In the case of dental emergencies, the first person to get in touch with is a dentist. Most dentists have separate hours for emergencies. Always keep the after hour details of your dentist handy.
We know that we are not persistent with our dental care and visiting our dentist, therefore dental emergencies can approach us at anytime and anywhere. The following tips and tricks will help you manage your dental issues until you don’t reach your dentist.
NOTE: Some dental emergencies are crucial and require an immediate contact with the dentist. Seeing the dentist within 30 minutes of the alarming condition can make the difference of loosing or saving your tooth.
#1- When the Tooth Gets Knocked Out
When the tooth gets knocked out, it’s a call for an emergency that requires dentist attention. In such a condition if the required steps are followed as soon as the tooth gets knocked out, the chances are that the tooth can be preserved and reinserted by the dentist. Here’s what you can do to further save the situation:
- Pick the tooth up from the crown and do not touch the root.
- Rinse your tooth with cold tap water very gently to ensure that it’s clean. Remember to not scrub it or remove any tissue attached to it. Keep a towel or washcloth under the tap to prevent the tooth from going down the drain.
- If possible and not painful then try placing the tooth back into the socket without exerting pressure. Hold it gently in place and try biting it down.
- If it’s difficult for you to reposition the tooth in the socket, then put it in a cup of milk.
- Contact your dentist immediately. Reaching your dentist with the above-mentioned steps is vital, the longer it takes to re-implant the tooth back in its socket, the less chance you have for the tooth to take and remain viable.
#2- The Tooth Is Out of Alignment/ Is Hanging Lose
Having a lose tooth or a tooth that is out of alignment- calls for a dentist immediately. Meanwhile, you can try holding it back in its original position with the help of your finger and slight pressure. Do not exert pressure but you can try to bite it down.
#3- Cracked, Chipped or a Fractured Tooth
If the tooth is chipped and doesn’t constitute pain, then this will not be an emergency. This condition can take a few days before seeing the dentist. But in order to save the remaining tooth from chipping more, try chewing slowly. The dentist might need to smooth out the tooth or might add some filling material.
A tooth that is cracked or fractured calls for a dental assistance. Fractured or cracked tooth usually suggests that damage has already occurred, inside and outside of the tooth. Sometimes the severity of the fracture prevents from saving the tooth. If you suffer from a fractured tooth, contact your dentist immediately and follow these steps:
- Rinse your mouth with warm water
- Use cold compress in case of fracture caused by facial trauma
- To alleviate the pain, take acetaminophen and not aspirin
- Never use painkiller application on the gum as it can ruin the gum tissues
- An X-ray will help the dentist to determine the condition of your tooth. In a case of damage to the pulp (the soft tissue), you will need the root canal and in case if pulp is not damaged, the tooth will only need a crown.
Some dentists, such as Dr. Jordan Balvich, DMD, PC, at Rensselaer Dentistry make permanent crowns in –office and, therefore they can place the crowns in the same day; while others might place a temporary crown and will ask you to visit again after a day or two. You will, however, be informed of the various procedures that might be placed to save your tooth.
#4-Facial Pain and Tissue Injury
An injury in the mouth such as; tears to the lips and lacerations, punctured wounds, to mouth, tongue, cheeks, are all considered as dental emergencies. If you experience any such tissue injury, it’s certain for you to wash the affected are with warm water immediately. In case of bleeding tongue, pull the tongue slightly out and place pressure with the help of gauze and immediately reach to the nearest emergency room.
For pain associated with tissue injury, take acetaminophen according to the instructions given on the package. Remember to never take ibuprofen and aspirin for any dental issue.
Not sure if it’s a Dental Emergency?
Procedures that don’t cause pain, such as re-cementing a crown, smoothing out a chipped tooth and filling of a tooth are not dental emergencies. Such issues can wait for regular dentist office hours, but if you are not sure if the condition is an emergency, then ask the following questions;
Is there any bleeding from the mouth?
Any sort of pain?
Any lose tooth?
Did you get hit on the face or jaw?
Do you have swelling in gums?
Is there swelling in facial area or mouth?
If the majority of your answers have a yes then it’s important that you contact your dentist immediately. Describe your condition to the dentist, what happened and how you’re feeling. If the pain in your mouth or tooth is caused because of warm or hot beverages and food, try sipping on ice water. It should offer relief.
If your mouth is sensitive to cold and even to the air, avoid any cold drinks or food and contact your dentist. Even if the pain is felt on biting down the tooth, this calls for an emergency and indicates abscess.
How to Avoid a Dental Emergency?
Routine checkups are the simple solution to avoiding such conditions. Keep a good diet; wear a mouth guard during activities that can cause tooth fracture, avoid chewing on hard foods, ensure you visit your dentist every now and then, and keep you oral hygiene good.
Dental emergencies can happen any time, precaution is necessary but keeping a dental first aid kit ready can save you from the severity of condition. Your dental first aid kit should contain the following items:
- A container with a lid
- Dentist contacts details, especially after hour details
- Acetaminophen-Never keeps ibuprofen or aspirin (Both these drugs cause thinning of the blood and can lead to excessive bleeding).
Addison Dolan is known as working as Content Strategist; her interest is to write about medicine and technology and she has written around 300 articles. Her goal is to educate people about various health conditions, beauty and Dental surgery. She is a passionate writer.