What is a Dental Emergency?
Any dental issue that requires immediate medical attention qualifies as a dental emergency. Emergencies often include excessive bleeding, severe tooth pain, a traumatic mouth injury, and life-threatening infections. However, other unique situations may also qualify as dental emergencies. If you’re uncertain if a dental issue constitutes an emergency visit, we encourage you to call our Hamilton dental office for help determining your next steps.
“What do I do if I have a dental emergency?”
During a dental emergency, the first step is to stay calm. While medical emergencies are scary, panicking will only worsen the problem. Depending on the nature of your emergency, perform one of the first aid steps listed below.
Once the situation is under control, call our Hamilton dental office and explain the nature of your emergency to a staff member. Calling ahead helps our doctor prepare for your visit so that they can treat you as quickly as possible.
Apply a cold compress or ice pack to the affected area. You can also take a pain reliever like acetaminophen (ex. Tylenol) or ibuprofen (ex. Advil). Try NOT to take Aspirin since it’s an anticoagulant. If you need surgery, it will thin out your blood and worsen bleeding. When taking medication, always follow your doctor’s advice and the instructions on the medication package.
If a whole natural tooth was knocked out, and it is reasonably clean – first make sure you handle it by the crown, not the root, and immediately try to put it back into the socket (This will prevent the reattachment cells from dying). If the tooth is not clean – you can rinse it, but do not scrub it. If you can’t put the tooth back in, place it in a cup of warm milk. A knocked-out tooth is more likely to be saved if treated within the hour, so call us immediately.
If a part of your tooth broke off, find and save all the pieces of the tooth. Rinse your mouth with warm water to wash away smaller pieces. If you are bleeding, apply a bit of sterile gauze to the area until the bleeding stops. You can use a cold compress or ice pack to relieve some of the pain and swelling. To restore the tooth and prevent further damage – call us immediately.
Rinse your mouth with a mild saltwater solution (half a teaspoon of table salt in 8 ounces of water) two to three times a day. Rinsing helps relieve pain and draws the pus toward the surface. If left untreated, an abscess can damage tissue and spread to other parts of your body. To avoid this, contact our office as soon as possible!
As a temporary solution, you can apply orthodontic wax to the hole left by the fallen-out filling. Orthodontic wax is soft and can be molded to cover and protect the hole until you see a dentist. You can find it in most drug stores. However, this is only a temporary solution. You should see a dentist as soon as possible to fix the filling permanently.
Do not eat solid foods; place an ice pack on your face, then call us to determine your next step. If you think your jaw may be broken, schedule an emergency dental visit immediately.
Do I Need Emergency Dental Care?
While uncommon, dental emergencies happen. In certain instances, getting emergency dental as quickly as possible can save natural teeth and prevent dangerous infections from spreading. While it’s impossible to list every emergency dental issue, we’ve listed a few of the most common issues we see in our office.
You should get emergency dental care if you experience the following:
- Tooth pain that prevents you from eating or sleeping
- Knocked-out teeth
- Broken or loose braces
- Chipped, cracked, or broken teeth
- Lost dental filling or crown.
- Abscess on the gum
Contact us today
to schedule an initial consultation & exam.
Your consultation will include an examination of everything from your teeth, gums and soft tissues to the shape and condition of your bite. Generally, we want to see how your whole mouth looks and functions. Before we plan your treatment we want to know everything about the health and aesthetic of your smile, and, most importantly, what you want to achieve so we can help you get there.