5 Tips If You Have A Dental Emergency

dental-emergencyThe Boy Scouts of America have long had the motto “be prepared,” and it is a good phrase to live by.

Understanding the best steps to take if you experience a dental emergency can make the difference between an unfortunate incident that ends well and one that generates far more concern, stress and worry. Here are a few tips that can aid in your assessment of a dental problem you or your family members might have.

5 Tips For Handling A Dental Emergency

  1. Answer this question first: Do I need to head to the ER? Dental emergencies that need immediate medical assessment include jaw dislocations, jaw fractures, major cuts inside your mouth or an abscessed or infected tooth that is causing problems with breathing or swallowing. Skip making a dentist’s appointment for these and head directly to the emergency room.
  2. If you go to the dentist, tell them if you have swelling in your jaw or a fever. These two symptoms could indicate a serious infection from tooth decay, a cracked tooth, or another condition. The dentist will likely order antibiotics to fight the infection before beginning treatment.
  3. Don’t delay treatment for a dislodged tooth. There’s a relatively short window for successfully saving a dislodged adult tooth and reimplanting it. Contact a dentist for an emergency appointment within an hour of the incident, if possible.
  4. Take care when transporting a dislodged tooth to the dentist. If you can, place the tooth back in your mouth, without touching the root. If that’s not possible, place the tooth in a cup of milk, or in an ADA-Accepted tooth preservation product.
  5. Don’t ignore less obvious dental emergency situations. Ongoing dental pain could signal urgent medical conditions such as oral cancer or bruxism that need attention. If you have persistent bad breath, it could be a harbinger of medical conditions that include everything from dry mouth to diabetes. Discuss any persistent pain or problems with your dentist.

“Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any situation that might be a dental emergency,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist in practice in central Phoenix and founder of Dr. Carol Ford and Associates. “We can advise you and direct you to the right treatment option for your circumstances.”


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