Let’s be honest, no one actually wants to think about needing an emergency dental visit. It’s much easier to simply say to yourself “I brush my teeth every day, I’ll never need an emergency visit to the dentist.” However, a dental emergency can happen to anyone.
You could be doing something as simple as eating potato chips on the couch. One wrong crunch and a sharp enough chip edge could stab right into your tooth, causing it to crack and give you an unbearable searing pain in your mouth. And if you don’t have dental insurance or a mouthguard with a dental warranty, your pockets could suffer too.
Luckily for anyone faced with this situation, most dentists set times aside and are available even after hours for dental emergencies. This means if you don’t have your dentist’s after hours contact information written down somewhere, it is highly suggested you look into finding out that contact information asap. If you face a dental emergency, the quicker you seek help, the better! Getting to a dentist within 30 minutes can make the difference between saving or losing a tooth.
There are numerous types of dental emergencies. If your gums have severe swelling or bleeding, this could be causing severe pain and should be looked at by a dental professional immediately. A broken/fractured or even a tooth that has been completely knocked out requires attention as soon as possible. Needless to say, the list goes on. Don’t hesitate on contacting your dentist so they can get to the root of the problem, as soon as possible.
A knocked out tooth is painful and while it is always best to seek dental care right away, you will want to minimize the pain and take care of the injury until you can get to a dentist. You should always handle the knocked out tooth by the crown, and not the root (the part of the tooth below the gum). Touching the root could damage the cells necessary for bone reattachment. You should then gently rinse the tooth in water to remove dirt. Make sure not to scrub the tooth at all. If possible, gently place the clean tooth in the socket to keep it moist. It is important not to let the tooth dry out.
However, if this is not possible try and wrap the tooth in a clean cloth or gauze and immerse in milk or saliva. The following infographic goes into greater detail on guiding you through a dental emergency.