WHAT IS A DENTAL EMERGENCY?
Lets face it; dental emergencies are a part of our everyday lives. Most dental related issues are gradual – that is they develop over time due to neglect, poor oral hygiene, genetics, or a host of other reasons. However, there are times where an unexpected pain or an injury can occur even if you take the best care of your teeth. In cases like these, you may require immediate care from your dentist or need to be seen by a dentist in your local emergency room. What are some examples of dental emergencies that may require immediate care?
EXAMPLES OF DENTAL EMERGENCIES
Dental emergencies or injuries to the mouth may include teeth that are knocked out, chipped, broken or fractured, forced out of position of loosened. Other dental emergencies often include lips, cheeks or gums that are cut. Oral injuries are painful and should be treated by a dentist as soon as possible.
HOW SOON SHOULD I SEE A DENTIST?
Immediately. Getting to the dentist within 30 minutes can make the difference between saving or loosing a tooth.
WHAT TO DO IF A TOOTH IS KNOCKED OUT?
- Immediately call your dentist for an emergency appointment.
- Don’t touch the root. Handle the tooth by the crown as touching the root may cause further damage.
- Gently rinse the tooth in water and remove dirt. Do not scrub.
- If possible, gently place the tooth back in the socket to keep it moist. It’s important not to let the tooth dry out.
- If the tooth cannot be placed back in the socket, the American Dental Association recommends immersing the tooth in milk. Milk can preserve the tooth until you get to a professional.
WHAT TO DO IF A TOOTH IS PUSHED OUT OF POSITION?
- Using very light finger pressure, attempt to position the tooth back into position. Do not force the tooth.
- Bite down to keep the tooth from moving.
WHAT TO DO WHEN A TOOTH IS FRACTURED?
- Rinse mouth with warm water.
- Use an ice pack or cold compress to reduce swelling.
- Use ibuprofen, not aspirin, for pain.
- Immediately see your dentist who will be able to evaluate the significance of the fracture. Only a dentist can diagnose the – severity of the fracture and treatment plan accordingly.
WHAT TO DO WITH PAINFUL SWELLING?
- Rinse your mouth with salt water to relieve the pain and pressure.
- Contact your dentist as the swelling might be caused from an infection, or an abscess that should only be drained by a professional.
WHAT TO DO WITH A LOST FILLING OR CROWN?
- Contact your dentist. In many cases if the crown has not been damaged, it can simply be re-cemented.
WHAT TO DO WITH SUDDEN OR SEVERE TOOTHACHE?
- Rinse your mouth with warm water.
- Floss around the tooth to make sure nothing is lodged between your teeth.
- If the pain persists, contact your dentist.
WHAT TO DO WHEN EXPERIENCING SENSITIVITY TO HOLT OR COLD?
- If the discomfort last only moments, sensitivity may not signal a serious problem. It may be caused by small area of decay in a tooth, a loose filling or an exposed root surface resulting from gum recession and possibly toothbrush abrasion.
- Keep the area clean, cleaning very gently around the gum line, brushing no more than twice a day.
- Try using fluoride-containing toothpaste geared specifically toward sensitive teeth.
- If the sensitivity persists, contact your dentist for an appointment.
WHAT TO DO WHEN TISSUE IS INJURED (EXAMPLE: CHEEKS, LIPS, GUMS)?
- Injuries to your cheeks, lips, gum, tongue can include lacerations, tears, puncture wounds. The area should be cleaned with warm water immediately and the injured person should be taken to the emergency room or hospital immediately for emergency care.
- Bleeding from the tongue can be quickly treated by pulling the tongue forward and using gauze to place pressure on the wound.
Some dental emergencies can lead to severe problems including life-threatening infections if not treated properly and immediately. Having an emergency dental kit handy at-all-times is always helpful. Some kits can include: Gauze, handkerchief, small container with lid, Ibuprofen (Not aspirin – Aspirin is an anticoagulant, which may cause excessive bleeding in a dental emergency), and your dentists phone number.
iSmile Dental is fully equipped to handle all dental emergencies in New York City. Our Williamsburg and Park Slope, Brooklyn location is open 6 days a week. We have the experience and expertise to deal with all of your dental emergency related issues. Contact us today.