How you react when an emergency occurs often determines how likely it will be that treatment is either successful or unsuccessful. Dental emergencies are no different. Knowing what constitutes as a dental emergency and what to do should one occur is the best method for saving your smile.
Dental emergencies are actually much more common than people realize. When most people think of a dental emergency, they think only of a knocked out tooth. However, there are many more types of dental emergencies, and it is important that you know what determines an emergency situation.
- Cracked or broken tooth
- Damaged dental bridge or crown
- Dental bleeding
- Extreme tooth sensitivity
- Infection or abscess in the mouth
- Injured jaw
- Knocked out tooth
- Lost filling
- Swelling in the mouth
- Tooth pain
Many of these situations listed above are often not viewed as dental emergencies – and that is what causes people to get into a great deal of trouble with their oral health. What you need to understand is that because the mouth is home to millions of bacteria on any given day, the mouth is unable to promote self-healing. Ignoring a “lesser” dental emergency because you think that it will pass or that it can wait until your next dental visit can lead to the need for extensive and expensive dental intervention. While a knocked out tooth needs to be addressed within an hour or two, the other dental emergencies should wait no longer than two or three days to be addressed.
Should a knocked out tooth occur, there are four specific steps that you must follow for the best chance of saving and restoring your tooth. Once a tooth has been knocked out of, or knocked loose from, its socket, time if of the essence.
- Find the tooth quickly.
- Rinse it off without scrubbing it, and try to gently place it back into its socket.
- If unsuccessful at placing the tooth, keep it moist in a small amount of milk or your own saliva.
- Get to your dentist immediately.
At Peninsula Dentistry, we are here to provide the care that you need. If a dental emergency occurs, please contact our practice right away.