When you experience a dental emergency, a lot of emotions rush to your mind all at once—fear, worry, pain, just to name a few. Unfortunately, your thinking can become clouded in these situations as well, costing you precious time. You can have dozens of questions pop into your head. Is this a dental emergency? What should you do? Should you contact your emergency dentist in Woodstock? Could you have prevented this dental emergency? In the moment is not the best time to decide how to react in these situations. Now, before they happen, is when you can think clearly and plan how you will respond. Keep reading for some helpful answers to three common questions about dental emergencies.
What is considered a dental emergency?
In some scenarios, it can be difficult to know whether you’re experiencing a dental emergency or not. Here are some common ones:
- Knocked-out tooth.
- Partially dislodged tooth.
- Chipped, cracked, or fractured tooth.
- Object stuck between teeth.
- Pain or swelling in the face.
- Lost or damaged dental work.
- Injury to the lips, gums, or jaw.
What should I do when a dental emergency happens?
First of all, stay calm. After you assess the situation, you need to act quickly and wisely to increase the chances of successful treatment. In many cases, you need to contact your dentist in Woodstock and see them as soon as possible. Here are some instructions on how to respond in these stressful situations:
- If you have a toothache or pain or swelling in your face, call your dentist for the next available appointment. You can use over-the-counter pain medication and cold compresses, but refrain from using topical dental medication.
- For a knocked-out or partially dislodged tooth, it is important not to touch the root and to get to your dentist’s office as soon as you can, preferably within an hour. If possible, place the knocked-out tooth back into the socket. Otherwise, store it in milk or water to keep it moist. Leave a partially dislodged tooth as it is. The dentist will be able to reposition it correctly for you.
- If you have chipped, cracked, or fractured teeth or lost or damaged dental work, call your dentist for their next available appointment. Rinse your mouth with warm water to keep the area clean.
- Injuries that include a broken bone or bleeding that hasn’t stopped after 10 minutes mean that you need to go to the emergency room for help before seeing your dentist.
When in doubt, call your dentist for guidance and advice about your specific situation.
How can I prevent dental emergencies?
Not all dental emergencies can be avoided, but many can. If you play sports, especially contact sports, you should wear and mouth guard, even if it’s just a casual pick-up game or a youth league. Also, there are few things you should avoid, such as the following:
- Chewing on hard items, such as ice, pencils, and rock candies.
- Using your teeth as tools to open packaging, remove tags, or open bottles.
In addition, attending your semi-annual dental checkup and cleaning can help keep your teeth strong, healthy, and decay free.
In the end, although you don’t know when or how a dental emergency will happen, you can plan how you will respond when one does. And by taking a more proactive approach to your dental health, you may prevent certain dental emergencies from occurring altogether. If you have additional questions, your emergency dentist can provide more insight about responding to different scenarios.
About the Author
Dr. Haren Patel has over 15 years of dental experience treating patients of all ages, including children. He and his staff at Dream Dental work diligently to see patients with dental emergencies as soon as possible and can provide advice and first-aid tips over the phone. To contact him for an appointment, you can call or click here.