We understand that dental emergencies never occur at convenient times, that’s why they’re called emergencies. Acting fast can make a big difference when it comes to saving a tooth and achieving a positive outcome. Knowing what requires emergency dental treatment and how to handle the situation is an important part of being prepared.
In most situations, patients should opt to seek treatment from their dental office before heading to the nearest emergency room. Emergency rooms are typically packed with patients that have a wide range of issues, meaning you could wait for hours on end. Additionally, in many cases, the emergency room physician will end up referring you to a dentist anyway. When a dental emergency strikes, calling your dentist should be your first step to determine the best way to address your problem. Of course, if there is any sort of traumatic head injury, it’s always a good idea to head to the emergency room.
The following are some common dental emergencies that we treat and guidelines of what you should do if they occur. It’s important to note that these are meant only as guidelines and are not meant to diagnose or treat dental emergences.
Toothaches can cause a wide range of problems including intense pain, interrupted sleep, and difficulty eating. Some individuals may experience constant, throbbing pain, while others may only have sharp, intermittent pains. If you have tooth pain, call the dental office as soon as possible so that an appointment can be made to assess the problem.
In the meantime, the following can help ease discomfort:
- Over the counter pain killers can alleviate pain
- Rinse the mouth with warm salt water
- A cold compress outside the cheek can help with swelling and pain
Knocked-out teeth are common emergencies and usually occur during a sporting injury or some sort of action. When it comes to saving the tooth, time matters, so it’s important to contact the dental office right away. The best chance of saving a tooth occurs within the first hour of the injury.
In the meantime, here is how to handle a knocked-out tooth:
- When handling the tooth, be careful to only touch it by the crown and not the root
- Gently rinse the tooth off with water if it’s fallen on the ground
- Try and place the tooth back in the socket (do not try to press too hard, simply hold it in place with either a finger or by biting down)
- If you can’t get it back into the socket, put it in a sterile cup with milk and bring it to the dentist.
If you break or chip a tooth, call the dentist as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. If you have any pieces of the tooth, save them and bring them with you to your appointment.
In the meantime, you can do the following to alleviate pain or swelling:
- Rinse the mouth with water
- A cold compress on the outside of the cheek
- Bite down on a piece of gauze if there is any bleeding
Lost restoration such as a crown or filling
If you lose a filling or a crown becomes loose, it could indicate that there is further decay in the tooth. Call the dental office right away to make an appointment.
In the meantime, you can take the following steps:
- If you have the crown, try and slip it back into place (denture adhesive can be helpful)
- If you have pain from an exposed nerve, try over the counter pain killers or rub a little clove oil on the area
While dental emergencies can seem scary, we’re equipped to handle them quickly and effectively. We will make every effort to get you in for an appointment quickly when you need us most. If you are looking for a dental office that offers a wide range of services along with a friendly, caring staff, you should give Sensational Smiles a try. Call us today at [phone].