What to Consider During a Dental Emergency
In the event of a life-threatening emergency, dial 911 to call an ambulance to proceed to the nearest ER.
Dental accidents can and do happen. Do you know what to do if a dental emergency occurs? Even the most “disaster-prepared” people with earthquake kits, fire-drills and ample emergency rations don’t think of how to handle a dental emergency. With dental emergencies, the fact is most emergency rooms are not typically equipped with the tools and expertise to help.
When dental accidents occur, it can be very alarming. New Look Dental aims to provide quick solutions to ease your stress and get you and your teeth back in tip-top shape.
What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?
The most common emergencies include traumatic injuries which pose a risk for permanent damage while others are more cosmetic in nature.
Serious oral injuries include a tooth getting knocked out, toothaches, abscesses (infections), bleeding after tooth loss, a damaged gum line or other soft tissue injuries to the lips, tongue, cheeks or gums. These require immediate attention but chipped or broken teeth, lost crowns and broken dental fillings should also not be ignored.
Depending on your sense of urgency, restorative dentistry performed in an emergency setting can include the following:
- Inlays, onlays & veneers
- Porcelain crowns & fixed bridges
- Root canals
- Dental fillings (tooth-colored composite fillings or silver amalgam fillings)
What to do in a Dental Emergency
While each situation has different needs, here are some important things to do in the event of a dental emergency:
Step 1: Call us right away. Dr. Kirakosian understands the highly time sensitive nature of dental emergencies and will make every effort to get you in to the dental office as soon as possible. New Look Dental endeavors to allow extra time in our schedule to accommodate same day appointments.
Step 2: Try these general do’s and don’ts for various dental emergencies:
- Rinse and floss to remove debris.
- Ice or apply a cold compress to reduce swelling and discomfort.
- Rinse and save broken or chipped teeth.
- Try to replace knocked out teeth, or when not possible, place in milk or water with a little salt or Save-a-Tooth cell growth medium and see a dentist immediately.
- If bleeding occurs apply gauze until bleeding stops.
- To minimize pain, take acetaminophen or ibuprofen or apply clove oil with a cotton swab to the sensitive area.
- For open cavities insert dental cement or sugarless gum.
- For loose crowns use dental cement, denture adhesive or toothpaste to hold in place.
- Apply pain killer or aspirin directly to gums as it may burn the tissue.
- Disturb tissue fragments or scrub knocked out teeth.
- Use a pin or sharp object to dislodge food or other foreign objects.
- Do not use super glue to reapply crowns or fillings.
Step 3: If there is bleeding that doesn’t stop, continue to apply pressure and see us right away or go to the nearest emergency room.
Dental Emergency Tips
To easily navigate potential hurdles, have insurance and ID cards handy. When possible have a financial reserve set aside to cover dental emergencies and keep a designated driver in mind for in the event you need a ride home after sedation.
Above all, remember to stay calm. Whether you or your family need tooth extractions, restorative dentistry, or otherwise, Dr. Kirakosian deeply empathizes with her patients and is revered for her “bedside manner” and ability to put patients with emergencies at ease.