With most medical issues it’s easy to tell when something has become an emergency. High fevers, wounds, and other severe problems are easy to notice and fairly difficult to ignore. But it can be harder to tell when dental issues deserve an emergency trip to your dentist or orthodontist.
But, just like any medical emergency, treating a dental emergency quickly can make a significant impact on your outcome.
We’re going to outline some situations that need emergency care, and what you should do if you find yourself in the middle of a dental emergency.
The most common, and obvious dental emergencies are when you have a broken tooth, or a tooth falls completely out. Unfortunately, especially in the case of a tooth falling out, many people don’t know that their dentist can help.
Broken teeth are often fixable, depending on the type of break. Your dentist may recommend some things you can do to help a tooth that has broken in the middle. You also might need a crown or other treatment for more severe breaks and splits.
Evaluating the tooth quickly can give you more options since the problem is likely to progress without treatment.
If your tooth is chipped, your doctor might be able to fill the chipped area, so the appearance and function of your tooth aren’t impacted. They can also address any swelling or damage to the surrounding teeth and gums, helping your mouth and teeth heal faster.
A tooth that has fallen completely out might be fixable if you act quickly enough. Replacing the tooth in the gum can sometimes restore normal function and health, depending on the situation.
If the tooth fell out of your mouth and you’re worried about dust or other debris, you can lightly rinse the tooth in cool water. Avoid touching the root of the tooth (the part normally covered by your gums) since there are delicate cells there that are critical to reattach your tooth.
Don’t scrub the tooth.
If possible, put the tooth back in the gum socket and bite down gently to hold it in place on your way to the dentist. If you can’t put the tooth back, put it in a small container and cover it with either your saliva or some milk.
Since the cells on the tooth itself are critical to reattach it, you mustn’t let the tooth dry out. Drying out will further damage the tooth.
It’s a good idea to make an urgent appointment any time you’re experiencing tooth pain. It may be more urgent if the pain is constant, or if you notice that the area around the tooth is warm to the touch or swollen.
If your dentist is unavailable and you aren’t sure whether your problem is a dental emergency, it’s a good idea to go to an emergency room. They can evaluate the issue and advise you whether you can wait for your dentist.
An emergency room may also be able to help with any discomfort while you wait for treatment.
There are also several types of orthodontic emergencies. Especially if you have braces, it’s important to be seen in an orthodontist’s clinic as soon as possible if something goes wrong.
While some discomfort is normal with braces, especially after a recent appointment adjusting them, it’s a good idea to go to your orthodontist if the discomfort is worse than usual. If your braces suddenly become more uncomfortable or painful than usual, regardless of when your last appointment was, you should call your orthodontist and try to be seen.
A popped wire is another common orthodontic emergency. The wires in your braces are critical for them to work properly. A popped wire isn’t doing its job. Worse, a popped wire can cause cuts and sores in your mouth.
The longer you leave a popped wire untreated, the more likely it is that the wire will cause problems.
If you lose your spacer or lose a bracket, that may not need treatment as urgently, but you should still give us a call. Any missing equipment is cause for an appointment as soon as possible, and we can advise you on how to treat your braces and teeth in the meantime.
There are plenty of other dental and orthodontic emergencies we haven’t listed. If you’re concerned about the health of your teeth, feel free to call us and we can help.
Braces Now 14 is proud to provide orthodontics in Norcross, GA.
If you have any questions, concerns, or need to schedule an appointment feel free to contact us, today!