Never ignore a persistent dental issue or serious oral injury. Your Kent emergency dentist urges common sense immediate care and contact with the dental office.
What is a dental emergency?
A dental emergency is a an oral health situation that cannot wait because it is painful, compromises health or leaves the patient with an aesthetically unpleasing smile. These scenarios are good examples of dental emergencies:
- abscess, or infection
- constant, throbbing toothache or jaw pain, with or without swelling
- loss of a dental filling, porcelain crown or other restoration
- fracturing a full or partial denture
- losing a dental crown
- One or more teeth knocked out, or avulsed, in a fall, sporting event or other accidental contact
- jaw fracture
- Serious laceration of the tongue, cheek, gums or lips
Your Kent emergency dentists want patients to call Complete Dental Care as soon as possible for advice on care of an injury or to set-up a same-day appointment if possible. For life-threatening injuries to the mouth or face, transport the individual to the nearest hospital emergency room.
Some guidelines for specific situations
Avulsed tooth. It’s important to save tooth fragments in a sealed plastic bag or other container with a some milk or over the counter tooth preservative. When a tooth is knocked out, rinse it with warm water, but leave remaining soft tissue on the tooth. Place in the empty socket, and hold it while travelling to Complete Dental Care. If this won’t work, place it in milk or tooth preservative. You could also put the tooth between the cheek and gums while going to the dental office.
Toothache or dental abscess. Over the counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen temporarily alleviates pain. Do not use aspirin because of the risk of bleeding, and never place an aspirin between the cheek and gum as this irritates soft tissues. A warm compress to the jaw soothes discomfort.
Soft tissue lacerations. Place firm, direct pressure using sterile gauze pads right on the wound. Ice the injury. Instead of an ice pack, a bag of frozen vegetables works well. If serious bleeding does not resolve within 10 minutes, transport to the hospital.
Prevent emergencies with a mouthguard when playing sports, even non-contact sports such as running. Don’t bite into super-hard foods such as ice, popcorn and peanut brittle which fracture teeth and dislodge existing restorations. Always use scissors to open plastic packaging or bottle openers to open bottles. Do not bite fingernails, pencil tops or anything that you do not intend to eat.
See Dr. Hainer, Dhaliwal or Kaur every 6 months for an exam and hygienic cleaning as these preventive dental services keep teeth and gums healthy and protect against dental emergencies. Many times, the dentist can see a dental problem in the making–a hairline crack in a tooth or a failing restoration.
Don’t delay a dental emergency
Call the team at your Kent Dental Clinic for expert emergency dentistry advice. Your oral health, and that of your family, depends on your quick action when a problem suddenly arises.