March 1, 2015
Emergencies happen to each and every one of us. We prepare as best as we can, but we don’t always know how to do that! You probably have a first aid kit in your home somewhere, but will that first aid kit take care of any and all emergencies?
What about a dental emergency? Would the bandages, creams, etc. in your first aid kit do anything to help you in the event of a dental emergency?
Probably not, which is what we want to talk about today. We want Belleville residents to know how to handle a dental emergency and where to go when one occurs! That’s why we have created this dental emergency guide to help you be better prepared!
What Counts as an Emergency?
Before you can be prepared for a dental emergency, you need to know what constitutes an emergency! We will talk about specific examples in a moment, but anything that hinders your ability to use your teeth is a dental emergency. In other words, if you can’t chew and speak due to a problem with your tooth, it is an emergency.
Three Common Emergencies
Emergencies come in all shapes and sizes, but we want to explain the three most common emergency situations we see here in the office. We’ll also give you a brief explanation of what to do to help the patient in this situation.
The dental emergency we all fear the most is the broken or knocked-out tooth. The idea is terrifying, but it can happen suddenly! A simple knock to the jaw can dislodge or break a tooth, and it will be obvious that you need to be seen right away. Let’s take a look at what you need to do for the best chance of saving your tooth.
What to do: First, gather the tooth (whether one piece or several), rinse it clean, and put it in a small container with milk or saliva. Only touch the crown of the tooth. If you have no container, put the tooth in the patient’s cheek to keep it moist. Then, get to the office as quickly as you can!
Tooth pain, or a toothache, can happen very suddenly, or it can build over several days. The pain can be so excruciating that you have trouble laying down, sleeping, speaking, and especially chewing. There are many possible reasons for this type of pain.
What to do: Take an over-the-counter rapid release pain reliever to ease the pain quickly and efficiently. Sometimes a salt water rinse can be helpful to alleviate discomfort. Then, call us to set up an emergency appointment!
Broken Dental Appliance
If you wear dental appliances of any sort, you should know that they are capable of breaking, just like teeth! Crowns, bridges, braces, etc. are all breakable materials! When they break, they expose your tooth below, which has been treated and is very sensitive. While a broken appliance might not seem like much at first, it can definitely cause a major problem if it isn’t dealt with quickly!
What to do: In a moment we will discuss a dental emergency kit. One thing we recommend that you keep on hand is a tube of denture adhesive for this very situation! You can use the adhesive to temporarily place your appliance back on your tooth to keep you more comfortable until you can get into the office!
Creating a Dental Emergency Kit
As we’ve hinted at along the way, you need something more than just a simple first aid kit in your home. You need to add items that will help you deal with these dental emergency situations. Let’s take some time to discuss the items you might need to add!
Fast-Acting Pain Relievers: Pain relief is very important if you are dealing with a toothache or other painful injury. When your tooth is in pain, you have trouble focusing on anything else!
Gauze: You probably already have gauze in your kit, but know that this gauze is important to stop bleeding in the event of a broken or knocked-out tooth.
Tweezers: Sometimes picking up small pieces of a tooth is difficult, which is when you will want a pair of tweezers for help!
Small Container: Speaking of those little tooth pieces, you will want to include a small container in your dental emergency kit. This will give you a place to put your tooth in milk or saliva until you can get into the office.
Temporary Adhesive: Whether you buy a tube of denture adhesive or find special crown glue (found at the drugstore), you need to keep this temporary adhesive in your kit so that you can replace a broken appliance if you need to!
Bring Us Your Questions
Have questions? Bring them to us here at Thomas J. Feder, DDS, PC! Set up an appointment for an exam or consultation. We would love to see you soon to help you make sure you are prepared for any dental emergency that might come your way!
Remember, an important aspect of emergency dental care is being able to see a dentist on the same day! We are one of the only offices in Belleville with emergency services, so don’t hesitate to call when you are in need!