ARE YOU HAVING AN EMERGENCY?
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Do not hesitate to seek urgent dental care if you experience any of the following symptoms:
Few of us are lucky enough to avoid experiencing some type of dental emergency at some point in our lives. If this should happen to you or a loved one, you will need to know how to handle it so that you receive dental care as soon as possible to relieve pain or prevent tooth loss.
Here are a few types of dental emergencies and how to handle them:
Tooth Knocked Out
Getting a tooth knocked out is a type of dental emergency requiring immediate attention. If you follow the below steps, there is a good chance that you can have the tooth reinserted and preserved.
- Grasp the tooth only by its chewing surface, never the tooth root.
- Rinse off the tooth gently to clean it. Avoid scrubbing it.
- Place the tooth in a washcloth or towel in the sink to prevent it from going down the drain.
- If able, place the tooth gently back into its socket. Very gently try to bite down.
- If you cannot replace the tooth into its socket, place it into a small cup of milk.
- Immediately contact your dentist. Time is of the essence in saving the tooth.
As with most things in life, preventing dental emergencies is easier than dealing with them. Here are a few ways to lower the odds of experiencing a dental emergency:
- Always wear a mouth guard when playing sports.
- Visit your dentist regularly for checkups.
- Keep the emergency number of your dentist readily available.
- Avoid eating foods that are hard on your teeth.
- Brush and floss regularly.
Cracked, Chipped or Fractured Tooth
If a tooth becomes chipped and is not painful, it may not be considered a true dental emergency. However, you should schedule an appointment. In the meantime, be careful when chewing your food so that it is not damaged further. We may be able to repair the tooth using a composite filling.
If your tooth is fractured or cracked, this constitutes a dental emergency because the tooth may have been damaged on the inside. If your tooth is cracked or fractured, contact us right away for an emergency appointment. In the meantime, do the following:
- Thoroughly rinse your mouth using warm water.
- If the fracture was due to facial trauma, use a cold compress to reduce swelling.
- Acetaminophen, not aspirin, can be used to reduce pain.
X-rays will be taken to determine the extent of the damage. If the inner tooth pulp has been damaged, you may require a root canal procedure. Otherwise, it may only require a dental crown.
Other Types of Dental Emergencies
Generally, any dental condition requiring immediate treatment to prevent ongoing bleeding, save a tooth, or reduce severe pain constitutes a dental emergency. If you are in doubt as to whether your condition represents a dental emergency, play it safe and contact us right away.