How to Handle a Dental Emergency

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Emergencies are an inevitable part of life and being prepared can make all the difference in the outcome of an emergency. Dental emergencies are no different than medical emergencies. Understanding what needs to be done in the event of an emergency dental situation can ensure that the victim retains the health of their teeth, gums, and surrounding tissues of the mouth. Regardless if you are faced with addressing a knocked-out tooth, broken dental work, or a tongue laceration, these emergency dental tips can help you achieve the best outcome in a bad situation.

When to See a Dentist

In a dental emergency, even if you have no insurance, it is important to see a dentist in Philadelphia as soon as possible. Many dentists leave openings in their schedules to accommodate dental emergencies. Time is of the essence in some cases—getting to the dentist can minimize or prevent any potential damage.

Knocked-Out Tooth

  • Call your dentist to schedule an emergency dental appointment
  • Locate the tooth, handling exclusively by the crown, not the root.
  • If necessary, rinse the tooth in warm water to remove dirt. Avoid scrubbing.
  • Do not let the tooth dry out. If possible, put it back in the mouth and hold gently in place until you reach the dentist.
  • If unable to store the tooth in the mouth of the injured person, transport the tooth in a cup of warm salt water or milk.
  • Try to reach the dentist within an hour of loss to have the greatest hope of saving the tooth.

Tooth Out of Position

  • If your tooth is knocked out of position, use gentle pressure to adjust it back into place.
  • Clench your teeth delicately, with the intent of keeping the tooth in place.
  • Contact your dentist and see him or her immediately.

Fractured Tooth

  • If your tooth is fractured, immediately rinse the mouth with warm water.
  • Apply a cold compress or an ice pack to minimize swelling.
  • Use over-the-counter pain medications to reduce discomfort.
  • Contact the dentist immediately to seek help for addressing the emergency dental situation. He or she will likely advise you to come into the office to determine the severity of the problem and the next steps to take.

Injured Tissues

Emergency dental cases include injury to the mouth, such as tears, puncture wounds, or lacerations to the lips, cheek, and tongue. These injuries may need to be immediately addressed by the hospital emergency room and then followed up with treatment by your dentist. Wounds of the mouth should be rinsed immediately with warm water and a soft cloth or gauze should be used to stop any bleeding. If there is swelling, but no bleeding, use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Seek emergency dental attention immediately.

To learn about our family dentistry practice in Philadelphia, call Gentle Dental of Pennsylvania today at (215) 789-9675 or make an appointment.

Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Philadelphia. With 14 affiliated practices in the Greater Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of Pennsylvania, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of Pennsylvania.

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