When most people think of a dental emergency, they think of a tooth that has been knocked out. While this is undoubtedly considered a dental emergency, other situations warrant immediate attention from a dentist. The American Dental Association (ADA) reports that over 25% of Americans have untreated cavities. This statistic is alarming because it means that a significant portion of the population is at risk of developing a dental emergency. If you are experiencing intense pain in your mouth, have a tooth that is cracked or broken, or have swelling in your face, gums, or mouth, you should seek emergency dental care.
What is Considered a Dental Emergency?
Pain: In general, any situation that is causing you severe pain in your mouth is considered a dental emergency. If you are unsure whether your situation warrants emergency care, it is always best to err on the side of caution and consult with your dentist. They will be able to assess your situation and provide you with the best course of treatment.
Tooth knocked out: If you have a tooth that has been knocked out, try to put it back in place and hold it there with a clean cloth. If you can't do this, put the tooth in a cup of milk. Getting to the dentist within 30 minutes is essential for the best chance of saving the tooth.
Severe toothache: If you have a painful toothache that doesn't go away after using over-the-counter pain medications, you should see a dentist. The sooner you can get in to see the dentist, the better. You may have an infection that needs to be treated with antibiotics.
Bleeding: If you have bleeding from your gums or mouth that doesn't stop, this is also an emergency, and you should seek dental care immediately.
Non-Urgent Dental Problems
The following are non-urgent dental problems and can wait til a weekday to be seen:
-A very mildly chipped tooth that isn’t causing pain
-A loose filling
-A mild toothache
-Some sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
How to Prevent a Dental Emergency
There are several things that you can do to prevent a dental emergency from occurring. First, practicing good oral hygiene habits such as brushing twice a day and flossing is crucial. Additionally, you should see your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. If you have any existing dental problems, get them treated as soon as possible to prevent them from worsening.
What to Do at Home
When you have a dental emergency, knowing what you can do at home to treat the problem is important. Here are some tips to help you get through your dental emergency until you can be seen:
Rinse your mouth with warm water. This will help to clean the area and remove any debris that may be causing irritation.
Apply a cold compress to the area. This will help to reduce swelling and pain.
If you have a tooth that has been knocked out, try to put it back in place. If this is impossible, store the tooth in a cup of milk or saline solution.
Take over-the-counter pain medication if needed. Ibuprofen can help to reduce inflammation and pain.
See your dentist as soon as possible for further treatment.
What To Do if it’s Urgent
If you have a dental emergency, the first thing you should do is call your dentist. If you can’t reach your dentist, go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
When you arrive at the emergency room, tell the triage nurse that you have a dental emergency. The triage nurse will prioritize your case and get you to the proper treatment area.
Once you’re in the treatment area, a doctor or dentist will evaluate your condition and provide the necessary care. In some cases, this may mean simply providing pain medication. In other cases, it may mean performing a dental procedure.
In conclusion, it is best to call your dentist if you have a dental emergency on the weekend. They will be able to give you specific instructions on what to do and how to care for your teeth until you can come in for an appointment. Coral West Dental has extended hours and weekend hours to help you get taken care of as soon as possible!
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