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Formerly known as Dr Peter Taylor and Dr Bernard Smith (220 Camberwell Road Practice)
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Formerly known as Dr Peter Taylor and Dr Bernard Smith (220 Camberwell Road Practice)

Common Dental Emergencies: What You Need to Know and How to Handle Them

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Common Dental Emergencies: What You Need to Know and How to Handle Them
By Imperial Dental

Dental emergencies can occur unexpectedly, causing pain and potential damage to your teeth and oral health.

Being informed about common dental emergencies and knowing how to handle them can make a significant difference in alleviating discomfort, preventing further complications, and preserving your smile.

In this informative blog post, we will explore some of the most frequent dental emergencies and provide practical guidance on how to effectively manage them until you can access professional dental care.

Knocked-Out Tooth

A knocked-out tooth is a dental emergency that requires immediate attention. If a permanent tooth gets completely knocked out, handle it carefully by the crown (avoid touching the root), and gently rinse it off with water if it's dirty.

If possible, try to place the tooth back into its socket and hold it in place with clean gauze or a wet tea bag. If reinsertion is not feasible, store the tooth in a container of milk or your saliva to keep it moist. Urgently seek dental assistance, as time is critical in attempting to save the tooth.

Toothache

Toothaches can range from mild sensitivity to severe throbbing pain and should never be ignored. Start by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water to cleanse the area and reduce inflammation. Carefully use dental floss to remove any trapped food particles that may be causing the discomfort.

 

Avoid applying aspirin or other medications directly to the tooth or gums, as they can cause chemical burns. Instead, contact your dentist promptly to schedule an appointment and address the underlying cause of the toothache.

Broken or Chipped Tooth

If you have a broken or chipped tooth, rinse your mouth gently with warm water to clean the area. If there is bleeding, apply slight pressure using sterile gauze or a clean cloth.

To minimize swelling, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek. It is essential to see your dentist as soon as possible to evaluate the extent of the damage and determine the most appropriate treatment, which may involve dental bonding, a crown, or other restorative procedures.

Lost Dental Filling or Crown

When a dental filling or crown becomes dislodged or falls out, it can cause discomfort and expose the affected tooth to further damage. If this occurs, carefully clean the inside of the restoration and temporarily reattach it using over-the-counter dental cement.

However, it is vital to contact your dentist promptly to have the filling or crown properly restored or replaced to ensure long-term stability and protection for the tooth.

Soft Tissue Injury

Injuries to the lips, gums, cheeks, or tongue can result in bleeding and potential infection. Rinse your mouth gently with warm saltwater to keep the area clean and reduce the risk of infection.

 

Apply light pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth to control the bleeding. If the bleeding persists for more than 15 minutes or is severe, seek immediate dental or medical attention.

First Thing To Do When You Encounter A Dental Emergency

Experiencing a dental emergency can be distressing, but knowing the first steps to take can make a significant difference in minimizing pain, preventing further damage, and ensuring the best possible outcome for your oral health.

Here's what you should do as soon as you encounter a dental emergency:

Stay Calm

Remain calm and collected. Panicking can make it difficult to think clearly and take appropriate actions. Take a deep breath and try to stay as composed as possible.

Assess the Situation

Evaluate the severity of the dental emergency. Is it a knocked-out tooth, severe toothache, broken tooth, or another issue? Understanding the nature of the emergency will help you determine the necessary course of action.

Control Bleeding or Swelling

If there is bleeding, gently rinse your mouth with warm saltwater to clean the area. Apply gentle pressure using sterile gauze or a clean cloth to control any bleeding. In case of swelling, applying a cold compress on the affected area can help reduce inflammation.

Preserve a Knocked-Out Tooth

If a permanent tooth has been completely knocked out, handle it carefully by the crown (avoid touching the root). Rinse the tooth gently with water if it's dirty, but do not scrub or remove any attached tissue. Try to place the tooth back into its socket, if possible. If reinsertion is not feasible, keep the tooth moist by placing it in a container of milk or your saliva.

Contact Your Dentist

Reach out to your dentist immediately, explaining the nature of the dental emergency and requesting an urgent appointment. Many dental offices have protocols in place to accommodate emergencies, and they can provide you with further guidance based on your specific situation.

Follow Dentist's Instructions

Listen carefully to your dentist's instructions over the phone. They may provide specific recommendations for managing the emergency until you can receive professional care. Follow their guidance closely to ensure the best possible outcome.

Pain Management

If you're experiencing significant pain, over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen can help alleviate discomfort. However, avoid placing pain relievers directly on the affected area, as it can lead to chemical burns.

Remember, it is crucial to seek professional dental care as soon as possible, even if the pain subsides or the situation seems to improve. Only a dentist can properly diagnose and treat dental emergencies to prevent further complications.

Conclusion

Being prepared and informed about common dental emergencies empowers you to take prompt action and manage potential dental issues effectively.

However, it is important to note that the temporary measures discussed are only meant to provide temporary relief until you can receive professional dental care.

Therefore, it is crucial to contact your dentist as soon as possible after experiencing a dental emergency. By seeking timely dental treatment, you can ensure the best possible outcome for your oral health, comfort, and long-lasting smile.

Got a dental emergency? Visit Imperial Dental today!

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