Be Ready for a Dental Emergency

Posted on: August 15, 2017

EmergencySince you never know when a dental emergency will strike, so it is best to prepare for the worst. Imagine spending a nice Saturday morning at your child’s baseball game, when your child gets hit in the face with a ball and out goes a tooth. In other cases, one may chip a tooth while eating dinner at night after most dental offices close. It is crucial to know what to do and where to turn.

Be ready for a dental emergency: Steps you can take

There are certain steps you can take when an emergency strikes, before visiting the dentist.

If someone has a toothache…

Start by brushing the teeth. Sometimes, a toothache is due to food that is high in sugar or acid coming in contact with a sensitive tooth. Brushing and flossing can help to remove the food that is causing the irritation. If that is all that is necessary, the toothache should go away within the hour.

However, if a toothache persists, it is wise to visit the dentist right away. In the meantime, ibuprofen can help minimize the discomfort. Also, avoid anything too hot or too cold and eat soft foods.

If a tooth becomes cracked or chipped…

Be sure to rinse the mouth with clean water. An individual may need to rinse the mouth several times to remove any debris. If the tooth has chipped, the individual needs to spit into cupped hands to salvage the piece of the tooth if possible. Next, take ibuprofen to dull the pain and ice the area to address any surrounding swelling prior to visiting the dentist.

If a tooth is knocked out…

If a tooth is knocked out, there is likely to be significant dental trauma to the teeth around the one that was knocked out, the gums and to the face. It is important to rinse and see if the tooth is still in the mouth. If not, try and have someone else locate the tooth. Gently rinse the tooth off, place it in a cup of milk and bring it to the dentist office. In some cases, the dentist may be able to reattach it.

To combat discomfort, take ibuprofen but not aspirin, since this can lead to excessive bleeding. Placing ice on the area for 15 minutes at a time can also help. If the area is bleeding profusely, use gauze to try and stop it. People can pick up gauze at any drug store and even some grocery stores. Continue to pack the area with gauze until the bleeding stops.

Who to call in a dental emergency

after dealing with the excessive bleeding or another urgent injury, seek an emergency dentist. Some dentists offer emergency care and keep room in the schedule to see patients at the last minute. It is wise to identify one of these dentists before an emergency occurs.

This way, if something happens, it is possible to visit the dentist immediately, rather than needing to wait a week or two for an open appointment. If the individual sustains head trauma or other injuries alongside a dental injury, it is best to seek an ER or urgent care first. While these professionals will not be able to treat the tooth, they can triage and treat all other wounds.

If the emergency is only related to the tooth, seek an emergency dentist.While these doctors are highly trained, they are not trained in how to treat a dental emergency and are likely to refer you to a dentist anyway. Keep our office number on speed dial and you will always know what to do and who to call in a dental emergency.


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