Of all the times a dental emergency can happen, it always tends to occur at THE worst time…
Going to bed. Yup, let’s trip in the dark and chip a tooth.
About to go on your honeymoon. Nah, how about a killer toothache before you board that plane.
A friendly game of softball. Let’s turn this into kickball with peg outs… and knock out your tooth.
And they most certainly never seem to happen during your dentist’s regular business hours.
That is why it is crucial you know:
- What to do when you’re experiencing a dental emergency.
- Who to call during a dental emergency.
But never fear. Your ProGrin Dental team has your back. This blog outlines the answers to both of these must-know things.
What is considered a dental emergency?
When something traumatic happens to your smile, like chipping a tooth, it can be hard to know if it’s an emergency or if it can wait, and what the implications may be if you delay treatment.
To make it easy, here is a list of common dental emergencies:
- Knocked-out tooth
- Cracked or chipped tooth
- Abscessed tooth
- Severe toothache
- Filings that fall out
- Broken jaw
- Broken tooth
For step-by-step instructions on what to do in a dental emergency, keep reading!
What to do in a dental emergency
If you don’t know what to do in a dental emergency, you’re not alone.
Many people don’t because they have never needed to.
But when the moment strikes, you are going to wish you knew… or kept reading this blog.
The difference between immediately knowing what to do versus trying to find the best answer online could be between saving or permanently damaging your smile.
We prefer the former.
To help you save your smile in a dental emergency, here are our step-by-step instructions on dental emergencies.
Helpful tip: Adding salt to your warm water rinses can work as an antiseptic to remove harmful bacteria.
1. Knocked-out tooth
Believe it or not, it is possible to save a knocked-out tooth if you act quickly:
- Find the tooth and grab it by the crown, not the root.
- Gently rinse the tooth with milk or cold water. Do not scrub or use soap.
- Try to replace the tooth in the socket. But do not force it.
- If you replace the tooth, gently bite down on gauze, clean cloth, or a rag.
- If it is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk or your mouth between the cheek and gums.
- Call your dentist or an emergency dental line right away.
2. Cracked, chipped, or broken tooth
- Find and save all the pieces of your tooth.
- Rinse your mouth with warm water.
- Apply an ice pack near the inflicted tooth to reduce swelling in your face.
- Take over-the-counter medication to help minimize any pain.
- Call your dentist.
3. Painful toothache or abscess
- Rinse with warm water to dislodge trapped food or debris.
- To further help, try gently flossing and brushing.
- Apply an ice pack to the inflicted area to help relieve pain and control swelling.
- Take over-the-counter medication to help minimize any pain. Do not place an aspirin against your gums or it may cause a chemical burn.
- If the pain persists, call your dentist right away.
- If the pain goes away, follow-up with your dentist during their regular hours.
Most toothaches are caused by inflammation. Taking an anti-inflammatory pain reliever may help, but it’s important to note that even if the pain goes away, the problem likely still exists and could get worse.
4. Fallen-out filling
To permanently fix a filling, you will need to see a dentist. We recommend seeing your dentist as soon as they can fit you into their schedule.
In the meantime, you can temporarily take care of the sensitive hole left behind with orthodontic wax.
Orthodontic wax is soft and can be molded to cover and protect the hole until you can be treated. You can find it in most drug stores.
5. Jaw injury
There are two courses of action, depending on the severity:
- If you think your jaw is broken, go to the nearest emergency room immediately.
- If you experienced trauma to your jaw:
- Call your dentist.
- Place an ice pack on your face to reduce swelling.
- Do not eat any solid food.
Find a 24-hour dentist’s emergency phone line near you
Not many dentists are available outside their regular opening hours, let alone are available as a 24-hour dentist.
That’s why it always safe to have a back-up plan in case your dentist isn’t available to help you in a dental emergency.
At ProGrin Dental, we are proud to offer a 24-hour emergency dental line to all of South Carolina.
That’s right – no matter if you are or are not a current patient of ProGrin, we want to help!
Our emergency dental line is available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Because like we said, dental emergencies can happen when you least expect it and at THE worst time:
We want to help you save your smile and get out of pain fast.
Find your nearest ProGrin Dental location and keep our after-hours emergency dental number handy. You never know when you may need us.