A dental emergency can present a potentially traumatic experience for both adults and children. It can take many forms, from minor tooth damage and toothaches to more serious problems like a knocked out tooth or broken jaw.
Knowing what to do during a dental crisis is therefore critical. It can mean the difference between handling a situation in a calm and systematic manner and making an otherwise harmless injury even worse. The best thing you can do in a dental crisis is to book an urgent appointment with an emergency dentist. That is why it is always handy to have the number of an emergency dentist in your phone contact list, just in case.
If, for some reason, you are unable to see a dentist immediately, here are some temporary measures you can adopt for the most common types of dental emergency situations:
The most common dental emergency is a toothache. Some people choose to ignore the pain, hoping it will go away by itself. Others try to suppress the effects with home remedies and leave it at that. Unfortunately, dental pain usually signal underlying dental or oral issues that require the urgent attention of a professional dentist.
Different dental conditions manifest in differing levels of pain. A severe toothache accompanied by swollen gums around the affected tooth can typically mean you have an infection. These types of toothaches do not subside by taking painkillers. Left untreated, they may result in demineralization of the tooth and lead to more serious complications.
For temporary relief, rinse your mouth with a mild salt solution to flush out any food particles. You can also use a Pikster or dental floss to gently dislodge any trapped food debris. Applying an ice pack (or ice cubes wrapped in a face towel) outside your cheek can also help to ease the pain.
Chipped/ Knocked Out Teeth
If a crown or filling has fallen off, try to recover the detached piece of dental prosthetic and bring it to see a dentist as soon as possible. In the meantime, try to minimise contact with whatever remains of the existing tooth. While a broken filling or crown is usually not considered a big problem, the last thing you want to do at this point is interfere with the tooth that was protected by the prosthetic thereby exposing it to dirt or further damage.
In the meantime, before you get to see a dentist, avoid any hot/cold food or drinks as well as chewing on the side of the mouth with the fallen prosthetic.
If a bracket from your braces is loosened or the wires are poking, do not panic. They are generally not considered urgent problems. In most cases, the problem may be easily fixed by putting wax on the loose bracket or using a pair of tweezers to put the wire back in place. However, it is always better to err on the side of caution and let your dentist take a look to make sure that the appliance does not cause damage to your teeth or gums. If you experience pain from the appliance, please contact us immediately.
If you are experiencing a dental emergency, please contact Face Value Dental on 07 3221 0677 or click here for more information.