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Posted on: August 3, 2022
How to Handle a Dental Emergency
If you accidentally slip down the stairs one morning and sprain your ankle, you know you need to get yourself to the emergency room. But what if you’ve been absently chewing some ice at the bottom of your drink and you break a tooth? Will you go to the emergency room for that? Will you simply ignore it? Or will you take your dental emergency to your dentist? Many dentists save time in their schedules for emergency dentistry.
Call our office anytime you have a dental emergency and we’ll have you get the emergency dental care in Connecticut you need.
Some, though not all, dental emergencies are life-threatening, such as:
- Uncontrollable bleeding – Whether it’s from an accident, health condition, trauma or other reason, if you can’t make it stop within 15 minutes
- Soft-tissue infection with swelling – If it compromises your airway and whether or not the swelling is accompanied by pain
- Facial bone trauma – Also with the potential to compromise your airway
Certain dental situations constitute emergencies even though they’re not life-threatening, though they still demand urgent attention, such as:
- Infections like abscesses associated with localized swelling and generalized pain
- Wisdom tooth (third molar) pain
- Dry-socket or post-extraction-surgery pain
- Tooth trauma leading a tooth or teeth to loosen, become displaced or come out of your mouth
- Getting something caught between the teeth or beneath the gums that produces swelling or pain or both
- Fractures, chips or lost fillings from your teeth associated with soft-tissue and/or tooth trauma
- Extreme tooth pain from a dying pulp or tooth decay
When to Go to the Emergency Dentist
Emergency dentistry may sound more appealing than the hospital emergency room, but is it the right place to go with your particular dental emergency for immediate care? What dental emergencies require a visit to the emergency room and which ones require an emergency dentist?
To help you answer that question, we’ve provided and analyzed five of the most common emergency dental situations you should take to your emergency dentist and not the hospital emergency room below.
A toothache may be more than a simple toothache; it may indicate a variety of possible dental issues. That’s why you need to get it checked out; the only way you can properly treat the toothache, besides offering temporary pain relief, is by identifying and directly treating its cause.
Getting an object stuck between your teeth or acquiring a tooth infection are two of the most common reasons for a toothache, and they’re all reasons to go to the emergency dentist. If the pain appears suddenly, feels intense or keeps getting worse, the urgency to do so increases. Until your appointment, you can put a cold compress on it for relief.
Cracks or Chips
Your teeth can get cracked or chipped from a variety of causes: biting into a hard object, an accident or using your tooth for any tasks other than biting or chewing food. If you grind your teeth or clench your teeth, you’re more vulnerable to chipping or cracking your teeth.
If one or more of your teeth has gotten cracked or chipped, you should visit an emergency dentist as soon as possible. If you can retain any fragments that have come off, all the better, as your emergency dentist in Connecticut may be able to repair it rather than replace it with an artificial restoration (like a crown.) While you await your emergency dental appointment, keep the fragment(s) in a glass of water or milk.
Knocked-out or Loose Teeth
If you’ve experienced any impact to your face that caused one or more teeth to loosen or fall out, it demands immediate attention. If it’s a loose tooth, while you wait for your emergency dentistry appointment, you need to do all you can to keep it from falling out of its socket; to do this, you can try biting down on it to hold it in position. If it’s a fallen-out tooth, store in a glass or water or milk and bring it to your appointment.
If you experience any injury to the face or mouth that may have impacted your teeth, call us right away for an exam and any necessary treatment.
Soft Tissue Injury
The gums, tongue, inner cheek and lips comprise the mouth’s soft tissues. An injury to any of these structures merits contacting your emergency dentist in Connecticut immediately. Your emergency dentist will tell you whether to come in to see them or to go straight to the hospital E.R. One major factor will be whether the injury is bleeding and, if so, whether you’re able to staunch it. In the meantime, if the soft-tissue injury involves a tear, puncture or laceration, rinse it with warm water first, then apply pressure to stop the bleeding.
Loose or Lost Dental Restoration
Like a tooth, a dental restoration like a filling or crown can loosen or fall out. While this can happen to both temporary and permanent restorations, it is more common with temporary ones. Whether it’s a temporary or permanent restoration, if it becomes loose or lost, you should see an emergency dentist. If a permanent one has fallen out and you can hold onto it, bring it with you to the emergency dental appointment; if a temporary one has fallen out, you can try using chapstick, Vaseline or denture glue to hold it in place until you see the dentist.
The bottom line here is that, if you or a member of your family has any of the aforementioned dental emergencies or some other dental situation you believe may be an emergency, seek emergency dental care for it straightaway. If you’re unsure whether it’s really an emergency or where to take it, call your dentist for advice.
For expert guidance on dealing dental emergencies in Connecticut, call us at Premier Dental of Connecticut today. And, if you’re already in the midst of a dental emergency, let us know and we’ll give you the care you need.