Dental emergencies can be potentially dangerous, not to mention extremely painful. It is imperative for you not to ignore a dental problem that is causing you pain or discomfort, as it may lead to an increased risk of more permanent damage and a far more expensive treatment down the road. There are numerous problems that may constitute needing an emergency dentist, but there are also preventative measures you can take to reduce your chance of needing immediate dental care at our office. However, accidents do happen, and it is therefore important for you to have a grasp on the steps that should be taken in the event of a dental emergency.
From toothaches to a knocked out tooth or object lodged in between two teeth, dental emergencies are widespread and can be dangerous. In order to avoid risking permanent or extensive damage to your teeth, it is important for you to act quickly when you are met with some form of dental pain or injury. Ignoring a dental problem is far worse than dealing with it at the time of injury. While the following list is far from exhaustive, it will give you an idea of some of the most common dental problems that require an emergency dentist. You will also find information on what to do when met with one of the dental issues while you are in transit or waiting to see Dr. Nishimura.
Types of Common Emergency Dental Problems
Remember, pain is a signal that something is wrong and indicates a problem that likely will not dissipate over time, even if the pain subsides. Be sure to contact our office right away if you experience any of the following ailments or are experiencing pain, discomfort or a dental injury of any kind. The following are common dental problems and information on how to treat them before getting to our office:
- Toothaches – rinse your mouth with warm water upon first noticing an ache in one or more of your teeth. If applicable, use dental floss to remove any lodged food or foreign objects. If your mouth is swollen, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth. Do not put aspirin, ibuprofen or any other painkiller against the gums, as it may burn the gum tissue. If the pain continues, contact our office immediately.
- Chipped or broken teeth – if possible, save any broken pieces. Rinse your mouth with warm water and if you notice any bleeding, hold a piece of gauze on the area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding has subsided. Place a cold compress to the area outside of the lip or mouth to decrease swelling and relieve pain. Contact us soon as possible.
- Knocked-out tooth – if possible, retrieve the tooth and hold it by the crown. Rinse the dislodged tooth with water, but do not scrub it. If you cannot properly put the tooth back into its socket, place it in a small container of milk and see your dentist as soon as possible. Your tooth will have the highest chance of being saved if you see Dr. Nishimura within 1 hour of it being knocked out.
- Partially dislodged tooth – see Dr. Nishimura immediately. Try applying a cold compress to the outside of the affected area while en route to our office to relieve pain. You can also take an over-the-counter pain reliever if necessary. If possible try and reposition the tooth to its former position
- Lost filling – stick a piece of sugarless gum in the cavity as a temporary fix. You can also apply an over-the-counter dental cement. See our office as soon as possible.
- Lost crown – as soon as you notice the missing crown, call us. If possible, bring the crown with you to the appointment. If you cannot see Dr. Nishimura right way, keep hot, cold and sweet foods away from that side. You can use a cotton swab and apply some clove oil to the area. Never super glue your crown back in place!
Other types of problems requiring an emergency dentist may include infections (or abscesses), soft-tissue injuries and lacerations to the lip or tongue. In all cases, call our office right away and take the appropriate precautionary measures while you are waiting to get in. This will lower your chances of long-term, lasting damage, pain and costly treatments down the road. In case of serious infection and/or pain and Dr. Nishimura is not available, go to your nearest emergency room for assistance.