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Unfortunately, dental emergencies are fairly common. In fact, a study in American Family Physician found that around 1 in 5 people has experienced some kind of dental pain in the last 6 months. With professional dental care and good oral hygiene, many emergencies can be prevented – but not all of them! In this blog, you’ll learn about some immediate steps you can take until you can be treated and how to minimize any damage to your smile. You’ll also find out if you should call an emergency dentist in Hampton or go to the emergency room first!
Tips For Common Dental Emergencies
The first step in an emergency is to call a dentist in Hampton to get advice for your specific situation and schedule the first available appointment.
Having said that, here are some things you can do on your own until your visit:
- Broken tooth or filling – If you’ve chipped or broken something, start by rinsing out your mouth with lukewarm water. If you’re in pain, you can apply a cold compress to the outside of your cheek and take over-the-counter pain medication. You can also use dental wax from the store to cover any sharp edges.
- Toothache, Abscess or Swelling – If you have a persistent or severe toothache, or an abscess or swelling, you may have an infection. In rare cases, this can be life-threatening if it goes untreated, so if you can’t see a dentist within a few hours, go to the nearest hospital or urgent care center. While waiting, swish with lukewarm salt water every 1-2 hours, apply a cold compress, and take over-the-counter pain medication as directed. However, even if the pain subsides, you still need treatment as soon as possible.
- Knocked-Out Tooth – You’ll have the best chance of saving your tooth if you can be seen within one hour. Until then, start by gently rinsing out your mouth with lukewarm water. Then rinse the tooth off (holding it only by the crown, not the root) and place it back in its socket, facing the right way. If this isn’t possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk or water, or hold it in your cheek pouch. It’s crucial that the tooth stays moist.
When Should You Go To the Hospital?
In the circumstances below, get medical treatment first (or if seeing a dentist isn’t possible). You can either go to an urgent care center or the hospital and, in the meantime:
- If your jaw is fractured or dislocated – Make a bandage out of a scarf or necktie and gently tie it around the head and under your jaw to minimize movement. Apply a cold compress to reduce swelling and take over-the-counter pain medication for pain management until you can see a doctor.
- If you have serious facial lacerations or bleeding that doesn’t subside in 15 minutes – Gently clean the area with cool water and mild soap and use a clean damp cloth to apply pressure.
Call an emergency dentist after you’ve been stabilized for any restorative work that may need to be done.
No one wants to deal with a dental emergency but, with these tips, you’ll know how to handle the situation and where to get the right kind of emergency care!
About the Author
Dr. Harbpinder Shevchenko is a graduate of the Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine and has over a decade of experience as a general and emergency dentist in Hampton. She’s treated every kind of dental emergency and is always just a phone call away. If you have any additional questions about dental emergencies, she can be reached via her website.