Emergency Dentistry Getting Dental Care When You Need It July 7, 2010, 5:37 a.m.
If you have a dental emergency, your first action should be to call your dentist but what if it’s after business hours? Most dentists have instructions of how they can be reached afterhours if there is an emergency but if you’ve failed to locate your dentist or, maybe, he or she simply does not provide emergency dentistry, then you’ll be glad to know that there are a number of dental clinics who recognize this need and have made such a service available.
Whether you receive emergency dental care from your original dentist or from another dentist, it will be helpful to know how to handle your situation before you can reach the clinic. Here are some tips:
If your tooth has been knocked out, never pick the tooth by its root. Touch only the crown or top part of the tooth. Rinse it gently to clean it but do not scrub or strip off any tissue attached to it. Try to place your tooth back into place by holding it gently over the socket while biting down. If you can’t reinsert it, put the tooth in a cup then call your dentist. In this dental emergency, it is very important that you get urgent treatment in order to save and reinsert the tooth.
Likewise, you would also need urgent attention if you have loose tooth, tooth that moved out of alignment or fractured teeth. Tooth fractures usually happen because there is already an existing damage inside and outside the tooth and the tooth may no longer be saved in severe cases. If you fracture your tooth, rinse with warm water to clean your mouth and take acetaminophen for pain relief. Do not apply painkillers directly to your gum because they can burn your gum tissue.
This type of dental emergency involved injuries inside the mouth such as lacerations, wounds and tears on the lips, cheeks, and tongue. The patient must clean the injured area immediately using warm water and get to an oral surgeon as quickly as possible. If the tongue is bleeding, use gauze to put some pressure over the wound. Again, you may take acetaminophen for dental emergencies to relieve pain but never ibuprofen or aspirin which can promote excessive bleeding.
If the infection is severe, then it should be dealt with right away since such conditions can be life-threatening. You will likely undergo emergency root canal in order to drain the abscess. If emergency dental care is not available, emergency medical room care.
There are situations when a person is not sure if he or she is having a real dental emergency. Basically, if your mouth is bleeding or you are in extreme pain or you have suffered any of the scenarios described above such as losing a tooth or being hit in the face, then you are most likely having a dental emergency. Call a dentist immediately and describe exactly what your condition is and what has happened. If you need urgent dental care now, please give us a call.