Dental emergencies are extremely common, so to keep you and your family prepared, here’s a guide for how to handle the most common.
Understanding dental emergencies
A dental emergency is any dental problem that needs immediate attention from a professional. It’s imperative to seek prompt emergency dental service to save teeth, eliminate discomfort, alleviate other issues, and preserve dental appliances like braces or bridges. Handling dental emergencies is the best way to get proper treatment to restore functions and prevent problems from escalating.
Not all dental problems constitute an emergency, however here are some common instances that require immediate attention:
- Pain or discomfort from a severe toothache lasting more than 1-2 days and doesn’t get better with medication—this may indicate an advanced cavity or infected tooth
- Persistent bleeding that won’t stop
- Broken facial bones
- Badly cracked tooth/teeth
- Knocked-out tooth/teeth
- Swelling of your face and jaw, which may be a dental abscess
- Lost or broken dental restoration
- Serious soft tissue injury
What to do if facing a dental emergency
Injuries to your teeth and gums can become serious and without proper care, can lead to further damage.
Once you’ve accessed the situation, the first thing you should do is call your dentist for further instruction.
Here at Wilton Smiles, we prioritize emergency dental appointments and our team is highly trained at handling a range of dental emergencies.
Knowing that dental emergencies are a common occurrence, we offer same-day care for our patients. We understand that these situations might be scary and painful, but we take pride in offering comprehensive dental care and support.
How to handle non-dental emergencies
Unlike issues that need immediate professional attention, there are other situations where it’s suitable to wait for an appointment during regular business hours. There may also be things that can be done at home to help manage symptoms until your appointment. Some tips include:
Dull toothache: Rinse with warm water and gently floss to ensure that there’s nothing lodged between them. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen, naproxen or ibuprofen, but never place aspirin directly on your gums, as it will burn your tissue. If your mouth or face are swollen, apply a cold compress.
Small chip or crack in your tooth: Save any pieces of the tooth. Rinse mouth and any broken pieces with warm water. Apply gauze on the area if there is bleeding and a cold compress to the outside of the mouth if there is swelling or pain. While you wait for your appointment, cover any sharp edges with orthodontic wax available in the oral health aisle at most pharmacies.
Broken braces: Broken braces are only an emergency if they cause bleeding. If a broken wire is poking any part of your mouth, gently bend the end of the wire using a pencil eraser or other blunt object, then cover the area with orthodontic wax, a small cotton ball, or piece of gauze until your dental appointment. Never cut the wire, as you could end up swallowing it or breathing it into your lungs.
Minor soft tissue injury: For something like a small cut or mouth sore, thoroughly rinse with a saltwater solution or antibacterial mouthwash. Using a piece of clean cotton gauze, apply pressure to the affected area. Bleeding should stop within 15 to 20 minutes.
Prevention tips for dental emergencies
While not all dental emergencies are avoidable, here are some tips for protecting your oral health:
- If partaking in sports or other physical activities wear protective gear such as mouthguards or helmets
- Practice proper oral hygiene such as brushing twice a day and flossing regularly to remove excess plaque and bacteria
- Use fluoride toothpaste to strengthen your teeth and prevent tooth decay
- Visit your dentist regularly
- Avoid harmful habits such as teeth grinding, chewing ice, eating overly hard, sticky, or sugary items
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
- Contact your dentist right away if you experience pain, bleeding, or issues after you’ve received dental treatment
Wilton Smiles—trust our team to help with all your dental emergencies!
Whether it’s extreme pain or bleeding, timely intervention for dental emergencies is crucial for your oral and overall health. Residents in Wilton and surrounding towns in Fairfield County have depended on Wilton Smiles for comprehensive dental care both for emergency issues and non-emergency treatment.
No matter the situation, Wilton Smiles is here to help with supportive care and effective treatment! Being able to count on skilled and experienced dental professionals is one less thing you’ll have to worry about should you face a dental emergency. Click here or call our office at 475-267-5577 to schedule your emergency dental appointment.