Dental emergencies happen at the most inconvenient times. They can be so unexpected that it’s often difficult to think clearly and act in a timely manner to prevent further damage from occurring. The best way to overcome the shock and stress caused by a dental emergency is to be prepared, that includes having your local emergency dentist’s number taped on your refrigerator just in case. If you can’t get to them right away, be sure to follow these at-home tips to ease your pain.
Knocking out a permanent tooth can seem like the most severe dental emergency that could happen. It’s important to not panic and remember that time is of the essence in this situation. Pick up your tooth and be sure to only handle it by the biting surface, not touching the root. If it’s dirty, you’ll want to run in under some water to remove any debris. You’ll need to keep the tooth moist, so try to place it back in its socket or a baggie of milk. Call your emergency dentist as soon as possible. Visit them within an hour of the accident and don’t forget to bring your tooth with you.
For a chipped, broken, or fractured tooth, be sure to save any pieces. Rinse your mouth out with lukewarm water to wash away lingering debris and place a piece of gauze over any area that’s bleeding. If you notice that your mouth is beginning to swell, place a cold compress on your cheek for 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off to keep the puffiness down and ease discomfort. Make sure to visit your emergency dentist as soon as possible.
Toothaches can be caused by something as small as a popcorn kernel, or as severe as an infection. Before you contact your emergency dentist, gently brush and floss each of your teeth to dislodge any food particles that could be causing you pain. If you notice any swelling, place a cold compress on your cheek or jaw to help bring it down. Do not place heat on the area because if your pain is a result of an infection, heat can cause it to spread faster. Visit your emergency dentist as soon as possible if your pain persists.
Lost Filling or Crown
Over time, your restorations will become naturally worn and may fall out of your mouth. If this happens, be sure to make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. In the meantime, collect your filling or crown and try to place it back on your tooth using dental cement or sugar-free gum to protect the area from harmful oral bacteria. This is only a temporary solution and your restoration will need to be professionally replaced to prevent any additional damage from occurring.
In the case of a dental emergency, don’t be afraid to contact your dentist. They’ll be able to offer you first-aid advice and walk you through what you should do while you’re on your way to their office. It’s important to remember that these are only temporary solutions, and you will need to visit a professional to keep an infection or severe dental decay from developing.
About the Author
Dr. Mark Hochman has been practicing dentistry for several decades. Over that time, he has provided countless patients with fast and effective emergency dental care that has helped ease their discomfort and prevent serious further damage. He is an active member of several professional organizations and uses the most advanced technology to quickly and accurately diagnose dental problems. For questions or to schedule an appointment, visit La Plata Dental’s website or call 240-349-2439.