Contact us immediately, as there is a much better chance of saving the tooth if we can see you within the first few hours after it was dislodged.
Chipped or broken teeth
A broken tooth also constitutes a dental emergency. A deep crack or large chip would probably also, as they expose the interior of the tooth, along with its nerves and blood vessels, and create some serious pain. Sudden pain when eating, especially if the food is either hot or cold, is a telltale sign you’ve cracked a tooth and the nerves are telling you about it. This is a dental emergency, and we need to see you immediately to not expose the interior of the tooth to possible infection.
If your tooth breaks in half, this is also an emergency. The pulp of the tooth is now exposed and open to bacteria and infection. If infection enters the broken tooth, it will need a root canal or possible extraction if left unattended. Find the piece or pieces of the broken tooth. Rinse the tooth pieces and your mouth with warm water.
You’ll probably have some bleeding, so take a piece of gauze and place it over the spot and gently bite down to create some pressure to stop the bleeding. A cold compress applied to the cheek will help with pain and swelling.
Unlike knocked out full teeth, broken teeth cannot be put back together. However, we still want to see the tooth piece or pieces, if possible. If the chipped area isn’t that large, we may be able to place a filling or apply dental bonding. A porcelain veneer can mask a chip, as well. For more extensive fractures, placing a crown over the tooth is more likely.
Detached crowns and fillings
If a filling comes out or a crown comes off these do not usually constitute a dental emergency. We need to see you during the next day’s business hours. It’s likely that both of these possibilities were due to decay. With crowns, decay can form under the crown on the natural tooth. With fillings, decay can develop between the old filling and the tooth.
Where your filling was is now going to be open to bacteria, so it’s good to try and cover the hole. You can place a piece of sugarless gum into the tooth. Do not use regular gum, as the sugar will cause pain. You can also fill the hole with dental cement that can be found in the dental section of the pharmacy. If there is any pain, apply clove oil with a cotton swab to the area with the missing filling.
If a crown comes loose or falls off, find the crown and clean the inside. You can place it back onto the tooth, if possible. This will protect what remains of the natural tooth. Place dental cement on the inside of the crown and put it back on the tooth. If you can’t find dental cement, denture adhesive can be used. Don’t put Super Glue or other household glue on it. These are not meant to be in your mouth, plus they can damage both the tooth and the crown.
When we see you, Dr. Slepchik will remove the new decay and place a new filling. If the tooth with the crown has new decay, we’ll need to remove that and prepare the tooth for the crown again. We will likely need to make adjustments to the crown.
Toothaches can come on suddenly and be quite painful. They can keep you from being able to sleep or concentrate at work. If the pain is severe and doesn’t pass in a couple hours, this would constitute a dental emergency because you could have an abscess or a tooth needing an emergency root canal.
Try to alleviate the pain first. Make sure your mouth is clean by rinsing with warm water, and floss to remove any food lodged between your teeth. You can find brush-on over-the-counter toothache relievers but be careful not to get this gel on your gums. If the toothache lasts more than a day or two, please call us.
Hot and cold sensitivity isn’t usually an emergency but is a sign that the nerves are being irritated. Hot sensitivity with throbbing and a sensation that goes back to the ear are more serious and need immediate attention. Facial swelling is also urgent, as it usually denotes a possible infection and the need for antibiotics.
Objects lodged between teeth
If something gets lodged between your teeth, the object kind of merits whether or not this is an emergency. With small pieces of food, such as popcorn hulls, try using dental floss and the tip of your toothbrush to dislodge the item. You can’t leave pieces of food under the gums as this will lead to gum irritation and possible infection. A toothpick can also be used to gently move under the gumline and remove the debris. Be careful not to push it deeper, however.
Do not use a pin, knife tip, or other sharp or metal object. These can damage your gums and the enamel on your teeth. If you can’t dislodge the object, call us.