There are a large number of dental emergency reasons that our clinic gets after-hours calls from patients. While no one wants to visit their dentist for an unplanned emergency, know that we are always happy to help even if the circumstances are not quite what anyone would wish. If you find yourself in the middle of a dental emergency, you can take certain steps to optimize your chances of having a successful experience in the after-hours dental clinic.
Don’t Just Stick Your Tooth In Your Pocket In A Dental Emergency
One of the most common issues we deal with after hours is a tooth that has been knocked out. Most people know that if you lose a tooth unexpectedly, you should try to find it and bring it with you to the dentist. In many instances, we can actually reattach the tooth or use it to help with treatment.
Simply shoving the tooth into your pocket, purse, or an envelope is a start, but this is not the best way to bring in your knocked-out or otherwise traumatized adult tooth. That tooth needs to stay moist! In fact, some dentists say to put the tooth back into the socket if you can do so without touching the root. However, you can also place the tooth between your cheek and gums, put it in a container of milk, or even use a tooth preservation product if you have one on hand.
Then, head to your dentist’s office immediately, because that tooth is living on borrowed time at this point!
Cracked Teeth Can’t Wait
If you have ever cracked a tooth you probably already know that it really hurts! Most people are not very inclined to try to “wait out” a cracked tooth. However, if you are feeling tempted to do so, think again!
Instead, immediately rinse out your mouth with warm water to clean out the area. Since most people crack their teeth while eating, you need to do this right away so that food does not settle into the exposed area. Then, put a cold compress on your face to keep the swelling down and call your dentist! They will be able to tell you if you need to come in for an emergency treatment or if you can wait until regular office hours.
Toothache Remedies Aren’t Always Right
We see a lot of toothaches in this office that are much, much worse than they should be because the patient in question attempted to “cure” the toothache at home. Before trying out a home remedy, call your dentist to get their advice on the situation. You can go ahead and rinse your mouth with warm water and try gently flossing to remove food caught between your teeth in case that is causing the pain, but talk with your dentist before applying anything directly to the aching tooth or gum.
While some home remedies include applying aspirin to the spot that hurts or even putting various herbs on the painful site, you should not put anything on the aching location until you have consulted with your dentist. Some remedies can make your toothache much worse very quickly.
Learn more about how to make sure your emergency dental visit goes as smoothly and is as successful as possible at Dr. Crawford’s website, PatCrawfordDDS.com.