Whether at home or away for business or pleasure, a dental emergency never seems to occur at a convenient time. Since knowledge of emergency dentistry is unlikely, being prepared is second only to hoping one never happens to you or your family.
What kind of preparation is involved?
Preventive care – While an accident may be unavoidable, taking great care of teeth and gums will help in the areas of decay and disease that can result in the need for sudden care.
Who will you call? – Do you have any idea who your emergency contact is? Your dentist is ready to help you during office hours, but does your dental provider have anyone on call to assist if the need occurs? Many offices employ an after hours answering service that will forward emergency information to the dentist on call; familiarize yourself with that information.
Post it – You know who to call, but do your family members know? How about the babysitter? The information for both daily and emergency care should be readily available and posted for easy access.
Immediate treatment – There are several things that would come naturally … if someone is bleeding, you apply a compress to stop it; you would apply ice for swelling; or you would administer an over the counter drug to offset discomfort. But would you know what to do if a tooth got knocked out? You can try to replace it carefully avoiding handling the roots. If seen by a dentist quickly, that tooth may be saved.
If you are in unfamiliar territory and a dental emergency occurs, you can visit the hospital emergency room for aid. While they might not have a dentist on staff, they can help in many situations until your dentist can be seen.
Finally, know what comprises an actual emergency. If your tooth has been bothering you for several days, but you have delayed treatment for your own convenience, this is probably not a true emergency.
However, the onset of a throbbing tooth; swelling; uncontrolled bleeding; a lost tooth; or any condition that you don’t feel can wait until regular office hours are considered emergencies and merit making the call for immediate care.
Daily brushing and flossing coupled with regular visits with your dentist are great steps toward maintaining good oral health and hopefully avoiding many dental emergencies.
Are you prepared? Call our team to get more tips or to schedule an appointment!