What is a Dental Emergency?
A dental emergency is any situation where immediate dental assistance is required to save the tooth of a patient. Be advised that visiting a dentist within 30 minutes of an emergency can make the difference between saving and losing your tooth. The dentist should be the first person you must call in case of any emergencies. Always ensure that you have your dentist’s number with you, whether at home or traveling.
What Should You Do in a Dental Emergency?
Dental emergencies require urgent attention and some basic first aid steps. There are different situations that require following different procedures. We’ll take a look at some of the most common dental emergency situations along with their immediate remedies.
Broken or Knocked-Out Tooth
A tooth can get knocked out during fights, minor accidents, and falls. This requires proper and timely attention to restore the tooth. Follow these emergency procedures before visiting your dentist.
- Locate the broken tooth and pick it up at the top (crown). Be careful not to touch the root of the tooth.
- Rinse the tooth gently with water and take care not to rub roughly against it.
- Try to put the tooth back into the socket and bite it down into place.
- If the tooth doesn’t settle into position, put it in a glass of milk.
- Call your the dentist’s office and set up an emergency appointment immediately.
Any kind of injury to the mouth, such as lip, mouth, and tongue tears as well as lacerations and wounds, are considered dental emergencies. You must handle them with care before visiting the dentist.
Take these steps immediately after tissue injuries to prevent further damage.
- Clean the area where the injury has happened with warm water.
- If there is bleeding from the area, gently apply pressure on it with your fingers.
- Get an urgent appointment with a dentist or oral surgeon to alleviate the problem.
Cracked and Fractured Teeth
A cracked tooth, in many instances, does not cause pain and doesn’t constitute a dental emergency. However, when the cracked tooth has deep pain going into the root, a dentist’s intervention is needed. The same applies to a fractured tooth, which causes pain on the inside and outside of the tooth. Call a dentist immediately for an appointment and follow these steps:
- Clean your mouth by gargling with warm water.
- If you have severe tooth pain, apply a cold compress to the area.
- Never apply a gum cream or painkiller directly on the tooth or gum. This can burn the inside of the mouth and make the situation worse.
- Close your mouth and don’t touch the damaged tooth with your tongue.
Five Conditions When You Need to Immediately Call an Emergency Dentist
It is always safe to be prepared for any dental emergency. Some conditions are worse than others and needed immediate attention to save your tooth.These five conditions will need urgent medical assistance at any time.
- Tooth out of alignment
- Knocked-out tooth
- Tissue injury
- Mouth infection
- Cracked and fractured teeth
How Should You Handle a Dental Emergency?
During an emergency, it is important to stay calm and follow first aid procedures. Many emergencies can be dealt with by using a little courage and presence of mind. Do not panic. Understand that everything is going to be okay. Take care of any extreme pain you experience by sipping on ice water and holding it in your mouth before seeing the dentist. If you have a sensitivity to cold, keep your mouth closed and breathe steadily through your nose.
Pain in Dental Implants (Peri-Implantitis)
If you have dental implants and experience pain in them, this qualifies as a dental emergency. The dentist can take an X-ray to determine if you have peri-implantitis. This is an infectious disease that causes inflammation of the gum and bone surrounding an integrated dental implant. It can lead to the loss of the supporting bone if not treated properly. While dental implants are perfect, there are times that some risky things can happen. Smoking, diabetes, osteoporosis, and a poor immune system can cause bone loss around implants.
Other than peri-implantitis, other diseases, such as gum periodontal disease, can lead to bacterial growth in your mouth and tissue inflammation. The gums can become red, swollen, and bleed easily. The gum and bone support deteriorate near the implant. Follow deep gum and routine cleanings for prevention of periodontitis. Visit your dentist and get a gum periodontal disease treatment done immediately to prevent escalation of tooth and gum problems.
When Do You Need to Go to an Emergency Room for Dental Care?
You need emergency room treatment only when the dentist recommends it. Hospital emergency room care can also be accessed when your dentist can’t be reached. When there is a serious issue with your oral hygiene, the dentist can recommend the intervention of an oral surgeon who can treat you better. Tooth and gum diseases that the dentist feels require immediate medical attention will require you to go to an emergency room for dental treatment.
Be assured that the dentist, along with dental emergency practitioners, will work to give you the best treatment for your dental problems. Ensure that you have emergency procedures handy to give yourself the best chance in case of an unexpected dental emergency problem. Schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible and let them handle the situation for you.