Knowing how to handle a dental emergency before it happens is the most important aspect of handling it well. Emergencies are stressful and scary situations—and most often, painful—no matter how young or old you are. While there are obvious forms of dental emergencies, it is the ones that people tend to ignore that often get them into the most trouble.
Below are criteria for what exactly constitutes a dental emergency:
- Knocked out tooth
- Lost or broken filling
- Cracked or broken tooth
- Damage to your dental bridge or crown
- An infection or abscess in the mouth
- Jaw injuries
- Tooth pain
- Swelling in the mouth
- Extreme tooth sensitivity
When Should You Call a Dentist?
While a knocked out tooth is what everyone thinks of when they hear “dental emergency”, the other items on this list are quite problematic as well. In fact, what designates them as emergencies is not always what is going on with the tooth at that exact moment, but how it will deteriorate if not promptly addressed.
For example, many people want to ignore a cracked tooth, a lost filling or tooth sensitivity until their next dental appointment. However, if that dental appointment is four months, or even four weeks away, a great deal of damage will occur during that time.
Having these situations addressed as soon as possible is the best way to prevent the need for drastic and expensive dental work. These issues must be viewed as emergencies in order to protect the long-term health of your mouth.
Knocked Out Teeth: What to Do
If you or a loved one has an injury that resulted in a knocked out tooth:
- Find the tooth quickly.
- Rinse the tooth without scrubbing, and try to place it back into its socket.
- If unsuccessful, keep the tooth moist in the person’s own saliva, or in milk.
- Get to your dentist immediately.
At Gastonia Family Dentistry, we are here for all of your dental care needs. If a dental emergency arises, please contact our practice right away.