Dealing with a Dental Emergency

Normally our fantastic patients pop in once a year for their annual checkup, and supplement this with visits to our hygienist. However sometimes patients end up with a dental emergency and need urgent care. Here are some examples of dental emergencies and what to do if this happens to you.

1. You knock a tooth out.

This is an emergency that needs attention quickly from a dentist. There are several things you can do to give your tooth the best chance of survival.

  • Pick up the tooth by the crown and not the root. Touching the root can damage the sensitive root tissues that help to implant the tooth.

  • If the tooth is dirty, you can rinse it carefully and gently with water.

  • If it is an adult tooth try placing the tooth back in its socket. Make sure it is facing the right way and isn’t forced in.

  • If it’s not possible to reinsert the tooth, place it in a small glass of milk. This is a good temporary preservative due to its compatible chemical properties.

  • Get to a dentist as soon as possible.

The above will increase your chance of keeping the original tooth.

2. You have a broken, chipped, or cracked tooth.

This can happen unexpectedly and should be treated in a timely manner so it doesn’t develop into a more significant problem.

  • Remove and save any broken pieces to give to your dentist.

  • Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area.

  • Apply gauze to the area if it is bleeding.

  • Use a cold compress on the outside of the mouth if there is a chance of swelling.

Your dentist will assess the injury and come up with the best course of action for you.

3. You have severe toothache or swelling.

This could be caused by a number of different issues and your first priority is to contact your dentist for an appointment. You could relieve pain or swelling prior to your appointment by doing the following:

  • Rinsing the mouth with warm salty water.

  • Use floss to remove anything left between the teeth.

  • Apply a cold compress to reduce any swelling.

Don’t forget that regular checkups and proper care are so important in preventing this type of emergency.

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