WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A DENTAL EMERGENCY
Follow these guidelines for determining how to best handle your dental emergency.
1. IS IT URGENT?
Certain dental emergencies are urgent while others can wait to be treated. It’s important to understand the difference between the two if you experience a dental emergency over the weekend or at night time when dental offices are closed. The following are examples of urgent dental emergencies:
- Bleeding That Will Not Stop
- A Loose or Knocked Out Permanent Tooth
- Painful, externally visible swelling
- Painful Toothache
Urgent dental emergencies should be dealt with right away. If you are experiencing a true dental emergency after hours, you can visit the emergency room or urgent care walk-in facility.
The following are examples of non-urgent dental emergencies:
- Lost Filling, Crown, or Bridge
- Broken or Cracked Tooth (unless the tooth is causing you severe pain)
- Broken or Damaged Retainer or Night Guard
- Food lodged between teeth
- Dull toothache
If you experience a non-urgent dental emergency after hours, call the office and leave a voice message or send a detailed e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Usually we don't have to see you right away, but we don't want you to be uncomfortable and we will get you an appointment quickly. We will contact you as soon as we return to the office.
2. WHAT TO DO AT HOME IF YOU HAVE A DENTAL EMERGENCY
Depending on the dental emergency that you experience, there may be things you can do at home to help ease your pain and remedy the situation. Regardless of the emergency, one of the most important things to do is stay calm. When you get anxious your body triggers a number of responses that may make your emergency worse, so try your best to remain calm while seeking the assistance that you need. The following are a list of suggested things you can do at home to help ease any pain or discomfort caused by a dental emergency:
- Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a mug of boiling water and use it as a warm mouthwash to relieve irritation and reduce swelling.
- If you have a tooth knocked out, put it in a glass of milk until you can get to your dentist.
- Floss! If you are experiencing pain surrounding one specific tooth, it is possible that something has gotten stuck between your teeth or inside the gum tissue.
- Use a cold compress to help reduce swelling, numb irritation, and stop any bleeding that may occur.
- Swish with Hydrogen Peroxide to help kill bacteria and alleviate irritation