Common Causes of a Dental Emergency and the Correct Response

  • July 18, 2018

dental emergency Sterling HeightsA dental emergency can occur in an instant … a trauma from an accident, fall, or sports injury is never planned. Being prepared to handle a dental emergency is important and can have a huge impact on the final result. A rapid response from your family dentist can mean the difference between saving your teeth or requiring a time consuming and costly investment.

What constitutes a dental emergency?

A throbbing toothache, swelling, excessive or uncontrolled bleeding, a broken or dislodged tooth … these are considered dental emergencies and require immediate attention.

A break in your busy schedule for an oral problem you’ve had for days does not justify taking emergency time away from someone that truly needs it; emergency time is usually a precious commodity in the office of your family dentist so it must be held in reserve for those in need.

Responding to a dental emergency

Most people are not trained in the field of emergency dentistry, but having some basic knowledge is helpful. For example, if a tooth is knocked out it can be replaced in the socket (if possible) holding it in place until you can get to the dentist. Time is of the essence; if the patient can be seen within the hour, it may be possible for your dentist to save the tooth.

If the tooth cannot be put back in place, place it in a glass of milk or water being careful not to remove any tissues or handle the roots until you can get to the dentist.

Cold compresses applied to the jaw for swelling; cotton or gauze to control bleeding; an over the counter analgesic taken for pain … these are temporary aids until you can get to the dentist.

Being prepared is key

The name and contact information for your family dentist should be posted in your home and carried by  family members in the event of an emergency. Many dental problems occur during hours that your dental office may not be open so if there is after hours emergency contact information available, make sure that is posted as well.

A serious dental emergency may require immediate care so if your dentist is not reachable, the hospital emergency room can provide intermittent care.

Being prepared and responding correctly are critical steps for your oral health in a dental emergency. For more tips, contact our team today!