A Guide to Handling Dental Emergencies: Critical Steps to Take


Dental emergencies can happen to anyone, at any time. A dental emergency can be a frightening experience. If you are ever faced with one, it is important to know what steps to take to minimize the damage and get the help you need. Below, we will outline the critical steps that you need to take in order to handle a range of dental emergencies. Different emergencies may require different responses, so be sure to read through this guide carefully and identify the type of emergency you are facing and how to proceed.

If you have a bad toothache, the first step is to try and clean out any food or debris that may be caught in your teeth. If this does not relieve the pain, take ibuprofen to help with the discomfort. If the discomfort persists past a few days, you should then call your dentist and schedule an appointment for a checkup.

If you have chipped or broken your tooth, it is important to collect any pieces of the tooth that you can find. Rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to the area to reduce swelling, if there is any. If the area is causing significant pain, you should call your dentist and schedule an appointment to be seen as soon as possible.

If you have knocked out your tooth, it is important to find the tooth and pick it up by the crown, and avoiding touching the root to anything to keep the tissue fragments viable for as long as possible. Outside of business hours, you may need to look online for an emergency dentist if your regular dentist does not practice emergency dentistry, as time is of the essence in this situation. In order to save and reinsert the tooth, you should visit an emergency dentistry clinic as soon as possible.

If you have lost a filling or crown, it is important to try and find the lost piece. If you are not in significant pain from the event, rinse your mouth with warm water, call your dentist, and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. However, if you are in pain, this could indicate a deeper wound and a greater chance for infection, therefore, you may need to find an emergency dentist to treat you right away.

If you have broken your orthodontics, it is important to call your orthodontist or dentist right away. As mentioned above, the level of pain you’re in will help to indicate how urgent the situation is. As broken orthodontics can cause further damage due to sharp edges of the materials cutting the gums and mouth, you can use dental wax to cover any sharp edges and avoid further injury while you wait for treatment.

If you have an abscess or you are experiencing excessive bleeding or pain, it is important to call your dentist, or an emergency dental clinic, right away.

The urgency of many emergencies (ie. can it wait a day or two for an appointment?) most often depends on the level of pain (or bleeding) you are experiencing so every scenario will require an element of personal judgment but as a rule, if you experience trauma to your teeth or gums, don’t wait longer than a few days to have it checked out by a dentist to make sure it doesn’t get worse or lead to other health problems.

We hope that this guide has been helpful in teaching you how to handle a dental emergency. Remember, if you are ever faced with one of these situations, the most important thing is to stay calm and call a dentist right away. Regardless of the severity of your injury, a dental professional can guide you through the steps necessary to treat your issue. With quick thinking and proper care, you can minimize the damage to your teeth and gums and get the help you need fast.

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