Do You Know What to Do in a Dental Emergency?

by | May 20, 2013 | Emergency Dental Care

By: Alison Aldridge

Dental emergencies in Midland, TX are something we all hope will never have to deal with, but the likelihood is that we will all be faced with this problem at some stage or other. Hopefully your dental emergency will occur during office hours. The majority of dentists are extremely sympathetic towards patients who have a dental emergency, and office staff will often do their very best to fit an emergency into a busy schedule.

Even if you are not currently registered with the dentist, it’s still worth ringing around locally as they may still agree to see you at very short notice. If you are not currently registered with the dentist and require emergency treatment, but have a dental school nearby then it may be worth contacting them as some do offer emergency dental care appointments with student dentists. In the meantime there are a few things you can do until you can get to see a dentist.

One of the most common complaints is toothache, and this can be extremely painful. However it’s worth checking to see if it’s caused by a piece of food being lodged in between the teeth, as this can be sufficient to move the tooth out of place, causing pain. Try gently flossing in between the teeth and rinsing your mouth with warm water to see if this helps. If this isn’t the case then it’s definitely time to see a dentist! You should always get toothache investigated even if it subsequently subsides, as it is probably due to some underlying problem and may well flare up again later on. There may be an infection that is causing damage to the tooth and its surrounding structures such as the bone and gum tissue.

Tooth Related Injuries
If you or someone close to you is unlucky enough to knock out a tooth then you need to act quickly as it may be possible to reinsert it. However reinsertion is generally only successful if done within the hour. When you pick up the tooth make sure you hold it by the crown area before carefully rinsing off any dirt. If there are any small pieces of tissue still attached to the root then don’t scrub them off. You can either try to reinsert it yourself, being careful to make sure it faces the correct way, or you can put it into a small container with water or milk and take it to your dentist or emergency room for reinsertion.

If your tooth has become chipped or cracked then rinse your mouth out with warm water to remove all the loose pieces of tooth. You can either try to repair the tooth using temporary crown cement, or may want to cover up any jagged pieces of tooth with a small piece of sugar-free gum until you can get to your dentist.

Sometimes crowns and fillings can fall out and will need replacing. You can either save your crown and take it to your dentist or try to reattach it yourself using temporary crown cement from your local drugstore until you can get to your dentist to have it permanently re-cemented. Don’t be tempted to use any kind of glue as you could end up damaging your tooth and the crown. Missing fillings will need to be replaced by your dentist, but if the area is particularly sensitive then you could try using a small piece of sugar-free gum to cover it up until the filling can be replaced.

For more information on dental emergencies, contact your Midland, TX dentist Dr. Randell Bell.