Did you know that since 2000, ER visits for dental emergencies have doubled from 1.1 million to 2.2 million? That means someone is experiencing a dental emergency every 15 seconds. While planning for an emergency is impossible, knowing what to do when one occurs can save your smile. Keep reading to learn whether you should visit your dentist or go to the ER for a dental emergency as well as what you can do to help in the meantime.
When You Should Visit the ER
You should go to the emergency room as soon as possible if you have an emergency or trauma involving your face or mouth like:
- Jaw fractures
- Jaw dislocations
- Serious cuts to the face
- Abscess or infection that affects your breathing
These are situations that can be potentially life-threatening, which is why you should call 911 or go to the ER right away if any of these problems occur.
When to See Your Dentist
You should go to your dentist for emergencies that aren’t life threatening but require immediate care. These dental issues include:
- Cracked or broken tooth
- Knocked-out tooth
- Lost crown or filling
If you have a toothache or infection, it may hurt, but it doesn’t require a visit to the hospital unless it’s affecting the way you breathe or causes discomfort when breathing.
How to Handle Common Dental Emergencies
Although dental emergencies can never be planned for, it’s important to know the best ways to handle common dental emergencies so you can minimize pain and potentially save your smile.
Chipped or Cracked Tooth
If you crack or chip your tooth, rinse your mouth out with warm water and apply a cold compress to the outside of your face to ease swelling. You can take an over-the-counter painkiller but avoid applying it directly to the affected area. Once you’ve made yourself more comfortable, call your emergency dentist in Ormond Beach right away for treatment.
If your tooth is knocked out, pick it up by the crown to avoid damaging its roots. Rinse it off and then try to place it back in its socket. If this isn’t possible, store it in milk or water until you can see your dentist. The sooner you can get treatment, the more likely it is that your tooth can be successfully replanted.
Lost Crown or Filling
A lost crown or filling can be painful because it exposes the sensitive inner portion of your tooth. You can use dental cement to reattach your crown or even sugar-free gum to protect the area from sensitivity and damage. After, contact your dentist right away for a proper restoration.
A toothache can happen out of nowhere. Try flossing around the area to remove any pesky pieces of food that may cause irritation. If the pain persists, contact your dentist as you may have an abscess that needs a root canal.
Use these tips to handle dental emergencies like a pro if they do occur. Remember to visit the ER if the injury or trauma is more serious, but any type of emergency should be tended to as soon as possible.
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Andrew M. Nawrocki takes pride in getting his patients out of pain with emergency dentistry. He also provides high quality dental replacements and restorations to beautify and strengthen your smile after an emergency. For any questions, he can be contacted through his website or by phone at (386) 677-1046.