According to the American Dental Association, approximately 2.2 million people visit the hospital ER every year due to dental pain. Most people seek emergency dental care because of a major toothache; however, there are other dental emergencies that also require the expertise of a dentist. Unfortunately, most hospitals are ill-equipped and not staffed to adequately address these types of emergencies. Most often, they will attempt to help with the pain and advise the patient to see a dentist as soon as possible.
When you need emergency dental care, your best option is to seek a dentist who offers emergency dental services. Not only will you get the care you need, but the dental office also has the equipment and materials necessary to address your dental emergency. The most common dental emergencies include:
- Abscessed tooth
- Avulsed or knocked-out tooth
- Bleeding and pain after a tooth extraction
- Broken orthodontics
- Chipped or broken tooth
- Lost filling or crown
A dental emergency can be a traumatic experience, especially for a child. When you experience severe oral pain or you have some type of mouth trauma, seeing the emergency dentist as soon as possible is essential.
Steps You Can Take
There are steps you can take in some situations to help until you can see the dentist.
- Toothache can be the result of a bad cavity, a broken or damaged tooth or gum irritation. Over-the-counter pain relievers may help until you can see the dentist.
- An abscessed tooth is one that is severely infected and may be accompanied by swelling of the gum or face. This should be treated as soon as possible. OTC pain relievers may ease the discomfort and using a cold compress for the swelling may help; but it is very important to be seen before the infection has a chance to spread.
- Bleeding or pain after a tooth extraction that continues more that an hour or so after the procedure should be checked. Place a thick gauze pad over the extraction site and bite down to apply pressure. Do not rinse your mouth and avoid drinking, eating and smoking until you can be seen by a dentist.
- A broken wire on orthodontics can be pushed into a more comfortable position until you can be seen. You can also cover the exposed end of the wire with a bit of orthodontic wax. Do not cut the wire.
- A knocked-out tooth should be handled with care. Do not touch the root of the tooth. Rinse it off gently. If possible, you can try to put the tooth back in the socket but do not push it in. If you are unable to reinsert it, put the tooth in a small container with milk or salt water.
Remember that when you feel pain, your body is trying to tell you something. Do not ignore your oral pain. A small issue can quickly turn into a large and expensive problem if neglected. We welcome patients with dental emergencies at Haven Dentistry. For compassionate and gentle dentistry when you need it most, give us a call and we will do all we can to help you feel better fast.
Posted on behalf of Haven Dentistry