Dental emergencies always seem to happen at the most inconvenient times. But, if you know what to do, you can lessen some of the stress. Following the proper protocol in a dental emergency can help to save you money down the line and may end up saving your tooth as well. Most dentists have an emergency number, but it still may be a few hours or even days before the dentist is able to work you in. The following are some of the most common dental emergencies and what you should do during the interim period before you can see a dentist.
A crown pops off
You are flossing in the usual manner when a crown pops off its post and into your mouth. Don't panic! Your crown can be stuck back on temporarily with over-the-counter denture cream. Reapply the cream and cement your crown daily until you can get in to see the dentist. Be sure to cover any open drains in the sink if you are looking in the bathroom mirror while gluing the crown back in.
You have severe tooth pain
Having a toothache is one of the most miserable experiences on earth. A severe, throbbing toothache can be brutally painful. There are a couple of different things you can use to lessen the pain. Take an anti-inflammatory pain killer, then gargle with warm salt water. After gargling, apply an over-the-counter pain gel made for gums and teeth. Toothaches can be extremely serious as they are an indicator of an infection. Having an infected tooth or gums can affect the health of your entire body, not just your mouth. If your dentist can't see you for a few days, you may want to go to the emergency room.
Tooth gets knocked out
If a knocked-out tooth is handled properly, it can be implanted back into the mouth.
Carefully handle the tooth only by the side that you would use to chew food. Place the tooth in a container and cover with milk. Use a cold washcloth to ease the pain around your gums. Take an over-the-counter pain killer. Whatever you do, don't touch the roots or try to clean the tooth off.
If you aren't sure what constitutes an emergency, you may want to talk with Ellen Bollmeier, DMD, LLC for more information. It may go without saying, but call your dentist as soon as any of these emergencies occur.