A dental emergency never seems to occur at a convenient time. Hectic schedules, travel away from home, and important events do not exempt you from a dental emergency happening due to an accident, broken tooth, or infection. While most people are not trained for a dental emergency, there are some basic measures you can take to handle one, if needed.
Be prepared … this is key. Know and post the name and phone number of the pediatric dentist for your children and family dentist for adults. Since many emergencies do not occur during regular office hours, familiarize yourself with what to do after hours. If your dentist has emergency contact information, keep it handy. If not, know what constitutes a true emergency so that, if needed, you know to go to the nearest emergency room for treatment.
What is a true emergency? A tooth that has been knocked out needs immediate attention. If handled properly, the tooth may be saved. If possible, replace the tooth in the socket – do not handle the root end or disturb any tissue still attached to the tooth. Hold the tooth in place until treatment can be rendered. If replacing the tooth isn’t possible, place the tooth in a glass of milk or water and get to the dentist as soon as you can.
A cut or serious contusion may require immediate attention. If bleeding continues or swelling does not go down after applying cold compresses, seek help.
Swelling may indicate infection is present. Left untreated, this can escalate into an abscess. A root canal may be able to save your tooth.
The sudden onset of throbbing pain, discomfort when you bite down, or sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet, or sour could mean you have a fractured tooth or deep decay is present. If the root of the tooth has been affected, endodontic therapy (root canal) will be needed. Do not delay seeking emergency dentistry treatment.
If you’ve had tooth discomfort for a few days, but put off seeing the dentist until it was convenient for you, this is probably not a true emergency; do not take away the time from someone truly in need.
Emergencies do occur … but patients that eat healthy; brush and floss daily; and visit their dentist every six months for cleaning and dental exam are being proactive in trying to prevent emergencies due to decay and/or disease.
Are you ready to schedule an appointment for your child? Contact us at The Smiley Tooth Pediatric Dental Specialists today!