While most dental issues need months to develop, a dental emergency is the exact opposite. They happen suddenly, unexpectedly, and they usually bring a lot of pain. If you or a loved one experience a dental injury or develop severe oral pain, the first thing you should always do is call a local emergency dentist. In many cases, they’ll be able to see you the same day and provide urgent care. However, if you can’t immediately get to them, the following first-aid tips will help you manage your pain and make your dentist’s job much easier when you finally make it to their office. Below, you’ll find a few helpful ways to handle 5 of the most common dental emergencies.
Knocked out tooth
For this situation, the first thing you should do is try and find your tooth. When you do, pick it up while only touching the crown (the part that shows above your gum line), gently rinse it off, and try to place it back into the socket. If you can’t, put it in a container of milk or saltwater. The tooth must stay wet until you can see your dentist to keep it viable for reattachment.
Broken or cracked tooth
Rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to the outside of the affected area. If you need more help with the pain, you can take an over-the-counter medicine, but DO NOT place an aspirin directly on your gums as this can damage them.
If you have a toothache that suddenly develops, you should first rinse your mouth with warm water and gently floss around the tooth to make sure it isn’t debris that is causing the pain. If this doesn’t help, be sure to give your dentist a call and schedule an appointment. In the meantime, you can place a cold compress on your cheek to lessen the pain.
Lost filling or crown
First, see if you can place the filling or crown back onto your tooth. You can use a bit of toothpaste or dental cement (which you can find at your local drug store) to secure it. Clove oil can be applied to lessen any tooth sensitivity you might feel. If you can’t place the restoration back, be sure to put it in a safe place until you can see your dentist.
Object stuck between the teeth
When this happens, try to remove the object with dental floss, but don’t use too much force. If this doesn’t help, call your dentist, and they’ll let you know if they need to see you immediately or not.
What to Remember
The key thing in any emergency is to stay calm so you can take the appropriate action. Call your dentist, tell them about your issue, and they’ll let you know exactly what you need to do. By following their instructions, you’ll get the care you need as quickly as possible, and soon enough, your emergency will be just a distant memory.
About the Author
Dr. Samir Rana is a general, restorative, and emergency dentist based in Lincoln Park, NJ. He recommends that everyone not hesitate to take action when going through a dental emergency, as this can lead to even more damage and pain. At his office, he and his team always strive to see emergency patients the same day if possible. He currently practices at Comprehensive Dental, and he can be reached through his website or by phone at (973) 633-5666.