Dental Emergencies 101: An Overview

Dental Emergencies 101: An Overview - Foothills Family Dental

While dental emergencies are unpredictable, there are things you can do to prepare yourself and your family for a dental injury or a severe toothache.

Be Ready

You should already have a stocked first aid/emergency kit handy. Add the following supplies to be ready for an unforeseen dental crisis:

  • Topical pain reliever or clove oil
  • Save-a-Tooth (available at most drugstores)
  • Temporary dental cement
  • Oral analgesic
  • Gauze
  • Cotton
  • Tweezers
  • Your dentist’s (or the nearest emergency dentist’s) contact information, including the address

It Happened – Now What?

If a dental emergency occurs, keep calm. Call the dentist right away and follow their directions, which depending on your situation, may include the following:

Avulsed (Knocked Out) Tooth – When a permanent tooth is partially or totally dislodged, find the tooth and call the dentist immediately. You must get to the dentist in less than an hour for the tooth to be replanted. If possible, keep the tooth in the socket, secured with gauze and light pressure. Alternatively, place the tooth in your Save-a-Tooth solution or milk.

Normally, baby teeth that come out are a job for the tooth fairy, not the dentist. However, if the loss was due to trauma, a dental professional should see the child as soon as possible.

Severe Tooth Pain – When tooth pain is severe, it usually indicates deep decay and infection. Call the dentist for an emergency appointment and use a topical and oral pain reliever until your appointment. Root canal therapy is often called for to save the tooth, and sometimes extraction is necessary.

If an abscess (bumps in the gum near a tooth root) is present, it must be addressed right away. Left alone, this destructive infection spreads fast, threatening more teeth and tissue.

Broken Teeth and Restorations – You can use temporary dental cement for a quick fix until your dental appointment. A broken tooth requires a crown to restore its structure and function. In some serious breaks, root canal therapy is needed to relieve pain and return strength to the tooth. For a broken crown or bridge, secure the restoration with temporary dental cement. Call the dentist for an emergency appointment.

If bleeding, swelling or severe pain persists, and you can’t make it to a dentist quickly, go to the emergency room for assistance.

If you are experiencing a dental emergency in Fort Collins, call our office immediately!

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