172 Where There Is No Dentist 2012
Root Pushed Into the Sinus
An upper root that seems to disappear may have gone into the sinus
(page 95). Do not try to find it. Instead, cover the socket with cotton gauze
and send the person to the hospital. A special operation is needed to open
the sinus, find the root, and take it out.
Ask the person not to blow his nose. That forces air through the opening and
prevents it from healing.
Bone Chips and Tags of Flesh
Small pieces of bone that lie loose inside the socket can cause bleeding and
Gently reach into the socket with the end of
an elevator or spoon instrument. Feel for the
piece of bone and carefully lift it out.
Give local anesthetic if needed.
When you are finished, ask the person to bite on cotton gauze until the
Small tags of flesh are not serious, but they bother the person. Hold the tag
steady with cotton tweezers and use sterile scissors carefully to cut the bit
of flesh free.
Rinsing with warm water makes gums tough and helps them heal. But do
not rinse for the first 24 hours. See page 169.
If the first cotton gauze (page 161) does not stop the bleeding in the
socket, place more cotton gauze. Wait 5 minutes to see if the bleeding
stops. If this does not work, follow the steps on pages 167–168 for
placing a suture.
Hold a cloth wet with cold water against the face. This helps to prevent
swelling. This is a good thing to do if the tooth was hard to take out, or if it
took a long time.
If there already is swelling, heat against the face will help to reduce
swelling. Hold a cloth wet with hot water against the swollen area, 30
minutes on and 30 minutes off. Be careful not to burn the skin!
A large swelling usually means there is an infection. The person needs
additional treatment. See page 116.