We’ve all been there. It’s a holiday or weekend, your kids are roughhousing, and all of a sudden one of them falls and gets up holding their hands to their mouth. Or maybe you’re having a girl’s night out at a restaurant; you absentmindedly chew on an ice cube and immediately feel intense pain. It’s after hours. Now what?
Don’t panic, says our own Nate Gunning, DDS at Signature Smiles Dentistry. An emergency dentist is here to help. In this blog, Dr. Gunning provides guidance on emergency dentistry services so that if you find yourself in an urgent care situation, you can rest assured we’ll be there to help you every step of the way.
Dental emergency explained
Let’s get started by discussing what constitutes a dental emergency. By its very nature, an emergency is an unplanned occurrence. Loose or lost fillings, chipped veneers, or damaged dental appliances are inconveniences, for sure, but they’re not drop-everything emergency situations.
For emergencies, instead focus on trauma and things that cause bleeding, injury, or intense pain to your mouth and facial tissue, gums, teeth, and jaw. Generally, these types of injuries result from sports mishaps, impacts from an accident, stumbles and falls, or biting into things like ice or hard candy.
What time is it?
While dental trauma can transpire during regular business hours, we know that emergencies know no bounds. They’re just as likely to happen in the evenings, over the weekends, and even on holidays. Knowing that you can turn to your emergency dentist during these stressful times can be particularly comforting.
Knocked out tooth
Dental traumas can also lead to missing or knocked-out teeth. In these situations, it’s especially important to contact your emergency dentist immediately. The ultimate goal is to do everything you can to save the tooth, especially if it’s a permanent adult tooth. If you can gently place the tooth back in its socket, go ahead and do that. Bite down on a clean cloth or gauze to hold it in place while you’re on your way to the office, but be careful not to swallow it.
If putting it back into its socket isn’t possible, then grab the tooth with a clean cloth or tissue and rinse it under a faucet to remove any dirt or debris, taking care not to touch the root. Then put the tooth between your cheek and gums or in a small container of milk to keep it moist until you get here.
Intense tooth, mouth, or jaw pain
As a rule of thumb, pain is always a good indicator that something is wrong in your body. Dental emergencies are no exception. In the case of dental emergencies, the source of the pain could vary widely in severity from an abscessed tooth to a damaged or exposed tooth nerve, cuts or lacerations, or even facial bone fractures.
Depending on the situation, the pain could be accompanied by bleeding, inflammation, or a fever. Regardless of the unique situation that caused your dental emergency, you can count on three things — the pain won’t go away on its own, timely action is needed, and an emergency dentist is ready to help.
Here at Signature Smiles Dentistry we understand that our job is not only to provide excellent routine dental care but also to be there when emergencies arise. Our patients can have peace of mind knowing we can provide emergency services to save your smile in the evenings, on weekends, and on holidays.