dental emergency, graphic illustration of tooth in an emergency vehicle

Dental Emergency Preparedness: What to Do When Accidents Happen

November 29, 2023 9:00 am

Dental emergencies can strike when you least expect them, and knowing how to respond promptly can make all the difference in preserving your oral health. In this blog, we’ll explore five common dental emergencies and provide essential tips on what to do when they happen.

1. Knocked-Out Tooth

Accidentally losing a tooth can be an overwhelming experience, but don’t panic. If you act swiftly, there is still hope in saving your natural tooth. When you experience a knocked-out tooth, we recommend:

  • Handling the tooth only by its crown (the chewing surface), not the roots.
  • Rinsing the tooth with milk or saline solution to remove dirt and debris.
  • Trying to reposition the tooth into its socket. If this isn’t possible, place it in milk or a cup of saliva.
  • Seeking immediate dental attention, ideally within the hour, to increase the chances of saving the tooth.

2. Toothache or Dental Abscess

Toothaches can be excruciating, and so can dental abscesses. In many cases, an unaddressed toothache can turn into an abscess. When this happens, we recommend:

  • Rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater to ease discomfort and reduce inflammation. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help in moderation.
  • Contacting our dentist near you as soon as possible to address the root cause of the pain.

3. Broken or Chipped Tooth

Accidents can result in fractured or chipped teeth. Custom mouthguards are the best way to prevent this from happening, but when it does, we recommend:

  • Saving any broken pieces.
  • Rinsing your mouth with warm water to clean the area.
  • Apply a cold compress to reduce swelling.
  • Contact our dentist near you to assess the damage and discuss restoration options.

4. Lost or Loose Dental Filling or Crown

When a dental filling or crown becomes loose or falls out, it can be discomforting. Follow these recommended steps:

  • Retrieve the lost filling or crown if possible.
  • Clean the tooth gently.
  • Seek dental care to ensure a proper, long-term fix.

5. Soft Tissue Injuries

Lip, cheek, or tongue injuries can result from accidents. To manage these situations:

  • Rinse the injured area with warm water.
  • Apply pressure with gauze to stop any bleeding.
  • If the bleeding doesn’t stop or the injury is severe, make the best decision to visit an emergency room or dentist.

Emergency Dental Care in Petaluma, CA

During a dental emergency, time is of the essence. Knowing how to respond can be the difference between saving a tooth or preventing a minor issue from escalating into a major problem. At Alma Dental Care, we provide emergency dental care in Petaluma, CA. If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, contact us today!

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Image from Authority Dental under CC 2.0

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