Emergency Dentistry in South Edmonton
So, you’ve broken a tooth. Or lost a filling? When you have a dental emergency, do you know what to do? We often consider ourselves quite empowered where it comes to what to do in case of emergency. Call 9-1-1, get to a hospital or start looking for a first aider. But what about the emergencies that occur in the middle of the night that don’t exactly warrant a trip to an emergency room necessarily? If you have a dental emergency, not knowing what to do can add unnecessary stress to an already urgent situation. Here’s what you need to know about the most common dental emergencies seen in dental clinics today.
Is it a Dental Emergency?
Severe Pain or Trauma to the Mouth
Healthy teeth don’t ache for no good reason – they’re telling you something is wrong. That’s why it’s important to remember that where it comes to teeth, pain means urgency. Each of your teeth have a nerve supply within them, and when the tooth is threatened by an infection or injury it won’t hesitate to let you know. But that doesn’t mean that if the pain stops you can carry on as normal. The very fact that the pain presented to that degree in the first place means there is something there that requires investigation. Putting off having it seen can be risky since the nerve could have died from the infection, leaving it to keep growing without your knowledge. Avoid this possibility by calling your dental clinic and requesting an emergency appointment.
Oral Infection, Inflammation or Bleeding
Sometimes we see an infection before we feel it. This could be the case if you observed a pustule (pimple) forming on the gum tissue, any drainage from the gums or if you tasted a foul substance coming from an area that may or may not appear to be inflamed. If the tooth remains comfortable until you try to exert any force on it, such as during meals, we recommend that you proceed to an emergency dental appointment.
What Can You Do At Home?
Breaks and Losses
Sometimes you’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time and the result is a visit to the dentist’s office. Whether you badly break your tooth on an olive or knock one out during a game (even if the tooth is loosened in its socket as a result of trauma), you’re going to need to prioritize getting to your dentist’s office within 30 minutes. If you can find the tooth or the part of the tooth that has painfully broken away, collect it and find clean running water.
First, rinse your mouth with cool water. Then, wash the full or partial tooth, handling it only by its enamel. Tooth fragments can be stored in the cheek for the duration of your commute to the dentist if you make sure not to open your jaw. Fully knocked out teeth should be reinserted into the socket if possible. If not, it can also be stored in the cheek. If the tooth reinserts, stabilize it by closing the jaw and keeping it closed until you see the dentist. Any bleeding should be treated by rolling a square of gauze and biting down over the wound. Change the gauze when it is saturated. Gauze is a standard item in first aid kits – you should have one in your vehicle at all times, and your sports center will have one available in case of injury.
What to Do if You Have an Emergency
Dental emergencies like knocked out teeth are time sensitive matters. Although we would like to be able to be the dental team that cares for your dental emergency, we recommend seeing a dentist within 30 minutes of you at the time of injury. If you are not within 30 minutes of us, start a google search for ‘emergency dentist near me’ and call to ask for an emergency appointment.
Make your brain health your number one priority. If you’ve been in a motor vehicle collision or other severe event where you may have sustained injuries to the rest of your body such as to your spine, limbs or head, proceed to your nearest hospital emergency room as soon as possible to have these injuries treated. Your dentist is happy to support you once your most immediate physical concerns have been attended to.
If you have questions about this or other services offered by our general dentists, contact our clinic today!