At Turnagain Dental we understand sometimes life just happens and some dental needs become more urgent. Whether you have had trauma to a tooth or are experiencing a toothache, our team is here to make your needs a priority.
What is a Dental Emergency?
A dental emergency is any problem in, or around, your mouth that requires immediate attention from a dental professional. Typically, urgent dental care is needed in order to reduce pain, stop bleeding, save and protect a tooth, or avoid future complications. Here is a list of questions to ask yourself to determine if you have an urgent dental need:
- Do you have severe pain in your tooth, gum or jaw?
- Is there bleeding in your mouth so much so that you can’t swallow fast enough or the bleeding isn’t stopping?
- Is there an abnormal amount of swelling in or around your mouth?
- Did your tooth get knocked out or is your tooth loose?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you should contact your dentist to see if they can schedule an urgent appointment to address your concerns.
Dentist VS. Emergency Room
If you are having difficulty breathing or difficulty swallowing, your emergency may be life-threatening and you should go to the emergency room immediately. For urgent dental problems that are not life-threatening, it is best to avoid an unnecessary trip to the emergency room. Instead, call Turnagain Dental for an urgent appointment.
What to do if You have a Dental Emergency
Once you have determined that your dental problem is not life-threatening, take the following steps to temporarily alleviate your symptoms and/or prevent the problem from getting worse:
- Severe pain in your tooth or gums: Swish your mouth with warm saltwater; then apply an ice pack or cold compress to the outside of the mouth in the area of the pain.
- Bleeding that won’t stop: Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater; then apply pressure to the area with a moist gauze.
- Broken or chipped tooth: Swish with warm saltwater. If there is bleeding, apply a moist gauze to the area with light pressure. If there is swelling or pain, use a cold compress on the outside of the mouth.
- Knocked-Out Tooth: Pick the tooth up by the crown (white part) and gently rinse off the root of the tooth. Try to avoid touching the root. If you are able, put the tooth back into the socket even if it is still bleeding. Gently hold it in place. Or, if you can’t put the tooth back in the socket, put it in a cup of milk. Do not put it in water. Bring the tooth with you to the dentist as soon as possible.
Call Turnagain Dental. During business hours, one of our team members will take care of you. If it is after hours, follow the instructions on the answering machine.
How to prevent future Dental Emergencies
While not all dental emergencies can be completely avoided, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of experiencing a dental emergency. Prevention of dental emergencies begins with good oral home care and regular visits to your dentist for routine exams and professional cleanings. In addition, several other steps should be taken in order to minimize your risk of a dental emergency.
- During sports: Protect your teeth with a custom mouth guard from your dentist.
- Working/Hobbies: Avoid using your teeth as tools. Don’t bite your nails. Don’t bite fishing lines. Don’t bite or hold nails or sewing needles between your teeth.
- Hard foods: Avoid chewing on excessively hard foods, like ice, popcorn kernels and hard candy like jawbreakers and peanut brittle.
Despite our best efforts, dental emergencies can still happen. In the event you find yourself with a dental emergency, please call our office immediately. We will do our best to schedule your urgent needs at the earliest possible time, often in the same day.