March 7, 2011

Dear friends,

I was recently asked by a patient who was planning a 2 week cruise to the Mediterranean, what kind of things they should take in case they should have a dental emergency. Well, for those of you going on an extended vacation or business trip, here are some suggestions….

Emergency Dental Travel Kit

1)      Hygiene: Don’t forget the obvious…..toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, and an antiseptic mouthwash such as Listerine or Crest ProHealth.

2)      Toothache: Take advil/motrin and/or Tylenol. Take a small tube of benzocaine or numz-a-dent gel to rub in and around the gums to help numb the area. You may consider putting a pair of nitrile gloves and some q-tips with your kit that may help with the application.

3)      Lost filling or chipped tooth: You can always place a small piece of sugarless gum in the space to cover and protect. Bee’s wax can be used to temporarily fill the hole. And there is something you can buy at the pharmacy called Dent-Temp that can be used as a temporary filling.

4)      Lost cap or veneer: A tube of Poligrip or Fixodent can be used as an excellent temporary cement to hold the crown. If it is still loose after trying this, remove it and store it safely…..we don’t want you to accidentally aspirate or ingest your crown! If it is a veneer, keep it safely stored until you see a dentist. These are too fragile to safely recement temporarily. Do NOT try to recement a cap or veneer with super-glue….I have seen too many cases where the person ends up gluing their lip or cheek to the tooth!

5)      Knocked out tooth: Place the tooth in an empty prescription bottle and fill with sterile saline solution (see the contact lens area of the pharmacy). Do not scrub or clean the tooth as this will lessen the chances of the tooth regenerating after reimplantation. See a dentist ASAP….this will also increase the chances of successful regrowth.

6)      Foreign body or food impaction: Popcorn is the biggest offender! Floss and rinse with an antiseptic solution or gently probe and dislodge with a toothpick. Use your numbing gel after for pain relief.

7)      Take your dentist’s emergency phone number: You can call someone from anywhere in the world these days and it is comforting to know I might be able to give you some insightful advice.

Please feel free to pass this on to any family, neighbors, or friends that might find this interesting. Happy traveling!

Richard Parsanko DDS