What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?

emergencyThe rule of thumb in dentistry is that if you can afford to be picky about when to schedule a procedure, it’s not an emergency. A dental emergency is a sudden, often painful and debilitating problem that needs treatment right away. One common example is having a tooth knocked out accidentally; other problems might include severe bleeding or swelling which can be dangerous and which you shouldn’t wait to have treated. It is best to have a plan in place before a dental emergency happens so that when it does, you know what to do.

General emergency tips

Where possible, keep our number on hand. Know the route to our office so you can get here quickly, and make sure you have a plan for transportation. When you experience a dental emergency, call us right away so that we can be ready for you at our office–or so that you know to go somewhere else. While we try to assist with all dental emergencies, circumstances may dictate that you’ll need to go elsewhere, so if possible you should also research a backup option.

If you lose a tooth

The details of an emergency dental situation vary from case to case, and how we respond will depend on your condition. But in the case of a tooth being knocked out, there are several specific ways you can improve your chances of saving the tooth.

First, try to immediately plant the tooth back where it came from. The longer the tooth is out of place, the less chance there is of saving it. If you can put it back where it came from, we have the best chance of being able to restore it.

If you can replant the tooth, put it in cold whole milk. Do not put the tooth in water. Milk will help keep the tooth from drying out, which is essential to saving it.

Whether the tooth is able to be placed back in your mouth or not, come to us immediately for treatment. A tooth is much more likely to be saved if it receives treatment within half an hour of being knocked out. Once you are in our office, we can help secure the tooth back in place so it will heal properly.

Call our office

In a dental emergency, time is crucial. The sooner you contact us, the better your odds. Contact us as soon as a problem develops so that we can help restore your smile.