mergency dental care is a type of dentistry that treats oral health problems that require immediate treatment. Dental practices offer these off-schedule services to save teeth and, in some cases, protect the patient’s life.
What Do Dentists Consider A Dental Emergency?
Dentists consider dental emergencies to be any oral health condition that could cause lasting damage to the patient without immediate treatment. Symptoms indicative of an emergency fall into four broad categories:
- Swelling / Fever
Examples of dental emergencies include:
- Abscesses beside or underneath teeth
- Knocked-out, broken or chipped teeth
- A missing filling
- Broken crowns or bridges
- Swollen or bleeding gums
- Intense toothache
- Swollen mouth or jaw area
- Extreme sensitivity to hot or cold
If you believe that you are experiencing a dental emergency, contact us immediately for advice and guidance.
How To Deal With A Dental Emergency
How you deal with a dental emergency depends on what’s happened. Here are some quick things you can do before your appointment:
- Toothache: If you have a toothache, rinse your mouth out with warm water and then use dental floss to remove any food stuck between your teeth or take over-the-counter pain medicine as needed. If you have swelling, apply a cold compress to your cheek. Avoid placing aspirin next to gums as this can cause burning
- Lost crowns: If your crown falls out, keep it somewhere safe and then bring it to the dentist with you. If you can’t access a dentist immediately and you are in pain, apply some clove oil to the sensitive area or take over-the-counter pain medicine as needed.
- Broken orthodontics: If a brace wire or metal retainer comes loose and starts poking into your cheek or gum, try to bend it into a more favorable position using the eraser end of a pencil. If that fails, attempt to cover it with something soft, such as gauze, before attending an emergency appointment. Don’t try to cut the wire as you may accidentally swallow it or inhale it into your lungs.
- Knocked-out tooth: If you can, find the tooth and then hold it by the crown end – the part that’s visible above the gumline. Do not hold the root end. If the tooth is dirty, gently rinse it in water, but don’t scrub it. Then, if possible, place the tooth back in the socket gently. If it won’t fit or keeps falling out, keep the tooth moist by placing it inside of mouth by cheek or a cup of milk or water with added table salt. Then visit your dentist as quickly as possible. They may be able to save the tooth.
- Broken or damaged teeth: If you have any broken or damaged teeth, find any fragments and then rinse them under warm water briefly. If there is blood, apply gauze until the bleeding stops. If there is swelling, apply a cold compress to your cheeks or outside the mouth as close as possible to the broken tooth. Then book an emergency dental appointment.
Dealing with dental emergencies quickly reduces long-term pain and the cost of medical treatment. If you have severe swelling, pain, trauma, or broken teeth, contact us immediately.