Making the effort to look after your dental hygiene is one way to help you reduce your risk of damage to your teeth and prevent other conditions from occurring. However, no matter how well you take care of your teeth, accidents can happen at any time and there is always the chance of a dental emergency. While some oral injuries can wait until your dentist’s normal hours, some require immediate treatment.
Any dental emergency can be potentially serious, and to ignore it only increases the chance of permanent damage as well as expensive treatment to repair damage as best as possible.
Types of Dental Emergency
There is a range of different dental emergencies that can occur including:
- Tooth loss
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Infected wisdom teeth
- Inflamed dental pulp
Knowing the type of dental emergency will allow you to determine the severity of any pain as well as whether or not it requires immediate attention from your dentist. Swelling, pain, and bleeding can all be indicators of dental emergencies.
Who should you call?
If a dental emergency occurs, ring your dentist’s office first. An appointment may be available within 24 hours as dentist’s do keep slots open in their schedules in the event of emergencies. For example, if you need an emergency dentist in London, practices such as Ten Dental offer emergency dental treatments. Even if the office is closed, there may be a message detailing what to do for emergencies left on the answering machine.
Calling your dentist’s office will also allow you to explain the emergency to staff and describe any symptoms you are feeling. Doing this will allow staff to help you assess the problem as well as recommend any pain relief solutions in the meantime.
Handling dental emergencies
In the event of a dental emergency, knowing what to do can help avoid any panic. As well as knowing the type of dental emergency being experienced, knowing how to handle the injury can help you to manage any pain and protect the teeth from further damage. For example, with lost fillings, you can get over the counter dental cement if you are unable to see your dentist straight away.
However, for problems such as a knocked-out tooth, a tooth can be saved by putting it back into place or placing it in milk as soon as possible, before seeing a dentist. Avoid touching the root of the tooth as this can damage tissue and hold the tooth by the crown.
Once you see your dentist, they can then assess your teeth, diagnose the problem and provide appropriate treatment.
What to do for dental emergencies in children
Like with adult teeth, if a child is suffering from toothache or a dental emergency it’s important to get them to a dentist as soon as possible. For a knocked-out tooth, follow the same advice as above and make sure your child is seen to immediately.
If your child has a toothache, then check to see for any immediate problem such as swelling in the mouth or a hole in their tooth. For pain relief, give them the appropriate dosage of paracetamol or ibuprofen that is made for children.