A chipped tooth is rarely a disaster. Dr. Shen can save your broken tooth. Before you see Dr. Shen, rinse your mouth with warm water and reduce any swelling by using cold compresses. Dr. Shen may fix the tooth using a white filling. If a filling is not likely to help, Dr. Shen may recommend a root canal and a crown.
Injuries to the soft tissues of the mouth, including the lips, tongue or cheek can occur often. These injuries may be in the form of tears, puncture wounds or lacerations. First, clean the cut area, and reduce the swelling using a cold compress. If the cold compress doesn’t stop the bleeding or the swelling, visit the emergency room of the nearest hospital immediately to get the wound sutured.
A cracked tooth can manifest itself in the form of a toothache. The crack may be invisible to the eye, and may be invisible even in an X-ray. Dr. Shen uses methods like bonding or root canal treatment depending on the size of the crack and the location. In extreme cases, Dr. Shen may extract your tooth.
A sudden toothache can throw your life out of gear. First, call Dr. Shen to make an appointment. Use dental floss to remove any food or other forms of debris, caught between the teeth. Don’t use any pain killers directly on the gums, because they can burn the gums. In the meantime, take an over-the-counter painkiller to ease the pain.
Ibuprofen works great at decreasing the pain and helps to reduce swelling. An ice pack pressed against your face right at the source of the toothache will provide some relief. Do not use hot compresses on the affected area, but do rinch your mouth using warm water.
In case of a knocked out tooth, or an avulsed tooth, the most important thing is not to panic. First of all, locate the tooth and immediately call Dr. Shen. While waiting to see Dr. Shen, rinse the area but don’t scrub. Do not try to remove any of the tissue fragments that may be attached to the tooth. If you can, insert the tooth back into its socket.
If this is not possible, or if you fear that you might swallow your tooth, place it in a glass of cold milk, or wrap it in a clean cloth.
If you’ve lost your dental filling, simply place a piece of sugarless chewing gum that has been softened, in the hole which contained the filling. Consult Dr. Shen as quickly as possible to replace the filling.
There are several ways Dr. Shen can repair fractured teeth. A minor fracture can be treated by Dr. Shen using a sandpaper disc. She might also restore the tooth using a composite restoration. Dr. Shen may even choose to leave it alone if it’s a minute fracture. Whatever the treatment, the tooth should be treated with great care over the next several days, so be careful not to eat hard or sticky foods.
In case of a moderate fracture in which there is no permanent damage to your pulp, Dr. Shen will make use of teeth restoration methods, including placing a permanent crown to bring your tooth to its pre-fractured condition. If there has been damage to your pulp, Dr. Shen may make use of additional treatment options. Besides pulp damage, a moderate fracture can also involve damage to the dentin or enamel.
In case of a severe fracture, chances of recovering the tooth may be slim. Even so, Dr. Shen will make use of specialized dental procedures to restore severely damaged teeth. Consulting with Dr. Shen for immediate treatment is therefore imperative.
While bleeding gums after you brush or floss can be an indicator of gingivitis/gum disease, this type of bleeding does not typically require emergency dental treatment. If your gums are bleeding heavily (due to a deep cut or injury) or won’t stop bleeding, we recommend compressing the wound with gauze and contacting our practice for emergency dental care as soon as possible. It is critical that you do not take any aspirin or ibuprofen for your injury, as these medications thin the blood and can exacerbate bleeding. Prompt dental care can stop bleeding, treat/repair the wound, and help prevent a serious infection from developing or worsening.
The average adult mouth can comfortably hold 28 teeth, which makes it challenging when four more wisdom teeth—also called “third molars”—try to fit in. Wisdom teeth typically grow in by the age of 18, and when there isn’t space in the mouth to accommodate them it can be a painful and even dangerous process.
When there is room for wisdom teeth in the mouth—and they are able to grow in proper alignment surrounded by healthy gum tissue—they do not have to be removed; however, this is rarely the case. For most adults, wisdom teeth must be extracted because they are unable to erupt properly in the mouth. Wisdom teeth that need to be extracted can:
Problematic wisdom teeth that are not removed in a timely manner can:
Early wisdom tooth removal is frequently recommended to prevent serious complications (like those listed above) from developing and minimize risks associated with the extraction procedure.
If the area is not closed with stitches, a pressure pack made of folded sterile gauze pads will be placed over the socket. It is important that this pack stay in place to control bleeding and to encourage clot formation. The gauze is usually kept in place for 30 minutes. If the bleeding has not stopped once the original pack is removed, place a new gauze pad over the extraction site.
After surgery, some swelling is to be expected. This can be controlled through the use of cold packs, which slow the circulation. A cold pack is usually placed at the site of swelling during the first 24 hours in a cycle of 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.
After the first 24 hours, it is advisable to rinse with warm saltwater every two hours to promote healing. (one teaspoon of salt to eight ounces of warm water).
Anti-inflammatory medications, such as Aspirin or Ibuprofen, are used to control minor discomfort following oral surgery. Stronger analgesics may be prescribed by our dentist if the patient is in extreme discomfort.
A soft diet may be prescribed for the patient for a few days following surgery.
Following the removal of your wisdom teeth it is important that you call our office if any unusual bleeding, swelling or pain occurs. The first 6-8 hours after the extraction are typically the worst, but are manageable with ice packs and non-prescription pain medication. You should also plan to see Dr. Shen approximately one week later to ensure everything is healing well.
It is very important to talk to Dr. Shen about the extraction procedure, risks, possible complications and outcomes of the removal of these teeth. The actual extraction may be done by Dr. Shen or it may be referred to an oral surgeon, who is a specialist. This decision is based on the dentist’s preference and the unique features of each individual case. If you are unsure about whether or not to proceed with the treatment suggested by Dr. Shen , it is a good idea to get a second opinion. If you decide after consulting with Dr. Shen to not have any teeth extracted, they should be monitored at every dental visit.
For more information, please contact our office. Our friendly and knowledgeable team is happy to answer questions and to help you schedule a $80 non-refundable consultation with Dr. Shen.*
Dr. Shen received her Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry at UC Berkeley and later obtained her Doctorate degree from UCLA School of Dentistry. She has completed rigorous extensive residency at VA Palo Alto Hospital. Since then, Dr. Shen worked at Valley Medical Center and started her private practice in Mountain View.
Dr. Shen has taken many post-graduate courses in different fields of dentistry since receiving her DDS degree, including oral conscious sedation at the DOCS Institute, IV Sedation at USC School of Dentistry. Dr. Shen has also completed post-graduate training in dental implants at the prestigious Carl Misch Institute.
Her emphasis on patient comfort as well as keeping up-to-date on the latest advancements and the newest technology in dentistry enable her to provide her patients with the best quality of care in dentistry.
Dr. Shen has a wide range of experience in different areas of dentistry including full mouth reconstruction and advanced surgical procedures such as block bone grafts, soft tissue grafts and dental implants.
Dr. Shen always holds the highest standards. She achieves the best care for her patients with her skills, judgement and care. Her approach to your treatment starts with listening to you. Then, after a complete and thorough examination, she reviews and discusses the diagnosis and comprehensive treatment options, to determine what approach to care most interests you and meets your personal needs.