Tips on Fixing Dental Emergencies at Home During Covid-19

We understand the concerns of many patients leaving their home during this time. We are now offering virtual consults or what we call “teledentistry.” From now until June 1, 2020 (with the potential to change based on stay-at-home order), Dr. Tomack is accepting teledentistry consults at no charge (regardless if you are current patient or not). This means, if you have a concern or question, you can send a photo of a tooth using your smartphone and he will provide feedback and advice via telephone and/or email ([email protected]).

Dr. Tomack is also guiding patients on what emergencies can be handled safely at home with products that can be found in the house; and which ones he recommends still heading to the doctor’s office and having the dentist handle. For example, the following dental issues can be safely dealt with at home:

• Re-cementing a temporary or permanent crown can. Dr. Tomack says to take the temporary crown off and rehearse placing it back on the tooth (the crown is in the correct place if teeth come together when biting down). Next, use the open end of a paperclip to scrape out the temporary cement inside the crown. (Be sure there is no temporary cement on the tooth). Finally, squeeze a few drops of Fixodent denture adhesive into the temporary crown and re-cement it back on the tooth.

Removing a foreign body stuck in the gum. Dr. Tomack advises patients to tie a double knot in a strand of dental floss and then pull the knotted portion of the dental floss between the teeth to scrape out the foreign body under the gum line.

Lost fillings. If a filling comes out, Dr. Tomack suggests saving the piece to show us when you can. To temporarily fix the lost filling, gently brush the tooth with toothpaste and lukewarm water. Then, plug the hole using over-the-counter products such as Temparin or Dentemp until you can see a dentist.

• Chipped tooth leaving a jagged edge. Dr. Tomack says to cover the exposed area with dental wax, which can be found at most local drug stores. (Typically, DIY sealants are usually only good for up to 48 hours.) Only if necessary, use a nail file to gently file down the rough spots. However, it is important to keep the area covered until you can see a dentist.

• Suspicious mouth ulcers and other lesions. There are a few remedies to treat painful mouth ulcers and lesions at home. These treatments include rinsing with saltwater, covering the area with a baking soda paste, using a mouth rinse containing a steroid, or using over-the-counter benzocaine (topical anesthetic) products. Please call Dr Tomack and be ready to send images, so that he can help determine which remedy is right for you.

Dr. Tomack can be reached by calling the office at 212-685-2476 and his cell phone number will be provided on the voicemail and/ or by emailing [email protected]

We are hopeful to re-open June 1st. If you have treatment that is needed or have had a cleaning that was put off, please email [email protected], so that we can get you back in right away.