Dental First Aid - What To Do
Dental emergencies can be scary and overwhelming. When it’s your emergency, it can be incredibly painful and you may sometimes feel worried that your smile may never fully recover. When it’s happening to someone you care about, it can be incredibly difficult to see them suffer.
The most important first step, before any emergency happens, is to save our number to your contacts so that you can call us directly in an emergency.
Here are some practical tips for common dental emergencies:
Toothache Apply a cold compress to the area. You may be able to take the edge off your pain by taking a pain reliever like acetaminophen (ex. Tylenol) or ibuprofen (ex. Advil). Always follow the advice of your doctor and read the instructions on the bottle when taking any medication, and let us know what you’ve taken, how much and when you took it when you come in.
Save the tooth! Speed matters! If a whole tooth has been knocked out --and is reasonably clean-- quickly and gently reinsert the tooth into its socket. If you can’t because you’re unsure, it hurts, or you’re just plain squeamish then save the tooth in a cup of milk. Make sure to call us IMMEDIATELY. Time is of the essence, we may be able to restore your natural tooth!
Rinse your mouth with warm water to wash away smaller fragments. If you are bleeding, hold a piece of sterile gauze on the area until bleeding stops. You may use a cold compress to relieve some of the pain and swelling. Call us immediately. We will work quickly to relief your pain, heal your injury, and restore your tooth.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is considered a Dental Emergency?
Any mouth-related (not just teeth!) problem that won’t stop bleeding, threatens the loss of a tooth, or hurts too badly to sleep, eat or even just endure it is a dental emergency. If you are unsure, call us anyway!
Is a dental abscess an emergency?
Yes! An abscess means there is an infection. Untreated, infections will almost always become worse and spread. An untreated abscess can lead to life-threatening consequences. If you are experiencing an abscess, call us immediately!
What do I do in an emergency?
There are dental first aid tips found above– however, the best first step is always to give us a call! We will give you guidance over the phone to help alleviate your pain, save your tooth, and get you here as quickly as possible.
What can I take for severe tooth pain?
Always follow your doctors’ advice and read the directions on the bottle before taking any pain medication. If it is safe for you, you may take a pain reliever like Tylenol, Advil or Aspirin to take the edge off. This is not a permanent or perfect solution. Dental pain is often nerve related and the only substantial relief will come from treatment a doctor can provide. If you do take something, write down what you took, how much you took, and when you took it and let us know when you come in.