What is a Dental Emergency? Part 2

dental tools favorite plusA dental problem that requires immediate treatment to save a tooth or relieve unrelenting pain is a dental emergency.

An acute infection or abscess in the mouth can be life-threatening that’s why you should deal with it at once. Your dentist will be able to perform the first stage of a root canal or refer you to an endodontist to open and drain the tooth with the abscess. If you cannot reach your dentist, seek hospital emergency care.

Problems with Temporary Restorations

Having a temporary crown come off is not a dental emergency. However, it is essential to restore it so that the tooth stays in its original position until you can see your dentist.

It is easy to put back a temporary crown onto your tooth. Place Vaseline, toothpaste, or even a small amount of denture adhesive into the temporary crown and put it onto your tooth. Put the crown before all else and observe how it goes into place.

When you are comfortable with the fit, apply adhesive to the temporary crown and place it on your tooth. Bite down onto a dry washcloth, applying even pressure to the temporary crown. Afterwards, wipe off excess adhesive. 

You must see your dentist within the next few days to have it re-cemented.

Is it a Dental Emergency?

Smoothing a chipped tooth, re-cementing a crown that is not painful, and composite bonding to repair a tooth are not dental emergencies. You can deal with such problems during your dentist’s regular office hours.

If you are not sure whether or not you have a real dental emergency, answer the following questions:

  • Are you bleeding from the mouth?
  • Are you in severe pain?
  • Did you get knocked out in the mouth or face? 
  • Do you have any bulges, swelling, or knots on your gums?
  • Do you have any loose teeth?
  • Is your face or mouth swollen?

If you experience any of these, you might be having a dental emergency and should call your dentist immediately.

If you are having extreme pain caused by hot or warm foods or beverages, try drinking ice water. It might relieve the pain. Sip on ice water and hold some in your mouth until you see the dentist.

If you are sensitive to cold, avoid cold foods and beverages.

If you experience pain in a tooth when biting down, it might indicate an abscess. It is an emergency, and you should call your dentist’s office.

How to Avoid a Dental Emergency

You can avoid many dental emergencies by having routine check-ups with your dentist to ensure that your mouth and teeth are healthy.

Wearing a mouth guard while doing sports will help prevent breaking or chipping of teeth. Refrain from chomping on hard foods that may crack your teeth.

If you are going out of the country, it is essential to see your dentist for a routine check-up before you leave. Your dentist can ensure that you don’t have any loose crowns, decay, or other problems that they can fix before becoming a dental emergency later.

Preparing for a Dental Emergency

Since a dental emergency can occur anytime and anywhere, the most excellent thing to do is to be prepared and not to overreact. Store and keep with you a small dental first aid kit containing the following:

  • Acetaminophen (not aspirin or ibuprofen)
  • Gauze
  • Handkerchief
  • Name and phone number of your dentist
  • Small container with a lid

What is a Dental Emergency? Part 1



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