How to Handle a Dental Emergency

Dental emergencies can be scary, especially if it is your first time experiencing one yourself or in someone else. Like any health crisis, dental emergencies can have serious consequences. Knowing what to do in a dental emergency can help you get the best outcome possible. Our walk in dentist in Grove City is glad to provide you with information on how to handle a dental emergency.

What You Should Do in a Dental Emergency

Identify the type of dental emergency you or someone else is having

The action you take depends largely on the type of dental emergency that you or another person is having. The most common dental emergencies include:

  • Broken tooth
  • Severe toothache
  • Tooth that is knocked loose
  • Tooth that is completely knocked out
  • Dental abscess, which is a serious dental infection that causes your face and jaw to swell up
  • Lost or damaged dental restoration, such as a dental crown, bridge, or dental implant
  • Soft tissue injury, such as a deep cut to your lip, gums, or tongue

Contact your emergency dentist

 Dental emergencies require immediate attention, so contact your emergency dentist as soon as possible. An emergency dentist has special expertise in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of dental emergencies; they can provide guidance on how to handle the emergency while you get yourself or the other person to the dentist.

Tell the emergency dentist the type of emergency you or the other person is having. Be prepared to provide other details, such as the level of pain the individual is experiencing or if they are actively bleeding. 

Is there a Grove City emergency dentist near me?

Yes! Our emergency dentist at Grove City Smiles offers care for a wide variety of dental emergencies, from toothaches to knocked-out teeth. If you or someone else has a dental emergency, call us at (614) 350-5300. 

Manage the dental emergency

Follow any specific instructions provided to you by the emergency dentist. If you were in a location or circumstance in which you were unable to reach an emergency dentist by phone, you can use the following general information as a guide to handling dental emergencies. 

Broken tooth

Rinse any pieces of the broken tooth and keep the pieces wet. Keeping the fragments moist is critical for a good outcome. For best results, put the broken pieces in milk, as it contains the sugars, proteins, and antibacterial agents that help keep the pieces alive and in good condition. You can also put the fragment between your cheek and gums, or as a last resort, put the pieces in saline solution or in water.

Rinse your mouth with warm water. If there is bleeding, apply a piece of gauze onto the area and hold steady pressure for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. To reduce pain and prevent swelling, put a cold compress outside the affected area of your mouth, cheek or lip, near the area of the broken tooth. 

Knocked out tooth

Rinse the tooth gently, taking care to leave any attached tissue remnants on the tooth. Try putting the tooth back in its socket. Be sure the tooth is facing the right direction, and never force the tooth back in place. Your dentist will have the best chance of saving your tooth if it is put back into its socket within one hour. 

If you cannot put the tooth back in its socket, rinse the tooth and put it in fluid. 

Partially dislodged tooth

If you have a tooth that is partially dislodged, or knocked out of place but still in its socket, contact your dentist right away. Use a cold compress and over-the-counter medications to relieve pain and reduce swelling.

Severe toothache

Rinse your mouth in warm water. Use dental floss to remove any food particles or other objects that may be stuck between your teeth. Apply a cold compress to the affected area to ease swelling as necessary. Over-the-counter analgesics, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can reduce pain.

Dental abscess

A dental abscess is a serious condition in which swollen areas or pimple-like infection develops around the root of a tooth or in the space between your teeth and gums. Left untreated, a dental abscess can cause swelling of your jaw or face – the infection can also spread to other parts of your body. 

Rinse your mouth with a salt water solution, made from ½ teaspoon of table salt to 8-oz of water to draw out the pus and ease pain. Repeat several times every day.

Lost or damaged dental restoration

Dental restorations – especially old ones – can fall out. If you have lost a dental filling, stick a bit of sugar-free chewing gum in the cavity; do not use sugar-filled gum, as the sugar may cause pain. 

For more information on how to handle a dental emergency, contact Grove City Smiles. Our emergency dentist can provide you with information on what to do to get the best outcome possible. Contact Grove City Smiles today by calling (614) 350-5300 or by filling out our online form.

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