An emergency dental treatment should be given immediately to someone who has suffered a dental injury. Even the best and most careful of us cannot possibly completely shiled himself from dental injuries caused by accidents. So if you or anybody you know is faced with an emergency involving the teeth, it helps to know what to do first.
The immediate course of action when faced with a dental emergency is to assess the situation to see what kind of emergency is at hand. This will determine exactly what needs to be done since different types of dental emergencies require different responses. Here are some of the most common dental emergencies you may come face to face with, and how you should handle the situation.
Handling Common Dental Emergencies
- Knocked-Out Tooth
- Damaged or Broken Tooth
- Extruded Tooth or Dislodged Filling or Crown
- Broken Braces or Dentures
1. Knocked-Out Tooth
The most severe dental emergency one could face is if a single accident causes one whole tooth to get knocked out and pulled from the root. This injury can be rather painful and very sensitive. However, chances of saving the tooth is very high if you do not panic and set to work immediately. According to dentists, they are most likely able to put the tooth right back in its socket if it is brought to the dentist within an hour.
The first thing to do is to look for the tooth and pick it up by the crown. If it fell on the ground, it’s probably dirty, so immediately wash it with water and rinse off the root area. Make sure to handle the tooth gently and refrain from scrubbing or removing anything attached to it.
Preferably the tooth should be placed back into the socket. However, in an emergency like this, especially if there’s a lot of pain involved, some patients may find this hard, so dentists suggest placing the tooth in a small container filled with milk. If you don’t have milk, you can put it in a cup of water with a pinch of salt. Then, seek emergency dental treatment immediately.
2. Damaged or Broken Tooth
If a tooth is damaged, broken, or chipped, but the root is still attached, the first thing to do is look for any pieces that may have fallen. If there are pieces in the mouth, rinse with warm water and collect the pieces in a container.
If bleeding occurs, look for a piece of gauze or cotton and place it at the source of the bleeding. You can also stop inflammation and dull the pain, if any, by pressing a cold compress outside the area of the tooth that was damaged. Then go get emergency dental treatment right away.
3. Extruded Tooth or Dislodged Filling or Crown
If a tooth was dislodged by a strong impact and it starts to extrude from the gums, get a cold compress and apply it on the area near the affected tooth and go see a dentist right away. This is a damage that can be easily fixed within the first hour after injury. If there is too much pain, you may also take pain relievers such as Advil or Tylenol.
If it is a filling that got dislodged, go see your dentist immediately. If you can’t, get a sugarless gum and place it into the cavity. Do not use a sugary gum as this will be painful.
If it is a crown, make sure not to lose the crown. Keep it in a clean container until you can see your dentist. There is no need to see the dentist right away, but do get the first possible appointment your dentist can spare. If any pain crops up before the appointment, apply clove oil to the affected area.
4. Broken Braces and Dentures
If you break your braces wires or one of the wire starts to stick out, this can cause a lot of discomfort as it will poke any part of your mouth. If you can’t see a dentist immediately, look for an orthodontic wax at the drugstore and apply some at the end of the wire. This is a temporary fix; you still have to go to your dentist as soon as you can.
If you break your dentures, go see your dentist immediately unless you want to go around without a tooth or teeth.
Why All Types of Toothaches are Dental Emergencies
Aside from all these dental emergencies, you should also always treat all types of toothaches as dental emergencies. All toothaches have underlying causes; they are alarm bells telling you something’s wrong. Make sure to get emergency dental treatment in case of a toothache to see what the problem is and keep it from getting worse.