You are never prepared to break a tooth when eating breakfast or to be awakened at night by a toothache. Although you never expect it to happen to you, dental emergencies occur more often than you might believe. In fact, one in six Americans faces one every year. If you are among the unlucky few to find yourself in this position, you may not know what to do. Do you go to your local hospital or do you visit your emergency dentist? Most often, it is best to call your dentist because hospitals are not equipped to deal with these situations.
Hospital or Emergency Dentist?
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, 2.5% of emergency room visits are dental-related. While it may seem like the logical solution when facing a sudden oral health problem, most ERs can only offer pain management. They cannot treat broken teeth or other issues that are causing pain.
The only way to get the relief you need is to visit your dentist, but there are times when you should go to the ER first, such as if there is uncontrollable bleeding or you suspect your jaw is broken. For all other emergencies, take the appropriate action at home and then call your dentist.
Treating Dental Emergencies
Dental emergencies can take many different forms. Depending on the type you are having, there are several things you can do to help save your tooth:
- Knocked Out Tooth: Hold the tooth by the crown and rinse it with water. Do not dry it or use soaps and cleaners. Gently try to reinsert it back into the socket. If you cannot, place it in a cup of milk or water.
- Dislodged Tooth: Try to push it back into position and bite on a piece of gauze to prevent it from moving.
- Toothache: This could be a sign of an infection. Use over-the-counter pain relievers until you see your dentist.
- Broken Tooth: Keep the tooth clean and avoid chewing on it until after it is repaired. Apply cold compresses to the outside of your face to manage any swelling.
- Broken Oral Appliance: Stop using any oral appliance, like dentures, that has become damaged until it is repaired. Do not try to fix it on your own.
- Lost Restoration: Keep your tooth clean and place the restoration in a safe area.
Get Quick Dental Care Today!
No one has time for a dental emergency, but do not delay getting the care you need, or it could cost you your tooth. Call your emergency dentist right away for a same-day appointment.
About Dr. Dennis E. Stansbury
Dr. Dennis E. Stansbury has provided comprehensive dental care for more than 44 years. He offers the services you need for a healthy, beautiful smile. He believes in always being there for his patients, even during times of emergency. If an unexpected dental concern arises, do not wait. Contact Stansbury Dental today for an appointment.