Accidents happen and you could find yourself with a severe dental issue. While some problems can wait until the next day, others require immediate attention. The good news is that emergency dental services are part of what we offer clients at Laurel Dental Associates. Here’s some basic information that will help you determine if there’s an emergency or if you should call to schedule an appointment in the next day or two.
What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?
Understanding what constitutes a dental emergency is important. Typically, an emergency is defined as an issue that is causing severe pain and would seriously compromise your dental health if treatment is not received immediately. These are a few examples of dental emergencies:
- A direct hit to the jaw that’s caused one or more loose or dislodged teeth
- Swelling around the base of a tooth
- Broken or cracked teeth that are causing a lot of pain
- A toothache that can’t be calmed using ice packs or other home remedies
While some would also include the loss of a filling or crown, there’s a bit of gray area here. If the missing filling or crown is not causing much discomfort, it’s fine to call our team and schedule an appointment during the next few days. However, if you are in a lot of pain, it is wise to seek emergency treatment.
When you call Laurel Dental Associates, be prepared to answer a few questions about what has taken place. That includes describing the problem with the teeth and gums that has arisen. Always remember to give an idea of what sort of pain, if any, you are experiencing. Depending on the answers, we may ask that you come in as quickly as possible. If not, the team will schedule an appointment for you as soon as possible.
Follow The Instructions Received as You Prepare for the Emergency Appointment
You’ll also be given some suggestions for helping to ease the pain while you get ready to come in. Those suggestions are designed to also help contain the situation and prevent further complications from developing. What the dental team will ask you to do varies based on the nature of the problem.
If you have a tooth that was knocked completely out of the socket, rinse it off with warm water and refrain from removing any tissue fragments that remain connected. You can try to slip it back into the socket, but don’t use a lot of force. If the tooth will not slip back into the socket easily, place it in a small container with warm water and a pinch of salt. Assuming you can get to the dentist within the next hour, there’s a good chance of saving the tooth.
With a partially dislodged tooth, leave it in place. You can rinse with warm water containing a small amount of salt. Like a tooth that is knocked out, you should see a dentist quickly to help it settle back into the socket again. Try to get here in an hour or less.
Get Someone to Do the Driving
At this juncture, the only thing you know is that the dental emergency requires immediate attention. You don’t know what form that attention will take. There’s always the possibility that you may need comprehensive treatment that requires heavy sedation.
Be prepared and find someone who can drive you to the emergency appointment. If the procedure needed to save the tooth is more involved and you do require anything more than light sedation, that person can make sure you get home safely.
Prompt attention to any issue with your teeth is important to your overall dental health. Don’t make any assumptions, especially if the pain is significant. Call the team at Laurel Dental Associates at once. Our team is always ready to act in an emergency situation. If the problem does not constitute an emergency, we’ll schedule you for an appointment in the next few business days.