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What to do When a Dental Emergency Occurs?

Different Stages of Dental Emergencies

While a dental emergency can occur at any time, most people are reluctant to call up their dentists. They bear the pain, unsure about whether it qualifies for an emergency or visit.

However, you should never do that. You may have a hanging tooth or get hit in the face. An emergency may happen when dentists' offices are not open, or on a weekend.

But before you proceed to the emergency room or other treatment options, you must call up your dentist.  At Kirkland Premier Dentistry we suggest that you visit as soon as you can,  preferably within half an hour, especially in the case of an injury.

We provide after-hours care and are also open on Saturdays. When you are not sure about the gravity of the situation, you can call up to receive guidance.  

The following are common problems you may face that require immediate attention.

Toothache

Severe tooth pain might signify dental abscesses or oral infections. As preliminary home care, use a warm saline rinse.

If there is swelling, use a cold compress from the outside. Contact your dentist and make an appointment at the earliest.

Broken tooth

Usually, an external injury causes tooth breakage. The broken parts may fragment apart. Clean the tooth with warm water, keep the fragments with you and arrange an immediate consultation with a dentist's office.

Meanwhile, use a cold compress on the cheek. While minor cracks, fractures and chips are not considered an emergency, broken teeth are a serious matter. It can lead to nerve damage.

Tooth loss

Tooth loss in adults is the condition when teeth become loose and fall out. It is most probably caused by gum disease. It can be replaced with a false tooth if you cannot find the original one.

Partial dislodgement 

When the tooth is extruded partially, treat it as an emergency. Visit your dentist immediately. If it is painful, you can take an OTC pain-relieving medicine and apply a cold wet cloth to the site to control inflammation and bleeding, if any.  

Mouth, tongue or lips injury 

Sometimes you may bite your tongue, cheek or lips accidentally. If the bleeding doesn't stop in a short while, get it evaluated.

If there has been an impactful accident and someone has an injured jaw, you must summon a doctor or a dental surgeon. Take care of the patient till then and do not let him move much. 

Dental Abscess

Abscesses are nothing but infection growth in the roots or between the teeth. They are like pimples inside the mouth which may be filled with pus. They are serious and you must seek immediate treatment.

These infections can not only damage tissues and teeth but also spread to other parts of the body and create life-threatening situations. They are painful too, so do light saline rinses now and then.

Crown loss/ filling loss

In case if your crowns or caps are lost, see your dentist right away. If there is a delay, you can try to hold it in place with dental cement, sugarless gum or toothpaste.

For pain and sensitivity, clove oil works well and you can buy it from the supermarket too. Do make an appointment.

Broken or loose braces or brackets 

Orthodontic device mishaps are very common. If you break a wire, bracket or loosen it, try to push it back with a soft material. 

 Do not try to attempt to clip wires if they are hurting. You can cushion the sharp ends with dental wax till you visit the clinic.

Soft tissue injuries

Your mouth has a lot of soft tissue on the gums, lips, tongue and cheeks which have fine blood vessels. They can sustain injury due to burning, biting, accident, or eating acidic foods.

As first aid, use an antiseptic mouthwash, or saline. If the bleeding doesn't stop, apply light using sterilized gauze with light pressure and/or ice. Visit your Kirkland Dentist.  

Food lodgement or objects caught in between teeth

The primary step would be flossing. If you are unable to wipe it out on your own, then visit the dentist's office.

You can try an interdental brush too. Be gentle, do not use sharp objects at all. They can cut into the gums and damage the tooth enamel too.

Seeking Primary care

Dental offices such as Kirkland Premier Dentistry tend to emergencies during regular hours even when they do not have a prior appointment.

We have a helpline number where help & guidance is available for urgent situations. Our emergency dentist serves your whole family's needs at any time. Do not hesitate to call our clinic to schedule a visit at the earliest.

Author
Dr. Gaurav Sharma Dr. Gaurav Sharma Dr. Gaurav Sharma has been in practice since 2015, after graduating with his DDS from New York University with honors in Implant Dentistry that same year. Before moving to the U.S., Dr. Gaurav practiced in India for 4 years as an Associate Dentist after graduating from one of the top dental schools in India with a Bachelors's in Dental Surgery (BDS) in 2009. He is a good listener who takes time to explain different treatment options so patients fully understand. He takes pride in bringing smiles back to his patients. With his experience, skills & passion for dentistry, Dr. Sharma can provide the best dental care to his patients.

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