When to Call an Emergency Dentist
Many of the most common dental problems are considered emergencies. An infected or injured tooth generates pain that must be addressed immediately.
In some cases, prompt professional attention is also necessary to save your tooth.
While you might hesitate to call after our normal office hours, we encourage you to call our dentists at the first sign of an emergency.
Common Signs of a Dental Emergency
The symptoms that you experience during a dental emergency vary depending upon the type of problem that occurs.
Severe pain, swelling or bleeding associated with your teeth, or the soft tissues, in your mouth are considered an emergency.
You can also experience a dental emergency that does not always cause severe pain right away. For instance, a broken tooth or lost dental restoration may not hurt until you try to eat something hot or cold.
Ways to Reduce Pain, Bleeding and Swelling
The majority of dental emergencies cause pain and swelling. Getting these symptoms under control is a priority. You can try using an over the counter pain reliever to ease discomfort until you get to our dental office.
We also recommend applying an ice pack to the outside of your cheek. This can help to soothe the pain and alleviate swelling and inflammation.
To control bleeding, apply dry, sterile gauze to the area. If the bleeding is not severe, then you can also use a salt water rinse to help cleanse the wound.
How to Care for a Fractured or Lost Dental Restoration
Our dentists use several different types of restorations to correct problems with your teeth. These restorations are made with sturdy materials, but they can still break.
Once a filling or dental crown breaks, your tooth is vulnerable to receiving more damage. You may also experience extreme sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures.
While you prepare to see our emergency dentists, try to eat soft foods that are room temperature. This helps to prevent damage to the remaining structure of the tooth.
We also encourage you to try to eat on the other side of your mouth to avoid breaking the weakened tooth.
If you lose a dental crown, bring it in to the office if you can find it. It isn’t always possible, but we can sometimes reuse it if the underlying tooth is healthy.
Tips to Preserve a Knocked Out Tooth
Having a tooth knocked out is one of those dental nightmares that you want to deal with immediately. In most cases, you only have a short period of time to save the tooth.
If the tooth is simply knocked loose, avoid placing pressure on it until you can get it examined.
For a completely knocked out tooth, try to hold it in the socket while you get to your appointment. You can also place it in tooth preservative or a glass of milk.
Never wash the tooth off because you could cause damage to the nerves. We will try to restore the tooth. If it is not savable, then we can recommend an appropriate replacement option.
At Shumway Dental Care, we encourage you to call us any time that you have a concern about your teeth. If you suspect that it might be an emergency, then it most likely is.
After applying first aid, give our office a call. You’ll be put in touch with one of our dentists who can see you right away.