Whilst some dental issues take months to begin showing symptoms, you can find yourself faced with a dental emergency without warning and at any time. In the case of a dental emergency, it’s helpful to be prepared.
At Dental on York, we have a lot of experience in dealing with dental emergencies. In this article, we explain what constitutes a dental emergency and how to best handle it.
What Is Considered A Dental Emergency?
Many things may be considered a dental emergency. Some of them are obvious, like having one of your teeth knocked out. However, other dental emergencies are easily confused with dental issues that can be dealt with “later”.
Below are some of the common reasons for needing to visit an emergency dentist:
- A knocked out or loose (adult) tooth
- A chipped, cracked or otherwise broken tooth
- Persistent bleeding
- Severe toothache
- Signs of infection
- Oral cysts or abscesses
Your teeth are not supposed to hurt. If you experience a severe toothache, it’s usually a sign of needing urgent dental care. All of the above factors are reasons to seek emergency dental care. Ignoring a dental emergency can lead to further damage and oral health implications.
How to Handle a Dental Emergency
Below are a few of the most common dental emergencies. Whilst they do need urgent professional dental care, they also require immediate first aid. Effective immediate response to a dental emergency can significantly improve the outcome.
If a child loses one of their baby teeth, there is usually a successor that will eventually grow into its place. As an adult, however, losing a tooth can be a bit more worrying. The good news is, a knocked-out tooth can be saved if you see an emergency dentist within about 30 minutes of the incident and follow the correct first aid.
If you have your tooth knocked-out, follow these steps:
- If you can, find and retrieve your tooth
- Call your Sydney CBD emergency dentist, let them know you have had a tooth knocked out and need an emergency appointment.
- If you managed to retrieve your tooth, handle it by the crown (the top part) rather than the root. Your tooth root is most susceptible to damage from handling which can hinder its chance of reattachment.
- Gently rinse the tooth in a container of clean water (do not run it under a stream of water).
- If you can, place the tooth back in its socket and hold it in place by gently biting down on a piece of gauze placed over the top of it. Alternatively, you can store it in a small container of your saliva. This helps keep the tooth clean and stops it from drying out.
- Head to your emergency dentist as soon as possible.
If you have a tooth that hasn’t been completely knocked out but has moved out of position or is loose, an emergency dentist may be able to fix it back in place.
If you have a loose tooth, follow these steps:
- Call your emergency dentist to make an emergency appointment and let them know you have a loose tooth.
- Try to gently reposition the tooth without much force (you need to prevent the tooth from coming out completely).
- Place some gauze over your loose tooth and gently bite down onto it to hold it in place until you can get to the emergency dentist.
Chipped or Cracked Tooth
Unfortunately, your broken tooth cannot be put back together, however, an emergency dentist may be able to save it through restoration. In the case of a severely damaged tooth, it may need extracting to prevent dental issues down the track.
If you have chipped, cracked or otherwise broken one or more of your teeth, follow these steps:
- Rinse your mouth out with warm water
- Place an ice pack on the outside of your cheek near the area to prevent and treat swelling.
- Call your emergency dentist to book an emergency appointment for them to assess the damage.
Ulcers, Cycsts and Abscesses
Bleeding gums and the appearance of any mouth sores or lumps under your gums are usually warning signs of infection. So, it’s important to arrange to see your dentist as soon as possible to identify and treat the problem.
If you wear dentures, they can become damaged or broken by accidents or even just gradual wear and tear. Never try to repair dentures yourself. Instead, make an appointment with a dental professional. Do not continue wearing damaged dentures. Remove them and store them in a safe place, along with any pieces that may have broken off.
How Dental on York Can Help You
Any dental problem that requires immediate treatment to save a tooth, stop ongoing tissue bleeding or alleviate severe pain is a dental emergency. If you have a severe infection or abscess in the mouth, this is a very serious condition and should be dealt with immediately. Dental on York is here to assist you in the case of a Sydney dental emergency.
Our caring, gentle dentists do everything they can to keep you calm and relaxed at all times.
If you’re suffering from a damaged tooth or persistent dental pain, please call us immediately on (02) 8806 0226. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, for example, trauma to the jaw or face, it is recommended you seek emergency treatment from a doctor or hospital first.