Emergency Services with Columbia Gateway Dentistry
Having a dental emergency is a common occurrence, but that's not much comfort when it happens to you! When you have a dental emergency, it can be painful and distressing, and it's important to know what to do in these situations, to have the best chance at preserving your oral health.
Step 1: Preserving the Tooth
Sometimes a dental emergency is relatively simple—you're in pain, and you need help. In those cases, it's clear that you just need to see your dentist ASAP!
However, sometimes a dental emergency is more complicated than that. For instance, if your tooth has been knocked out, or a piece has broken or chipped off, then the first thing to do is preserve whatever has detached. This might be a whole tooth or a piece of the tooth, or a filling or other restoration.
• For a piece of broken tooth, preserve it by immersing it in saliva or milk.
• For a whole tooth, rinse it and fit it back in the socket, if possible. Otherwise, tuck the tooth into your cheek.
Step 2: Call Your Dentist
In many cases of dental emergency, it's necessary to have immediate treatment if the affected tooth has any chance of being saved. Once you've taken the necessary steps to preserve your tooth, the next priority is to call your dentist and find out how soon you can see them.
This is important because, in some circumstances, immediate treatment can save a tooth, even if it has been completely knocked loose from its socket. Seeing your dentist within an hour of the injury can make all the difference between having a healthy tooth, and needing a denture or bridge to replace that tooth.
If your emergency is more to do with dental pain than an obvious injury, it's still important to contact your dentist. Getting you out of pain is important too, and if an infection is causing the pain, it's important to treat it quickly.
Step 3: Taking Care of the Pain
Most dental emergencies cause some kind of pain. Once you've taken care of the first two steps, the next objective is to treat the pain. Some options for pain management include:
- Over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
- An ice pack or a bag of frozen peas applied to the outside of your mouth over the painful part.
- For chipped or cracked teeth, or for a tooth that has lost a filling, applying dental cement from the pharmacy to the area can help relieve pain.
When You Have an Emergency, Don’t Wait to Get Help!
For any dental emergency, it’s important to seek help ASAP. Whether you’re in pain for an unknown reason, or you’ve lost or damaged a tooth, prompt treatment can help you manage the pain and preserve your oral health. Give the dental office of Dr. Shadi Ghozati a call at Columbia Gateway Dentistry. He has the gentleness and expertise to restore health and beauty to your teeth.