What is Considered an Emergency at the Dentist?
What are the most common dental emergencies? and how do you deal with them? With a fast, immediate response and the right treatment, you can prevent long-term damage and restore good oral health for the future.
These are 10 common dental emergencies:
- Cracked tooth
- Chipped tooth
- Broken teeth
- Crown has fallen off
- Missing tooth
- Tooth extraction
- Broken orthodontics
- Dental abscess
- Broken or injured jaw
Most emergency dental procedures (other than trauma) can be prevented with routine oral health care. The best way to avoid emergency dental treatment is to visit your dentist for regular exams, x-rays, and teeth cleanings.
When is a Toothache an Emergency?
A toothache is considered a dental emergency if:
- It lasts longer than a day and becomes more severe over time
- You also have a fever or earache
- There is inflammation, swelling, or bleeding around the tooth that is causing pain in the jaw, ear, or cheek area
Chipped or Broken Tooth?
Did you bite down on something a little too hard? Rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a piece of gauze (or a teabag if you don’t have it) to the site of the breaking. Then, apply cold compression to the part of your face closest to the broken or chipped tooth to reduce swelling and relieve pain. If you don’t have ice cubes, then a bag of frozen peas or vegetables is a great alternative.
Contact your dentist as soon as possible. If it’s after hours, we recommend you head directly to the Royal Melbourne Dental Hospital.
Has the Tooth Been Knocked Out?
Follow the similar directions as above, but be sure to locate the missing tooth. If you can, try to re-insert the tooth back into place (avoid scrubbing and removing any attached or loose tissue fragments). Depending on the injury, you may be able to put the tooth back in place but be careful not to push it into the socket too hard. The sooner you can do this — ideally within the hour — the better your chances of saving a knocked-out tooth.
If you can’t reinsert the tooth that’s okay, just be sure to put it in a cup of milk (or water with a pinch of salt). This will help preserve the tooth in time for emergency restoration at our dental clinic in Kew.
Do You Have a Dental Abscess?
Infections in the mouth, especially near the root of a tooth can be very serious and should not be ignored. When untreated, these can spread to surrounding teeth and gum tissue, and even the rest of the body.
Not sure if you have an abscess? Check your gums for painful swelling, you may even find a pimple-like swollen spot (sometimes white). If so, it’s important to call our dental clinic in Kew immediately for emergency treatment to avoid much greater oral health problems. You can temporarily apply ice to the swollen area for pain relief.
How to Avoid a Dental Emergency
The only way to avoid a dental emergency caused by a dental infection is to regularly see a dentist for checkups. We recommend every 6 months on average, however, this can depend on your current dental condition. This way, our dentist will be able to catch dental problems before they reach the emergency stage in the future.
Trauma can most often be unavoidable, however, you can prevent trauma from sports injuries by wearing a professional custom-made mouthguard. If you play sports without one, please contact us to schedule an appointment on (03) 9817 3685 or request an appointment here on our website.