Emergencies can happen anytime and anywhere…and they do. When it comes to dental emergencies, just like any other emergency, time is essential. Visiting your dentist immediately after suffering an accident is important. But what most people don’t realize is that right after a dental emergency there are a handful of things you can (and should) do to protect your dental health. Unfortunately, though, we all know that we usually spend the crucial moments immediately after an accident…panicking. When you don’t know what to do during an emergency, it’s easy to fall into panic mode. To help you prepare for dental emergencies, we’ve given you a list of things to do right after an accident.
Common Dental Emergencies and How to Handle Them
1. A broken tooth.
This is one of the most common of all dental emergencies. A tooth can break and chip under impact or too much pressure. When a tooth breaks or chips, collect all the pieces of the tooth. Rinse out your mouth gently with warm water and rinse the pieces of tooth as well. Visit your dentist as soon as possible.
2. A knocked-out tooth.
Having a tooth knocked out can be very scary and painful. If this happens to you or your child, always save the tooth. Hold the tooth only by crown and never by the root. The root will most likely still have tendons and nerves attached to it which can be helpful when trying to reinsert the tooth. Rinse out the mouth with warm water and keep the tooth moist. Sometimes, it is possible to reinsert the tooth into the socket- if possible, do this. If it is not possible to reinsert the tooth into the socket, then keep the tooth moist by dropping it into a cup of saltwater or milk. Visit your dentist immediately afterwards. The faster you can be treated by your dentist, the more likely it is that you will save the natural tooth.
3. Dislodged crown.
Crowns don’t last forever. This means that at some point they will fall off and need to be replaced. If your crown becomes dislodged you should try to reattach the crown by lining the inside with dental cement. If you cannot reattach the crown, simply keep the crown with you. If the tooth is causing pain you can apply a small amount of clove oil directly to the tooth. This will help ease the pain. Above all, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to replace the crown.
4. Cuts in the tongue, cheek, gums or lips.
Cuts in the soft tissues of the mouth are very common. While you should see a dentist for severe cuts, you can do two things immediately afterwards. First, rinse the mouth to clean the cut. Use a saltwater rinse and swish gently. Then try to stop the bleeding by applying gauze against the cut. If the bleeding does not stop you need to see a dentist or go to the emergency room immediately.
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