Dental emergencies can arise out of the blue. However, if you are able to recognize the serious nature of an emergency and respond appropriately, you may jeopardize your dental health. Here is a bit of information about dental emergencies and the measures you should take:
What constitutes a dental emergency?
A dental emergency is a situation involving the teeth that requires immediate professional dental care. A serious situation, such as a dislodged tooth or a severe dental crack or chip, often necessitates professional dental treatment and can typically not wait until the next day.
What should you do when a dental emergency occurs?
When a dental emergency takes place, you should immediately call your dentist. He or she can confirm that you need to be seen immediately and prepare for your impromptu visit.
After contacting the dentist, you should treat the trauma to help preserve your teeth until you reach the dentist. If you have a dislodged tooth, it should be placed back in your mouth (in its socket or in the inner pocket of your cheek) or contained in a glass of milk until you arrive at the dental office. Additionally, you should only rinse debris from the tooth. Harsh scrubbing should be avoided, and no soap or detergent should be used. A cool pack can be applied to the area where the tooth was dislodged to lessen pain and bleeding.
Other dental emergencies include teeth that are deeply cracked or a chip that exposes the pulp of the tooth. There is little you need to do to maintain the tooth on your way to the dentist in these cases. However, pain medication may help minimize your discomfort.
What do you do if you are unsure of whether or not your specific situation is a dental emergency?
If you are unsure of whether or not you are actually experiencing an emergency, contact your dentist. Some dental emergencies are indicated mainly by severe pain, and otherwise, there may be little evidence of a serious condition. This may be the case for an abscessed tooth. In such an instance, your dentist may ask you specific questions to help pinpoint the problem to determine the urgency of your situation.
Should you call if the dental office is closed?
If you suspect a dental emergency, try to contact the dental office even if the situation occurs after hours. There may be a dentist on call.
To learn more about dental emergencies and acquiring the treatment you need, contact a dentist in your area.