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Do You Know What to Do in the Event of a Dental Emergency?

Posted on 3/23/2017 by Sundberg Office
A red sign with the words emergency on it.
A dental emergency can be a scary time, and can often lead to panic, especially if you can't see your dentist right away. This can often lead to a rushed visit to the emergency room, only to find out it's not as bad as you thought, and you can wait to go to your regular dentist. Do you know what to do in the event of a dental emergency?

Assess Your Symptoms
While many dental emergencies can wait until you can see your dentist, there are some instances in which you should not hesitate to head to the emergency room if you cannot reach the office.

These instances include:

•  Uncontrollable bleeding.
•  Unbearable pain.
•  Jaw injuries.
•  Loose or knocked out permanent teeth.

Most other dental issues are not that severe and can wait until you can actually get in touch with your dentist's office.

These emergencies include:

•  Cracked or broken teeth (unless you are in severe pain).
•  Lost or broken crown.
•  Lost fillings.
•  Dull toothaches.
•  Broken retainer or night guard.

Call Your Dentist

If it is still within normal business hours, call your dentist's office. Most offices will make an attempt to squeeze you in as soon as possible. They will also be able to discuss what has happened and go over your symptoms, and can let you know how to deal with pain or if you should go to the ER. If it is after hours, or the weekend, you can still call. Many offices still have an emergency line that picks up when the regular office is closed.

Manage Your Pain
There are things you can do at home to ease your pain while you wait for your appointment. A salt water solution is a great remedy to help deal with pain and swelling. The salt draws out the water as well as combats potential infections. Use cold compresses to ease swelling. If you have lost a tooth, and the root is still intact, rinse the tooth off (do not touch the root) and store it in a glass of milk to bring to your appointment with you.

Dental emergencies can be scary, but most can be managed without a visit to the emergency room. And there are plenty of things you can do to prevent emergencies in the future. Maintain an oral hygiene regimen complete with brushing and flossing daily, along with regular visits to your dentist. Wear protective gear if you play contact sports.

Be careful of the foods you eat. If you have suffered a dental emergency, contact our office right away, and, during your appointment, learn more about how to prevent another one in the future.

PDX Center for Dentistry
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