Know What to do in a Dental Emergency
Just like any sort of emergency, a dental emergency will strike whenever and however. There’s no way to know when it will hit. You simply have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best! As we are speaking with your patients about dental emergencies, we find that most patients are already prepared for other types of emergencies: first aid, fire extinguishers, etc.
A dental emergency often takes a different form from these other emergencies, so it requires a different set of knowledge and preparation. Today, we want to take you through some of that information so that you can be sure you and your family are prepared!
Let’s get started!
Common Dental Emergencies
Waking up with a toothache is no joke! It is extremely inconvenient and can be absolutely excruciating! Some tooth pain is so severe that the patient has to put his/her life on hold until it take care of. Tooth pain can be so extreme that you cannot eat or sleep until you find relief! There are many causes for tooth pain, and they all require a trip to the office!
What to Do: Your first step is to call our office to set up an emergency appointment! We will see you as soon as possible. You should also take fast-acting pain relievers to ease the pain. A saltwater rinse can also offer relief for some dental pain.
Patients greatly fear this dental emergency because it is traumatic for the patient and anyone around helping! It is scary, but with the right knowledge, you can handle this situation with ease. This is one dental emergency that should go to the emergency room if our office is unavailable.
What to Do: Gather the tooth (whether whole or pieces) and rinse gently in warm water, holding only the crown of the tooth. Then place the tooth in a small container of milk or saliva. If no container is available, put the tooth in the cheek of the patient to keep it moist. Get to our office as quickly as you can!
Broken Dental Appliance
Teeth can get broken and dislodged, but so can dental appliances! The risk with a dental appliance is that the tooth underneath would be exposed to harmful bacteria. You see, that tooth has had enamel removed, which makes it very vulnerable to infection and sensitivity!
What to Do: Call us to make an emergency appointment. In the meantime, use a temporary adhesive (denture adhesive or crown adhesive) to try to put the appliance back in place. If it won’t be easily, don’t force it! Come to the office as quickly as you can.
Creating a Dental Emergency Kit
In order to be prepared for the situations above, you will need a few things that are currently not included in your first aid kit, along with a couple of things that you probably already have! Let’s take a look at the five things every patient needs for a dental emergency.
1. Gauze: You probably already have this one, but it is very helpful in the event of a knocked-out tooth. Simply wad up a piece of gauze and ask the patient to bite down on the gauze.
2. Tweezers: Again, you already have these. They are great for picking up pieces of a broken tooth to place in a small container.
3. A Small Container: If you recall, a dislodged tooth needs to be placed in a small container of milk or saliva to keep it safe until you can get to the office. Go ahead and find that container so that you’ll know exactly where it is!
4. Temporary Adhesive: You can get one of two types of adhesive. Denture adhesive and temporary crown adhesive are both available at the local drugstore. You won’t need a lot, but a small tube can really help in the moment of a crisis!
5. Fast-Acting Pain Relievers: The absolute last thing you want to worry about in the event of an emergency is pain. When you wake up with that toothache, use a pain reliever to give yourself some relief before you try to get into the office.
Don’t wait for a dental emergency to happen before you get your family prepared. Create a dental emergency kit to keep with your other first aid items and know how to use them! In the event of a true dental emergency, you will be cool, calm, and completely collected!