All emergencies can be stressful, traumatic, and painful for anyone involved – no matter how old or young you are. As with any type of emergency situation, knowing how to handle a dental emergency before one occurs can help to ensure that you take the proper steps to protect your oral health and possibly save your tooth.
One of the most traumatic things that can happen to a person is for a permanent tooth to be injured. You only get one set of permanent teeth, so if one is injured, damaged, or lost then significant intervention will be necessary. A tooth that has been knocked out of the mouth or has been loosened from its socket needs to be addressed by your dentist immediately. Time is of the essence for this type of dental emergency because of how quickly the tooth roots (both inside the mouth and inside the tooth) can die when a tooth has been cut off from its blood supply. If it is at all possible, try placing the tooth back in its socket without touching the root. This will encourage the tooth to “stay connected” or to try to reconnect itself. If this is not possible, keep the tooth moist in a small cup of milk on your way to the dentist’s office. Successfully replacing a knocked out tooth is not always possible, but with immediate intervention the likelihood is much greater.
There are other types of dental emergencies than just a knocked out tooth. In fact, it is these dental emergencies that tend to get patients in a great deal of trouble because they tend to ignore them, hoping they will go away or resolve themselves. Understanding what constitutes a dental emergency is extremely important. The following require immediate dental attention:
- A knocked out tooth
- Dental pain around a tooth, the gums, the tongue, or inside the mouth
- Dental bleeding
- Swelling inside the mouth
- An infection or abscess around a tooth
- An injured jaw
- A cracked or broken tooth
- A lost dental bridge, crown, or filling
While some of these are non-urgent issues, none of these should be ignored without calling your dentist for longer than a day. At Definition Dental, we are here for your dental emergencies. Please contact our practice immediately if a dental emergency occurs. We are here for you during this stressful time.