A dental emergency is anything that has broken, is bleeding, or is causing you pain in or around your mouth. It can leave you feeling panicked when one happens to you or a loved one -- but knowing who to call in this case will make things a lot easier. Dr. Barry Grosshandler and our team are happy to welcome dental emergencies when our patients need urgent care most! Keep reading to learn more about how we can help you when you need help most.
What Counts as a Dental Emergency?
Here are some examples of common dental emergencies:
- A broken or cracked tooth
- A dislodged tooth
- A knocked out tooth
- A severe toothache or abscess
- Something lodged between the teeth
- A broken filling or crown
- Bleeding gums or soft tissues
Recognize a medical emergency when a wound will not stop bleeding for 10 minutes or more, or when you have broken a bone in your jaw.
In most cases, your dentist is better prepared to handle a dental emergency than the emergency room. Get in touch with our office after the situation is under control. When you do, we can provide advice on what to do next to improve the odds you have a successful outcome with treatment. For your convenience, we have listed some of the most common advice below.
- For a knocked-out tooth, rinse it in warm water and be careful to not touch the sensitive root. Store the tooth in a cup or milk, place it back in the empty socket, or wrap it in plastic saran wrap if the former are not possible. You will need to make it to our office within one hour for successful reattachment.
- Place a clean gauze or cloth on a bleeding wound. Use firm and consistent pressure to slow bleeding.
- Apply an ice pack to the affected cheek to prevent swelling.
- Take an over-the-counter pain medication to temporarily ease discomfort of a dental injury or toothache.
- For a child’s toothache, help them brush, floss, and rinse their mouths. Often, a toothache is mistaken for a large food particle caught between the teeth. If discomfort persists, get in touch with us right away.
- Try to secure a piece of a broken filling or crown back over the area using a denture adhesive or toothpaste. You may be able to find a temporary filling material at the pharmacy.
Preventing Dental Emergencies
You may not be able to completely safeguard your and your family’s smiles against dental emergencies, but you can take some preventive measures to help reduce the odds of experiencing one. Some of the most important methods for preventing a dental injury or toothache include:
- Wear a customized mouth guard during contact sports. The majority of dental injuries are the result of a sports injury.
- Brush and floss your teeth as directed and visit your dentist at least every 6 months for a checkup and cleaning.
- Avoid potentially damaging habits like nail biting, eating ice, pen chewing, and using the teeth to open packages and tear through plastic.
Call Us ASAP!
Even if you follow these steps, you may still experience a dental emergency. Don’t fret -- just get in touch with us right away! Dr. Grosshandler and our team will get on the case and get you out of pain before you know it.