Trauma to the mouth causing lacerations or bleeding, or the dislodge or a fracture to a tooth, are prime examples of a dental emergency. The first lines of defense are to have the contact information of your dentist readily available, know your dentist’s hours of operation and know your dentist’s procedures for after-hour emergencies.
In these instances, medical attention does not necessarily mean the emergency room. It means to contact your dentist’s office first and follow all instructions for emergencies. If a visit to the emergency room is warranted, there will always be instructions for a follow-up appointment with your dentist.
Dr. Rebecca Marsh and the team of oral healthcare professionals at Hillcrest Dental Arts, located in the 92103 area code of San Diego, California, want to educate their patients, current and new, on how to recognize a dental emergency and the procedures to follow. The contents of this article should not be considered advice in all instances.
The common, minor injuries often occur while participating in sports or biting into something too hard. It is possible that a chipped tooth or a minor fracture can wait until your dentist’s normal hours of operation or when you can be fitted into the schedule.
These common and minor injuries are not accompanied with severe pain, bleeding or swelling.
If a tooth becomes completely dislodged and it is recovered, handle the tooth as little as possible. Prior to the trip to either a dentist’s office near you or the emergency room, try and place the tooth back in its socket while gently biting down on a moistened gauze or a wet tea bag.
If the tooth cannot be held in the socket, rinse the tooth of all visible dirt and place it in either a glass of cold milk or saliva until you reach emergency care. It is also beneficial to gently apply a cold compress on the tooth’s socket.
Some dental emergencies are not as obvious as a dislodged tooth or visible symptoms. If there is pain from an abscess or a cracked tooth, call your dentist’s office first. If during normal operating hours, many dentists keep time slots open in their schedule for emergency appointments.
If pain or injury occurs over a weekend or outside of operating hours, still make the dentist your first call as there may be instructions for emergency care on the recording.
If none of the above options work, then a visit to an emergency room or an urgent care center is warranted. Even if the instructions are to wait for your dentist, prescriptions for pain or an antibiotic will be given for comfort and protection until the dental appointment.
If you would like a consultation regarding dental emergency procedures for you and your family members, then please contact the oral healthcare professionals at Hillcrest Dental Arts, located in San Diego, California, where new patients are always welcome.
Hillcrest Dental Arts is trusted and highly recommended for emergency dental care, as well as treatments and procedures for general and cosmetic dentistry.