It is important to be well-versed in what to do if you have a tooth emergency. Suffering dental trauma can be painful and stressful, but if you’re already at least somewhat prepared, you’ll have a much easier time dealing with the situation.
Knowing how to handle a dental emergency can mean the difference between losing a tooth and restoring it to its former state. If you care for children, this knowledge will be even more valuable. Kids get into all kinds of physical altercations, and you never know when you might run into an unexpected tooth emergency!
What Is a Dental Emergency?
A dental emergency refers to any dental injury or condition that impacts your daily life. This might be extreme, persistent pain; uncontrollable bleeding from the mouth; the presence of abscesses; gum or facial swelling; or the appearance of boils on the gums. If you have lost a tooth or filling, or find that your tooth is partially dislodged, you should seek out your local emergency dentist. The same goes for a loose or wobbly tooth — even if there is no pain present, wobbly adult teeth should be attended to as soon as possible.
Finally, if you have had an accident that has caused injury to your jaw, please seek out emergency dental treatment immediately. Facial bone trauma such as this should be taken very seriously.
What to Do In a Dental Emergency?
When you experience a dental emergency, the important thing is that you receive the appropriate medical attention as soon as you can. This might mean seeking out an after hours emergency dentist, or immediately calling up your local dental clinic.
In the meantime, there are things you can do to improve your circumstances before the dentist can attend to your needs. It is good to be well-versed in these strategies so that, should a dental emergency occur, you know how to best handle the situation.
Immediate Response to Any Dental Emergency
Depending on the nature and severity of your dental emergency, you might feel the urge to panic immediately after it has occurred. This is perfectly natural. The important thing is that you regain control quickly enough to give yourself or your patient the best chance of making a full recovery.
If an incident has occurred, you should first tend to the patient and check that their airways are clear. Assess whether there is any risk of blood running down the throat, or of the mouth, tongue or throat swelling up. Listen to their breathing and determine whether it is abnormally fast or shallow. If they are not experiencing any breathing difficulties and you think it is unlikely that they will, simply make sure the patient is comfortable. If there are potential breathing difficulties, turn the patient on their side in a supported position.
Once this has been taken care of, it is time to check the site of injury for any bleeding. If blood is present, apply firm pressure to the wound or tooth socket using a clean folded tissue. If possible, sterile dressing is even better — and a great addition to any first aid kit that caters to tooth emergencies. Ask the patient to hold the tissue or dressing firmly to the bleeding site for at least 10 minutes.
What to Do If Your Tooth Gets Knocked Out?
If your tooth gets knocked out, you should locate the missing tooth as soon as you can, making sure not to touch the root. If the tooth is dirty, clean it by licking it or rinsing it in water, then continue to keep it moist. Then try inserting it back into its socket.
You can bite down on a handkerchief to hold it in position. If this is too difficult, keeping it in milk while you await medical attention is the next best option. It should be noted that while this is the recommended procedure for adult teeth, baby teeth should not be re-inserted.
Dealing With a Missing Tooth
You might be wondering what happens if you lose a tooth and fail to locate it afterwards. Don’t panic — emergency dentists offer multiple solutions to this problem. Once an adult tooth is gone, you can replace it with a denture, which is a removable false tooth. There is also a bridge, which is a false tooth glued to the healthy teeth on either side of the gap.
And finally, an implant: a false tooth attached to a titanium screw that is placed within the jaw bone. Each of these solutions have their own negatives and positives, but all three will get the job done!
Tending to a Broken or Chipped Tooth
Is a chipped tooth an emergency? Compared to other injuries, it might seem minor — but this isn’t necessarily the case. If the tooth is simply chipped, you can probably wait till regular working hours to see the dentist. In this case, you should find the detached fragment and keep it in milk until you see the dentist, at which point they may be able to glue it back onto the tooth.
If you can’t find the fragment, the dentist will use tooth-coloured filling material to build your tooth up. If the chip has occurred to one of the back teeth, the treatment might be more serious, involving a new filling or crown. If the tooth is badly broken and nerves are exposed, you need a root canal. A badly broken tooth definitely constitutes an emergency.
How to Treat an Abscess?
If your tooth emergency involves the presence of an abscess, you will have a pocket of pus inside the tooth or gum. This may appear red and/or swollen, and could even lead to swollen glands and a fever. As the pus builds up, it will cause quite a bit of pain. The most sensible thing to do in this situation is place a cold compress on the outside of your cheek around the area to control the swelling. And of course, contact your emergency dentist immediately.
What to Do for Emergency Tooth Pain?
If you are suffering through a toothache, rinse your mouth with warm water and try to carefully remove anything that might be stuck in your tooth or the surrounding area. Dental floss is an ideal tool for this task.
Emergency Dental Services In the Fitzroy Area
Where do you go for emergency dental work? If you live in the Fitzroy or Abbotsford areas, you’ll be happy to know of Abbotsford Dental: an exceptional emergency dentist in a convenient location. Abbotsford Dental services a variety of dental needs, solving cosmetic and emergency dental issues with highly advanced solutions. If your dental health is at risk, we can help. Contact us now and get the treatment you need today!