Dental emergencies: What they are and how to treat them

Dentist Blog

Dental emergencies can happen out of the blue, or they may arise after months of ignoring growing pain. Whatever the cause, a dental emergency is a serious issue that must be dealt with immediately. Let's take a closer look dental emergencies, their causes and what to do when they arise.

By far the most painful and shocking form of dental emergency, an accident can quickly lead to chipped or broken teeth. If you have suffered a fall, sporting accident or car crash that has damaged a tooth it is natural to feel overwhelmed and panicked, but maintaining your cool will give you the best chance of restoring your tooth. Here's what to do.

  1. Find the missing tooth, or pieces of the tooth, taking care not to touch the tooth's root. The root will still be alive shortly after the accident, and handling it will only cause more damage.

  2. If you see dirt on the surface of the tooth rinse it gently in a glass of milk or, in the absence of milk, in a weak solution of salt water. Even plain water will do in a pinch. Avoid the urge to scrub dirt from the tooth.

  3. If your tooth has broken into several pieces, leave it in the liquid. However if your tooth is still whole, remove it from the fluid as soon as possible and place it back into its socket. Avoid pushing hard on the tooth when you do this, as you may damage your gum tissue. If restoring the tooth is too painful, simply hold it in your mouth until you can obtain professional help.

  4. Visit an emergency dentist for immediate assistance.

Another common type of dental emergency arises when a lingering issue is neglected for a long time. When a longstanding dental problem becomes an emergency it might feel extremely painful, or you may simply feel an unfamiliar sensation in your mouth. If you suspect you're facing a dental emergency of this kind it is important to quickly seek help from your emergency dentist.

Most importantly, be honest with your emergency practitioner about the development of your condition and the length of time it has been an issue for you. You may feel embarrassed, but remember your dentist is a professional who has doubtless seen far worse during his or her career. Knowing all of the details will help your dentist treat your issue with speed and accuracy.

The fundamental rule in addressing a dental emergency is to act fast. Quickly seeking help from your emergency dentist will not only increase your chances of keeping your damaged tooth, it will put an end to your trauma, once and for all.


24 January 2018

Teeth And Tears: Dental Dramas Of A School Nurse

I have worked as a school nurse for decades. Children come to me with all sorts of scrapes and bumps and bruises. Black eyes from playing football, sprained wrists from falling off the monkey bars and stomachaches from too many sweets are common complaints. However, the issue that seems to cause the greatest angst is tooth problems. Sometimes a child will have a second tooth knocked out when playing sport and parents arrive in tears. At other times, children come to my office crying because their friends are teasing them about teeth that are discoloured or stick out. I take an active interest in the latest dental news so that I can give parents and children comfort and advice. I have included some of my collected wisdom on these pages. Perhaps this information can help you understand some options when faced with a dental problem. Thank you for reading.