Injuries and accidents happen every day, and most of the time, they just require a bit of rest and an ice pack. However, when an injury concerns the teeth, the solution isn’t so simple, and a person needs to know how to take immediate action. Should you or a loved one ever experience a dental emergency, just follow these easy tips to get the attention you need as quickly as possible.
First, Ask Yourself If You Really Have a Dental Emergency
After sustaining a dental injury, this is a very important thing to do. You certainly don’t want to rush to the dentist’s office in a panic if you really don’t need to. The following situations qualify as dental emergencies, meaning you should seek out care as soon as you can after experiencing one:
- Knocked out tooth
- Partially dislodged tooth
- Severe toothache
- Object stuck between the teeth
- Lost/damaged dental work (fillings, crowns, bridges, dentures)
- Injury to the gums
- Injury to the jaw
- Facial pain or swelling
How to Get Appropriate Care
After determining that you do indeed have a dental emergency, the first thing you should always do is call a local emergency dentist. They’ll be able to offer the specialized kind of care you need that you simply can’t get at most hospitals/clinics. Most dental practices will provide same-day treatment for emergency patients, and often, they’ll be able to complete your emergency procedure in just one visit. If they can’t, they’ll at least relieve your pain and schedule a quick follow-up visit. Nonetheless, when you need dental care fast, it’s always best to call a dentist first.
Dental Emergency First-Aid Tips
After you have called a dentist, there are a few simple things you can do before you can make it to the office in order to improve your situation:
- Use a cold compress at 20 minute intervals to manage any pain or swelling you might be experiencing.
- For a broken or knocked out tooth, rinse the tooth off and try to place it back into the socket if possible. If you can’t, place it in a container of milk or saltwater. The tooth must stay moist in order for it to be viable for reattachment.
- For bleeding, apply gentle pressure to the area using a clean rag or towel. If the bleeding cannot be controlled or stopped within 15 minutes, head straight to your local emergency room.
Dental emergencies can be harrowing situations, but with these simple tips and a qualified emergency dentist, you can trust that you’ll get the exact attention you need and your smile will be well-taken care of. With them, you can trust that your dental emergency will quickly become a distant (if unpleasant) memory.
About the Author
Dr. Filip Orban is a general, cosmetic, and emergency dentist based in Coeur d’Alene, ID. He and his team help hundreds of emergency patients each year, and he’s dedicated to always providing them with prompt and effective care. He currently practices at Orban Family Dental, and he can be reached through his website or by phone at (208) 667-1546.