What to do in a Dental Emergency
Certain types of dental pain necessitate emergency treatment. However, it is a mistake to make a beeline to the closest hospital emergency room if you believe you have a true dental emergency. Few, if any, hospitals are equipped with the specialized personnel and equipment necessary to treat dental problems. If you have a dental emergency, your best course of action is to meet with your regular dentist or an emergency dentist.
Have a Dental Emergency?
There is a common misconception the best approach to dental emergencies is to call an ambulance or a friend and head to a hospital emergency room. The little-known truth is hospital emergency rooms cannot treat those with tooth or gum pain. Though these medical professionals are certainly skilled and caring, they do not have the expertise necessary to treat dental emergencies. They will often give you something to help with the pain or infection depending on the dental emergency and tell you to go see a dentist.
Contact Your Dentist First
In some situations, regular dentists can handle emergencies. However, there is no guarantee your regular dentist will be available when disaster strikes. Give the office a call to find out what the dentist's schedule looks like for the remainder of the day. It might be possible to fit you in for immediate treatment. However, there is also a chance the dentist has a full slate of patients and cannot handle an emergency at the moment. If this is the case, contact the nearest emergency dentist for prompt treatment to mitigate the pain. Meet with your regular dentist for follow-up sessions to ensure you remain on the road to recovery.
How to Handle An Abscess and/or Pus Drainage
Pus drainage and/or an abscess are legitimate dental emergencies. If you have one or either of these problems, you need emergency dental treatment provided by a highly-skilled emergency dentist. Contrary to popular belief, teeth really can become infected similar to other body parts. If you have pus draining in your mouth or an abscess, you have a serious oral health problem. Consult with an emergency dentist, get the antibiotics necessary to combat the bacterial infection and follow up with your primary dentist for additional treatment in the following days, weeks and months.
Do You Have Significant Tooth Damage? Here's What to Do
Considerable tooth damage caused by an accident or participating in a contact sport constitutes a major dental emergency. If the bulk of the tooth is out of the socket or if the tooth is completely out of the socket, time is of the essence. In this type of situation, it is a mistake to wait until the dentist returns to work the next day or following the weekend. However, if the tooth damage occurs during your dentist's regular business hours, contact the office to see if your injury can be tended to as soon as possible.
If considerable portions of the tooth broke off, it might be possible to preserve the tooth with emergency dental services. Fail to obtain emergency dental assistance right away and the nerve in the tooth could die. You need the assistance of an emergency dentist to keep the tooth exactly where it should be in your mouth. It might also be necessary to seal the tooth to fully address the extensive damage.
General Mouth Pain
If your mouth pain is significant, it is an indication your body is trying to communicate something is seriously wrong. Intense mouth pain should not be shrugged off as something that will pass in due time. The only reason to wait for the pain to settle on its own is if it is minor in nature and/or does not prove consistent. Though a warm saltwater rinse, ice pack or anti-inflammatories might minimize mouth pain, there is no guarantee these approaches will solve the problem. When in doubt, it is best to have intense mouth pain treated by an emergency dentist right away. Most dentists agree if DIY (do it yourself) methods to alleviate mouth pain do not work in half an hour's time, a visit with an emergency dentist will be necessary.
A Loose or a Misaligned Tooth
A tooth that is out of alignment or loose due to trauma should prompt a call to the emergency dentist. Though you might be able to put the tooth back in its original position with a finger, you should never try to force a loose or misaligned tooth back into place. It might be possible to stop the tooth from moving by biting down with some force. Meet with the dentist as soon as possible for an analysis. The dentist might decide to splint the tooth to neighboring teeth for improved stability.
Fractured, Cracked or Chipped Teeth
A chipped tooth might not cause considerable pain or any pain at all. A chipped tooth without pain is not a dental emergency. If this is the case, there is no harm in waiting a day or two to see the dentist. Chew with care to prevent additional chipping. Alternatively, if the tooth in question is fractured or cracked, you have a legitimate dental emergency. Cracked or fractured teeth are typically indicative of damage within the interior and exterior of the tooth. In fact, some fractures are so severe that it proves impossible to save the tooth. This is precisely why you should reach out to your dentist right away if you have one or several fractured teeth.
If you have a dental emergency, contact our office right away. Our team is also here to examine, clean, restore and beautify your teeth. Give us a call at (425) 230-4308 to schedule an appointment.