Recognize and React: How to Handle a Dental Emergency
“Accidents happen, and knowing what to do when one occurs can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth.” ~ ADA
Regular visits to your dentist will help you avoid many needless dental emergencies. However, even with careful attention to your dental health you may still find yourself in need of an emergency dentist. Sports and outdoor activities contribute to a healthy lifestyle, but they also increase the chances of accidents. It is a good idea to learn how to recognize a dental emergency and be prepared for various situations. Make sure your dentist handles emergencies and keep their phone number in your contact list. Call for an appointment as soon as possible if you are feeling pain or discomfort.
A routine dental cleaning and oral evaluation is an excellent opportunity for your dentist to check for loose fillings. Dental fillings may become loose and fall out simply from the age of the filling. A missing filling can also be the result of chewing ice, hard candy, or grinding. Call your dentist right away for an appointment if you notice a missing filling. An exposed nerve can be painful if not cared for. If needed you can purchase tooth cement from a pharmacy to temporarily hold the filling in place until you’re able to see a dental professional.
You should never touch, wiggle, or play with a loose tooth. Depending on what has caused the tooth to become loose, your dentist may suggest different solutions. A tooth that has come loose from trauma may be stabilized with adjacent teeth. Your dentist will need to evaluate the situation quickly in order to avoid losing the tooth. You should inform your dentist if you notice that your tooth is becoming loose over time. If the tooth has become loose over time, periodontal disease could be the cause, in which case it may be best to remove the tooth and have a dental implant in place.
Broken or Cracked Teeth
You will want your dentist to evaluate your broken tooth as soon as possible. Minor cracks or craze lines are in the outer surface tooth enamel. These may only need to be polished or bonded. Fractures and breaks which involve the whole tooth need immediate attention. Nerve exposure can be painful and if the pulp is damaged you may need root canal. In the event of a break you should rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to the area.
Knocked Out Tooth
An avulsed or knocked out tooth can at times be re implanted. Find the tooth and clean it by gently rinsing it with water. If you’re able to place the tooth back in the empty space, you should do so. It may not be possible due to bleeding or swelling in the area. If this is the case, you should place the tooth in milk. Call your dentist for an emergency visit. She will need to evaluate the situation and advise you on your options.
Island Tower Dentistry, located on Marco Island, is ready to help you with your emergency dental care. To contact Island Tower Dentistry regarding a dental concern or to make an appointment, call the office at 239-394-1004.