What To Do In A Dental Emergency

By: Gen Wright

What To Do In A Dental Emergency

Unfortunately, when you're experiencing excruciating pain from a dental emergency you can't call 911 for help. Regardless of the tooth dilemma, however, there are a few things you can do on your own to alleviate the pain until you can see a dentist for professional help.

The first thing you should do when experiencing a dental emergency is contact your dentist's office. Most offices have an answering service which will provide you with information and further instructions. In the case of an emergency, they will contact the dentist to relay the message. Your dentist will most likely provide you with instructions to do on your own and suggest you come to the office for further care.

Lost Tooth, Filling, Or Crown

If you experience the loss of a tooth, gently rinse it off so not to remove any remaining tissue still attached to the root. If possible, try to place the tooth back into the socket. When placed back in the socket within an hour of being dislodged, the tooth will have the best chance of recovery. If you can't replace the tooth, store the tooth in a small container of salt water or milk. See your doctor as soon as possible.

If you dislodge a crown, make an appointment to see your dentist as quickly as possible. Try to slip the crown back over the tooth by securing it with denture adhesive or toothpaste until you can seek help from your dentist. The use of superglue is discouraged. Take your crown with you when you go to your appointment.

In the case of a lost filling, temporarily place sugarless gum into the filling hole until you can see your dentist.

Traumatic Injury

If you experience a traumatic injury to your mouth, such as a chipped or broken tooth, you should first rinse your mouth with a solution of mild salt water. Try to control and stop the bleeding with a moistened gauze pad or tea bag by applying pressure to the effected area. For pain and swelling, apply a cold compress to the injured area.

In the case that you can't stop the bleeding or the pain is unbearable, go to your local hospital immediately and contact your dentist.

Abscesses And Toothaches

The pain associated with a toothache or abscess can be excruciating. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to manage the pain until you can see your dentist.

Apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth at the affected area. While you may have heard otherwise, placing aspirin or other painkillers directly on the tooth can actually burn your gums and cause additional problems. Oral pain relievers, such as acetaminophen can help with the pain when taken as directed. Avoid aspirin, however, as is thins the blood. Finally, rinse your mouth with a mild salt water solution and floss to remove food from the affected area. See your dentist for additional medical attention as soon as possible.

You can't always avoid dental emergencies, so it's important to know what to do if they do occur. Following these tips can help alleviate pain and prevent further damage until you can get help from your dental professional.

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Sean Hartmen writes for the Dental Arts Associates of Milwaukee, a family and cosmetic dentist, Milwaukee. This Milwaukee cosmetic dentist offers preventative check ups, whitening, dental procedures and emergency treatment.

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