How to Handle Dental Emergencies
Don’t neglect a dental injury! Even toothaches require treatment as soon as possible to inspect teeth and prevent further damage.
There are times in life when swift action and quick thinking is required. This may be in the case of a fire, an evacuation – but a toothache?
Yes, even toothaches require emergency treatment from time to time. Neglecting dental injuries – such as knocked out, chipped or cracked teeth, or broken dental hardware such as braces, permanent retainers, fillings and crowns – can have serious implications, including cavities, severe pain and perhaps a pricey dental procedure later down the line.
There are times you can handle a tooth crisis on your own – at least until you can make an appointment with your dentist. Here’s what you can do:
Tooth pain has a wide variety of causes, from bruxism (teeth grinding) to cavities, gum disease, an exposed root or even an ear or sinus infection. That’s why it’s important to consult both your doctor and your dentist if you’re having significant, consistent tooth pain.
In the meantime, taking paracetamol or ibuprofen – whichever over-the-counter pain reliever you normally take for headaches and other soreness – can reduce associated pain and inflammation. A cold compress on the outside of your cheek may also help for pain around the jaws.
If you have the tooth, hold it by the crown and gently rinse any dirt away from the root.
As soon as possible after the tooth has fallen out, we recommend you put the tooth in a small cup of milk, or if possible, saline – this will encourage cell growth and prevent the tooth from drying out. Call your dentist straight away – the sooner you can re-insert the tooth, the better chance you have at saving it.
If you’ve lost a crown and still have it, rinse the inside and contact your dentist as soon as possible. If it is still suitable, your dentist can reattach the crown for you, otherwise they will advise you of an alternative treatment. Do not try to re-attach it yourself.
If you have lost a filling, it is best to contact your dentist straight away, regardless of whether it is hurting or not. Prompt treatment of a lost filling can prevent the need to have more complex and costly treatment down the track.
How do you contact us?
If you are looking for an emergency dentist near you, call us on 1300 99 1300 to find the nearest dental clinic near by. Care Family Dental operates Monday to Saturday but will answer phone calls after-hours.