May 23, 2017
All too often, people experiencing dental emergencies head straight to the Emergency Room. Unfortunately, ER physicians often lack the training to deal with these types of dental issues, and will typically send patients home with pain medication and instructions to visit a dentist. To avoid this type of scenario, we’d like to advise you on how to handle the most common dental emergencies.
What exactly is a dental emergency?
Although annoying, toothaches aren’t dental emergencies. Dental emergencies are dental problems that require immediate attention. If you believe that you’re experiencing a dental emergency, call our office as soon as possible.
Cracked, Chipped, or Fractured Tooth
While a cracked or chipped tooth may seem alarming, it’s typically not an emergency. Simply rinse your mouth out with water and do your best to avoid chipping the tooth further before seeing a dentist.
Fractured teeth, on the other hand, are more serious. If you experience a fracture, take Tylenol/acetaminophen (not aspirin) and apply a cold compress to your face if you’re in pain or have facial swelling. You may require an extraction, so we urge you to call us immediately once you’ve followed these steps.
A painful toothache, on the other hand, can be caused by a variety of dental problems including a cavity, an abscessed tooth, an infection, TMJ disorders, or cracked teeth. If you are experiencing any of these, you’ll want to call our office right away to set up an appointment. Then, take an over-the-counter painkiller to reduce pain. If you’re experiencing facial swelling, you may also want to place a cold compress on your face, as researchers believe ice prevents pain signals from being sent to the brain.
If you’re experiencing general jaw pain in relation to your teeth, gently place ice on the affected area, and as with the other dental emergencies, contact our office. However, if you believe you have suffered a traumatic injury that may have broken your jaw, we urge you to visit an ER immediately.
Tooth Knocked Out
When a tooth has been knocked out, you’re going to want to handle it carefully. Doing so improves our ability to save it. Avoid touching the tooth’s root, and if it’s dirty, rinse it in milk. Use water if milk is unavailable.
If you can do so, slip the tooth back into its socket, making sure it’s facing the right direction. In many cases, it will fit easily back in, but if it doesn’t, don’t force it. Instead, keep the tooth moist by placing it in a glass of milk or water. If those aren’t available, place the tooth between your cheek and gum to keep it moist. This will improve the likelihood we can save the tooth. Once you’ve taken these actions, contact our office immediately.
Object Stuck Between Teeth
Never, ever stick tweezers or other sharp items in your mouth to remove an object stuck between your teeth. Doing so could make your dental problem worse rather than better. Instead, see if you can dislodge the object by flossing. If that fails, please contact our office for an appointment.
Ultimately, if you’re experiencing a dental emergency that is non life-threatening, it’s best practice to call us right away. If after hours, we leave an emergency number to reach one of the dentists.
Speaking of dental appointments, are you due for one? If so, we encourage you to schedule your visit today. It’s easy! To schedule a checkup, click here to request one online, or call our office at 330.434.3485. We are conveniently located at 508 E. Exchange Street in the heart of Akron.