What to Do in the Event of a Dental Emergency

Dr. Degel Feb 9, 2011

Accidents and serious injuries can happen at any place and at any time, and in most cases you know that the right thing to do is to call 911 when these sorts of things happen. But have you ever wondered what to do when you injury involves your mouth or your teeth? It may not be so clear cut. Our New York City cosmetic dentist and the team here at the office wants to provide you with some basic information on what to do when you’re facing an urgent dental emergency.

First off, the kind of injury you’re facing will determine the right course of action. Contact emergency services if you have a major injury involving the mouth, such as a broken or fractured jaw, a dislocated jaw, severe injuries to the gums and soft tissues of the mouth, or oral infections or wounds that are affecting your ability to swallow or breathe. These matters should be handled by medical professionals right away.

If you have lost a tooth, damaged a tooth, are suffering from acute dental pain, or experiencing some other issue not as immediately dire as the situations listed in the previous paragraph, then you should speak with your dentist. If you have lost a tooth and you can find it, be sure to hold the tooth by the crown area (not the root at the base), rinse it off, place it in a small cup of milk, and contact your dentist as soon as possible. Following a chipped or cracked tooth, be sure to rinse your mouth gently with lukewarm water. You can take a non-aspirin pain medicine, but do not apply any sort of topical pain killer to the tooth or gums as this can make the pain worse.

Even though these dental emergencies can happen at any time, it’s first important to call your dentist even after regular office hours or on holidays. Your dentist will usually have a recording which may provide you with specific contact information for dental emergencies or refer you to associates who can handle such urgent dental care needs. If no information is available, then look online, in the phone book, or through available directories for dentists in the area who can assist with dental emergencies.

If you want to discuss what to do during other kinds of dental emergencies or other dental health matters such as New York City dental fillings, be sure that you contact our New York City cosmetic dentistry office. We’ll be happy to talk with you in greater detail.

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