Toothaches, abscesses, cracked or chipped teeth, losing a filling – these are all dental emergencies that need to be treated right away. A dental emergency can be painful and scary, and infections in your mouth can be life-threatening if left untreated. Whatever type of dental emergency you have, delaying treatment can make the problem worse and/or cause irreparable damage to your teeth. To help you keep your head and minimize pain, here is what you should do during a dental emergency.
Step 1: Call the dentist!
Make arrangements to see your dentist or someone local who treats patients with dental emergencies. The dentist will let you know what to do before you are seen. Be sure to take notes, or if you can’t speak have someone call for you. If it is for a child or someone in your care, find out as much information as you can to relay it to the medical professional. If telemedicine is an option, use it. Take pictures or Facetime to get as much information across as you can.
Step 2: What is the nature of your emergency?
There are procedures for every type of accident and dental emergency. Try to determine if you or your loved one is experiencing:
· Throbbing pain and swelling – it could be an infection. This type of emergency requires immediate treatment. If the dentist’s office is not open, call your doctor or go an urgent care clinic or ER. Oral infections not treated in an expeditious manner can have serious outcomes such as loss of tooth, sepsis and septic shock.
· A knocked-out tooth. Call your dentist right away for specific instructions. If you can’t reach your dentist, remember: avoid touching the root of the tooth and put it back in the socket if you can –it still may be able to be saved. If that is not possible, hold the tooth inside your cheek until you get to the dentist. The most important thing is to keep it moist. If you get to your local pharmacy, you can purchase an American Dental Association-approved tooth preserving kit. If you can’t, then place your tooth in saline or milk if those options are not available. Prompt treatment may allow the tooth’s root to reconnect.
· A sudden toothache or abscess – there may be something trapped in your gums. Gently floss the area and swish warm salt water in your mouth. Hopefully, it is a popcorn kernel and is easily removed. If not sharp pain in your tooth can mean an infection or advanced tooth decay. You may need a root canal to save the tooth or an extraction to relieve the pain.
· Cracked or chipped tooth – rinse out your mouth to make sure you won’t swallow a piece of the tooth or cut the inside of your mouth. Gauze or a clean cloth can prevent you from cutting your tongue on the newly sharp edges. Do your best to secure the pieces of the tooth to bring to the dentist.
Step 3: Follow Up ASAP
At the risk of losing your tooth or making an infection worse, don’t wait for your dental emergency to get better on its own. In the Las Vegas area, the experienced dentists at Dedicated Dental Care see patients with dental emergencies the same day. At Dedicated Dental Care in Henderson, Nevada, we often see patients with dental emergencies the same day. Our experienced dentists can help save your teeth whether chipped, fractured, or knocked out. Once you have experienced the level or care we provide, many patients and their families lose their anxiety about coming in every six months for a cleaning and exam. For an appointment, call (702) 566-5509 to speak with one of our friendly office staff today!