Dental Emergency Care 101

Everyone knows someone who has experienced a dental emergency. And you probably think that couldn’t happen to you, right? Wrong! We have tips you should keep in mind to make sure you’re always prepared.

The most important thing to remember is to call your dentist immediately, before you do anything else. Don’t worry, you’re not “bothering” them. This is important! It’s often said that being able to see a dentist in the first thirty minutes after an emergency means the difference between keeping and losing your tooth.

illustration of emergency kit

Here are six common dental emergencies and quick tips for what to do next.

  1. Knocked out tooth: Pick up the tooth very carefully, without touching the root. Keep the tooth moist by storing it in your mouth (between your gum and cheek) or in a cup of milk. Get to your dentist as soon as possible so they can attempt to reattach the tooth.
  2. Fractured/cracked teeth & other mouth injuries: Call your dentist immediately. Apply ice packs to your face to decrease swelling, and take Tylenol for pain.
  3. Severe infection: If you think you have a severe infection, go to the emergency room immediately. The emergency room doctor will be able to tell you what steps to take. Contact your dentist from the emergency room.
  4. Loose tooth & temporary dental crown coming off: These are not, strictly speaking, emergencies, but it’s still important to be careful. Fit loose crowns back in place with lip balm or Vaseline. Make sure not to bite down on loose teeth. Call your dentist and schedule an appointment in the next few days.

Here are some helpful questions to help you determine if you’re experiencing a dental emergency. If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, it’s probably time to call your dentist:

  • Are you bleeding from the mouth?
  • Are you in severe pain?
  • Is your face or mouth swelling?

You can avoid many dental emergencies by taking good care of your teeth. And always have the name and phone number of your dentist with you!

If you have any questions about dental emergencies or any other dental subject, give us a call today at (703) 465-0123 to speak to our friendly staff.


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