A dental emergency can be any situation that causes severe discomfort for a patient or involves extensive injury or damage to the teeth, gums or other facial structures. Ideally, if you experience a dental emergency, you would be able to get professional attention from a practice that offers emergency dentistry services.
It is helpful to be established with a dentist who is familiar with your baseline and better suited to treat you promptly for issues like severe toothache, broken teeth or other concerns. However, some providers will be able to accommodate new patients who need to be seen more urgently. You can call our office to ask about our availability.
There may be times when you need to take some action while waiting to be evaluated and treated by a dentist after a dental emergency. Here are some tips for dealing with different kind of emergencies.
- For a tooth that has been dislodged, attempt to gently place it back in the socket. If that is not possible, keep it moist by holding it between your cheek and gums or by placing it in a small container of tooth preservation media or milk. See your dentist as soon as possible.
- Rinse the mouth with warm water if you have suffered a cracked tooth and use cold compresses to relieve any accompanying swelling.
- If you’re suffering from a toothache, gently use dental floss to dislodge any food caught between your teeth. You may also want to rinse using warm water. Over-the-counter painkillers may help to manage discomfort until you can be seen in the office, but do not place aspirin directly on the tooth or your gums.
You can also take steps to avoid a dental emergency. For example, wearing a mouthguard while playing sports reduces your risk of an injury. Additionally, avoid chewing on hard non-food items or using your teeth as tools to lower the likelihood of tooth breakage.
Of course, any emergency that involves severe symptoms like serious pain or persistent bleeding or signs of infection warrants immediate medical attention and a trip to your emergency room. Use common sense when deciding what kind of treatment to pursue.
Knowing what steps to take in a dental emergency can improve your chances of good outcomes to preserve your smile and oral health. Talk to one of our staff members at Parker-Nickolas-Read Dental about emergency dentistry recommendations and treatment.