Keep Calm and Cope: What to Do in a Dental Emergency

December 23rd, 2023 by dayat Leave a reply »

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Oral emergencies require the prompt attention of a reputable dentist experienced in treating various dental issues. Many reasons might warrant an immediate visit to a dental office, including a broken tooth, toothache, and an infection. If you do experience a dental emergency, being armed with information can reduce stress and pain in times of distress, and prevent further trauma.

If you want to learn what to do during oral emergencies, read on to find out more. But first, let’s look at a few common emergencies.

1. Teeth Injury
It is possible to sustain a tooth injury due to accidents, sports trauma, or any type of trauma to the facial or mouth area. The injury may cause broken, loose, or knocked out teeth, and to avoid permanent injury, you need to see the doctor immediately.

2. Toothache
A minor toothache that can be cured with over-the-counter (OTC) medicine is not considered a dental emergency. However, if you experience severe throbbing, or debilitating pain resistant to OTC medicine, it is a sign of underlying problems like infection or tooth decay, which require immediate doctor’s attention to prevent bacteria from spreading.

3. Abscesses
This is a pocket of pus on your gum, associated with severe pain and swelling. It is caused by bacterial infection and, if left untreated, it can spread, causing damage to nerves, tissues, and even the socket. Any sign of abscess warrants an immediate doctor’s attention.

4. Lost Crown or Filling
Crowns and fillings restore the integrity of your teeth and smile; however, if they become loose or fall off, prompt medical attention by a dentist is necessary to have them fixed to prevent infections.

5. Root Canal
If you develop problems after root canal treatment, such as re-infection, allergic reaction or tooth fracture, you need to revisit the doctor immediately to have the procedure corrected, because this is a serious dental emergency. Leaving this unattended can worsen the severity of dental issues and cause other health problems.

What to Do in an Emergency
If you are experiencing oral issues that require an immediate visit to the dentist, it is advisable to do the following:

Keep calm: The urge to panic is quite normal, however, operating in panic mode can exacerbate the situation. Take a few breaths in and out to keep calm and think clearly before acting.
Ascertain if it is an emergency: Some issues can be cured with home remedies or OTC medicine. Check whether you have any of the dental emergency issues discussed in the previous section.
Call your dentist for an emergency appointment: Contact your dentist and get a slot allocated to you as soon as possible.
Decide if you need to go to the hospital: If you are experiencing heavy bleeding, facial injuries, injuries to your mouth or teeth, and severe or increasing swelling in your mouth, neck, throat, and eyes, you will need to visit the accidents and emergency (A&E) department at a hospital.
Do anything they tell you to prepare: A doctor may guide you on what to do during the call. If you have a knocked-out tooth, you may need to put the tooth back in its spot if possible. An alternative is to also place the tooth in a tightly sealed container with your own saliva or milk. You can also apply a cold press to the cheek avoiding extreme temperatures or apply pressure to stop bleeding.
Follow your dentist’s advice to the letter with aftercare: Take proper oral care after the emergency visit as advised by the doctor to avoid any complications.
Oral issues requiring an immediate doctor’s attention can occur at any time, with severe pain and other debilitating symptoms. General oral hygiene can prevent some of these issues, and regular visits to a reputable dentist can alleviate your stress when facing a dental emergency as you are already familiar with them.

Author Plate
Ellen Smythe is a Practice Manager at Smile Arts of NY, a dental office that provides the best care and advanced modern cosmetic dental procedures, including teeth whitening, porcelain crowns, veneers, Invisalign and dental implants. If you’re looking for the best care, including in a dental emergency, NYC-based Smile Arts have been helping New York City residents achieve the look and care they’ve always wanted with their state-of-the-art, affordable dental services since 2010.

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