Are you ready for a dental emergency? While many households and businesses are diligent about keeping an emergency medical kit, they’re not so prepared when it comes to dental emergencies. Take it from our go-to Emergency dentist in Garden Grove, California, being prepared for the unexpected can not only help save your teeth — it can also help you save a great deal of money!
The first thing to know is that accidents do happen, but knowing what to do in a dental emergency really can make the difference between saving a tooth (and a lot of money) or losing the tooth and having to get cosmetic surgery or an implant to repair the damage.
Simple tips to help handle the most common dental emergencies.
- A Knocked out Tooth: If you’ve knocked out one of your adult teeth due to an accident or participation in sports, your first priority should be to keep the tooth moist at all times. Do not remove any of the tissue still attached to the tooth, and if you can — try to place the tooth back into its socket without interfering with its root. If this is too painful, or not possible, carefully place the tooth between your gums and your cheek (which will keep it moist), place it in a glass of milk, or if you have access to a paramedic — place the tooth in a specially formulated tooth preservation gel. Your next step should be to call and visit your dentist immediately. The American Dental Association recommends cleaning the knocked-out tooth gently, by holding it from the crown (the biting side) and rinsing it with water. Do not scrub the toothor use your fingers to remove any tiny fragments.
- A Cracked Tooth: If you’ve cracked your tooth, your first step should be to rinse your mouth with clean, warm water to help clean the area of food and debris. Your goal is to keep the crack clean and prevent bacteria from entering. Next, use a cold compress to help reduce swelling, and contact your dentist immediately. Most dentists (like our office in Garden Grove) provide same day emergency dental care. Depending on the severity of your injury, your dentist might fill the crack, recommend a crown, or — in some cases — a complete replacement.
- You’ve bitten your tongue or lip: Many times, this isn’t an emergency. The skin in your mouth heals incredibly fast. If you’ve bitten your tongue or lip, many times simply gentle cleaning with warm water and a cold compress (to reduce swelling) are all you need. However, if bleeding is severe, visit your local emergency room.
- You have an object caught between your teeth: Getting an object caught between your teeth is very common. However, far too many patients use whatever’s handyto try and pry it loose. The biggest piece of advice we have here is to resist the temptation. Wait until you have access to floss before attempting to remove anything from your teeth, otherwise you risk complicating matters by chipping or cracking your teeth with the wrong tool.
- Your toothache is excruciating: A toothache can be the first warning sign that you need emergency dental care. First, you should rinse your mouth out with warm water and gently try using dental floss (or an ADA recommended inter-dental cleaner) to ensure that you don’t have food or other foreign objects lodged between your teeth. Unfortunately, a toothache is generally due to underlying tooth decay and/or infection, and are unlikely to go away on their own. Chances are, waiting for a toothache to go away will only do more Treated early enough, you might only need antibiotics, however many toothaches require some sort of dental restoration ranging from a filling to a root canal. If you are experiencing severe dental pain, contact your dentist immediately.
No matter what your symptoms are, the best piece of advice for any dental emergency is this: don’t wait. Waiting for dental pain to get better is often the first mistake many patients make. Not only will not waiting save money by preventing increased damage, it will also ensure you get the treatment you need, when you need it.
The Dentists and Oral Surgeons at Garden Grove Dental Arts serve the Anaheim Area with expert emergency dental care. Contact them today for any questions about what you should do in the event of a dental emergency.