In case of any emergency, please contact your dentist or the nearest hospital. In situation where the emergency can be life threatening, immediately call 911. Listed below are some tips to deal with non-life threatening emergencies. These are just suggestions and proper judgement should be taken. Each dental emergency is different and your dentist can properly guide you in your situation…
When you’re dealing with a dental problem, your dentist should be your first call. But what if you encounter a problem on a holiday, weekend, or in the middle of the night? If you’re dealing with a severe dental problem outside normal office hours, you will likely need an emergency dentist or even an emergency room visit.
What is a Real Dental Emergency?
It’s important to understand the difference between a standard dental issue that can wait until morning and a real emergency that can threaten your health or cost you a tooth. Here’s what you should know about recognizing dental emergencies.
- Are you in severe pain? Severe pain and bleeding are signs of an emergency.
- Have you lost a tooth? Fast treatment can potentially save a tooth.
- Do you have loose teeth? Adults should never lose teeth. A loose tooth, even without pain, is a serious problem.
- Do you have an infection? An abscess or serious infection in your mouth can be potentially life-threatening, and treatment should not wait. You may notice swelling or knots on your gums or swelling around the face.
- Are you bleeding from the mouth? This is a potential sign of an emergency.
In general, any dental problem that needs immediate treatment to stop bleeding, alleviate severe pain, or save a tooth is considered an emergency. This consideration also applies to severe infections that can be life-threatening.
If you have any of these symptoms, you may be experiencing a dental emergency. Call your dentist immediately and describe what happened. If your dentist’s office is not open, you may need to go to an emergency dentist or the ER.
What Isn’t a Dental Emergency?
If the problem can wait until your dentist can see you in the next couple of days, it isn’t a dental emergency. Sometimes problems that seem critical can actually wait for a day or so, as long as you take care of yourself.
For example, a chipped or cracked tooth is an emergency if the fracture is very painful or has left sharp fragments that cause trauma inside your mouth. If the tooth is chipped but does not hurt, you can wait to see your dentist.
A toothache can also wait for treatment as long as the pain is not severe and you do not have symptoms of an abscess such as swelling of the face, bumps on the gums, or a high fever.
If you have lost a crown or filling, you can likely wait a few days to see your dentist. With a lost crown, you can try putting the crown back in place temporarily with denture adhesive or over-the-counter dental cement — just don’t use super glue.
Our staff at Molar TO Molar Dentistry will make sure that we take care of your emergency in a timely manner. When calling the office please make sure you describe your emergency clearly to our staff or if leaving a message.
In Case of a dental injury:
- Keep calm and always be reassuring to an injured child.
- Stop or control any bleeding by applying pressure.
- If the injured person is a child and a parent or guardian is not present, notify them immediately.
- See a dental professional to check the tooth or injured area.
- Bring the person and the tooth to a dental professional immediately
- Place the tooth in a container of milk, salt water or the person’s own saliva. If these are not available, then use plain waterIf you are unable to get to a dental professional immediately:
- Gently rinse the tooth in warm water. Do not touch the root
- For a Permanent Tooth: Carefully insert the tooth back into place
- For a Baby Tooth: Do not try to pack a baby tooth back in the socket.
- Place it in cold milk or water and bring it with you to the dentist
- See a dental professional as soon as possible
- Rinse out mouth with warm water
- Use dental floss to remove any food trapped between teeth
- For swelling, place cold compresses on the outside of the cheek.
- Do not use heat or place aspirin on an aching tooth or gum tissue
- See a dental professional as soon as possible
- Gently clean dirt or debris from the injured area with warm water
- Place cold compresses on the face, in the area of the injured tooth, to reduce swelling
- Apply direct pressure to any bleeding areas with a clean cloth
- Go to a dental professional immediately
Object Wedged Between Teeth
- Try to remove object with dental floss. Guide the floss carefully to avoid cutting gums
- If you can’t remove the object, see a dental professional as soon as possible
- Do not try to remove the object with a sharp or pointed instrument
Bitten Lip or Tongue
- Apply direct pressure to the bleeding area with a clean cloth
- If there is swelling, apply cold compresses
- If bleeding continues and can’t be stopped, go to the hospital emergency room