How to Respond to a Dental Emergency

In a dental emergency, treatment outcome is often dependent on response time. Whether you have a knocked-out tooth or uncontrolled oral bleeding, you need to see a dentist as soon as possible. In some cases, you may even need to go to the hospital.

Do you know what to do in the case of a dental emergency?

Find out how to tell the difference between varying degrees of urgency and when to go to either the emergency room, the dentist’s office or to wait for a scheduled dental appointment.

When to Go to the ER

Whenever you are bleeding from the mouth, it’s cause for concern. Whether the cause is a facial injury or a knocked-out tooth, if bleeding does not slow down or stop within 15 minutes, go directly to the emergency room.

Also, if you have a serious, painful jaw injury, don’t wait — go to the hospital. Tie your mouth closed with a handkerchief first to keep the joint stable.

When to See a Dentist

Having a dentist on call is important, and it could make all the difference when you’re trying to preserve your natural teeth.

If your tooth was fractured, rinse out your mouth with warm water. Place all of the pieces of the tooth in a cup of milk. Call your dentist right away.

If your tooth came out of its socket, pick it up by the chewing surface and try to place it back in the socket. Bite down on a piece of gauze to keep it in place until you get to your dentist.

If your braces have broken and wires have come loose and are lacerating your teeth or gums, don’t try to fix it yourself. Call your dentist or your orthodontist right away, unless the issue is causing intensive bleeding that requires a hospital visit.

When You Can Wait

Not every dental emergency requires immediate attention. In some situations, you can make an appointment.

For example, if you have swelling of the gums or around a tooth that’s causing you pain, your dentist will need to investigate, but it doesn’t quite qualify as a dental emergency. If you have painful sores in your mouth, you should make an appointment and take over-the-counter pain medications, but it’s not an emergency situation.

Prevention Is Key

One of the most important ways to prevent a dental emergency is to be careful with your teeth. Don’t try to use them as tools, and always wear a mouthguard when you play contact sports.

If you have a dental emergency, don’t hesitate to call Oak Hills Dentistry, where an answering service will alert the team of your situation if you call after hours. Get the prompt attention you need, and rest assured that your oral health is in good hands.