No one ever really is ready for a medical emergency, even one that is dental. But while we can’t plan for every contingent when something happens, such as a child gets a broken tooth at baseball practice, we can be informed ahead of time to know what we need to do in case of a dental emergency. You can never predict just when such an event might take place, so being prepared is almost as good as preventing it in the first place.
Whether we need to find a place that offers same day crowns after an altercation with a particularly sticky piece of candy or simply a drug store with medicine for a sore tooth, knowing what we need to do is helpful. Here are a few situations you may find yourself in and ideas on the best approach to solve them.
When Immediate Care is Needed
Some dental problems can’t wait. When an accident happens and a tooth is actually knocked out of the mouth, it needs immediate care. This is because when the tooth is actually knocked out it only has a short amount of time where it can be put back in and re-establish itself in the mouth. While the body is resilient it does have its limitations.
After only a few hours the tooth root can be too damaged from exposure to the elements to be viable. When this happens, you might be able to save it, but most likely it will not take root again in the mouth. But if you can get the person into an emergency dental clinic or even a nearby hospital ER, you can perhaps save the tooth. This is a good example of why it is always good to know the closest hospital or emergency room no matter where you are at the time.
When an Appointment is Fine
Sometimes we have a dental accident that isn’t so bad we need to rush off to find an emergency room right away. It might be that you bit into Aunt Fannie’s famous fudge and hit a piece of walnut shell. Well, Fannie is getting old and sometimes she doesn’t see so well, so we all make allowances for her. But that walnut shell was hard and now you have chipped or cracked a tooth.
While this can be painful, it doesn’t mean that you need to rush off to the emergency room right away. When you have simply chipped, or cracked the tooth, you can simply call your dentist and make an appointment to have it repaired. It may be painful for the next day or so, and painkillers might be a good idea, but the tooth can be repaired.
Sometimes we have an ache in our tooth and we aren’t really sure what is causing it. This could be a small infection in the gum or it might be the beginning of some tooth decay. In either event, you can easily care for something like this at home.
Many pharmacies will offer toothache drops, which deaden the pain until you can get to a dentist. If the pain is minimal and focused more on perhaps a break in the gums, then using mouthwash to keep the area clean can often aid in healing.