Like all types of emergencies, dental emergencies will strike by accident. They are totally unexpected and you should not wait to treat them. It would be consoling when faced with a dental emergency to know that there’s a dentist who can treat you on short notice.
There are several situations that count as dental emergencies:
- A tooth gets knocked out in an accident
- A sudden tooth ache can occur that keeps you awake and prevents you from eating,
- Your dental crown or filling could fall out.
Any of these problems require the attention of an emergency dentist. An emergency dentist can be a general dentist or even a specialist such as an endodontist, who can be available at any hour of the day.
How to proceed in different dental emergency cases
If your tooth has been knocked out
As you wait to be attended by an emergency dentist, there are several things you can do:
- To relieve pain and stay comfortable, take some painkillers.
- Hold the tooth by the crown and rinse it in clean soft water or fresh milk.
- After rinsing, insert it into its socket.
- If you can’t put the tooth back in its socket, sterilize a container with hot water, pour some milk in it and store the tooth. You can also store the tooth in your saliva.
- Do not touch the tooth by the roots as this will contaminate it.
- Call an emergency dentist immediately. Your tooth has better chances of embedding back into the gum if it’s re-implanted immediately or within the shortest time possible.
If you have a broken tooth
If your tooth is chipped or fractured, this will affect the live tissue in the tooth, causing pain, infections and even requiring a root canal procedure in future. By visiting an emergency dentist when you have a broken tooth, he can prevent further damage.
As soon as you notice your tooth is broken, do the following:
- Hold a bag of ice against your cheek or lip where the broken tooth is located
- Rinse your mouth with clean warm water
- If there are any tooth fragments, store them in milk or your own saliva
- Call your dentist immediately to schedule an emergency procedure.
If you are suffering from a toothache
A toothache is one of the most common reasons why people require the services an emergency dentist. When you have a toothache, do the following:
- Use over the counter painkillers to eliminate pain. Pain killers will relieve pain in the short term. However, a toothache is usually caused by an underlying infection and an immediate visit to the dentist is required to get rid of the infection.
- Rinse your mouth frequently with warm water
- Avoid hot or cold foods and drinks
- Keep food and debris out of your cavities. Also, floss your teeth to remove any trapped food. This will minimize bacterial action which contributes to further pain.
- Apply cold compresses if there’s any swelling.
Toothaches, broken teeth and knocked out teeth are all problems that can be fixed as long as you act fast. If you don’t see an emergency dentist immediately, you could lose your teeth.