Most people can differentiate dental emergencies from issues that can be addressed during regular dental checkups. But sometimes, even though a chipped tooth may not prevent you from eating or sleeping, it should still be seen to immediately.
Similarly, you may think a crown that needs cementing can wait till your next dental checkup to be fixed, but if you wait you may well incur more problems and possibly an infection. So, what exactly is a dental emergency?
To answer this, let’s look at these questions:
• Have you suffered an accident on the mouth that has led to severe pain, swelling or bleeding?
• Has your tooth been knocked out of its socket, chipped, or had a crown fall off?
• Are you experiencing pain and discomfort when chewing?
If the answer to any of the above questions is YES, then it’s likely that what you have is a dental emergency. Simply put, a dental emergency is a dental issue that can’t wait till the next dental checkup. You have to address it immediately.
Generally, you have to remember these 3 things when dealing with a dental emergency:
1. Call an Emergency Dentist Right Away
An emergency dentist is there to handle dental issues that can’t wait. Any dental issue that makes it hard for you to chew, open your mouth or even sleep amounts to a dental emergency. If you lose a tooth or a crown, or your tooth chips, that too is a dental emergency even if you are not experiencing pain. You have to see an emergency dentist immediately for a bleeding or swollen mouth as this can make your life really unbearable.
2. Recover the Missing Tooth or Crown
If your tooth has been knocked out, you may be able to have it re-implanted by a dentist. You just have to find it and take it with you when you go to the dentist. But you should ensure that you clean it with warm water first and then put it in milk to help keep it moist. You can try holding it by the crown (never the root) and reinstering it into the socket until you get to the dentist.
If you have lost a crown, rinse it and take it to the dentist. Sometimes a crown can be reinsterted and cemented down, but not always. If the underlying tooth has decayed you may have to get a new crown. In either case, it’s important to get to your dentist right away, before the tooth is damaged further or infection sets in.
3. Protect Affected Area
It’s important that you protect the affected area to prevent the pain from becoming severe. For example, you should avoid chewing with the affected side or touching the painful place. You should also ensure that your mouth is clean by rinsing it with warm water.
What if You’re Not Insured?
Don’t avoid calling an emergency dentist because you don’t have dental insurance. Most dentists have payment plans or other options so you can get the necessary work done. If you wait, you will most likely have additional problems occur, which will be even more painful and much more costly.
A dental emergency needs to be addressed with utmost urgency. The longer you wait, the more uncomfortable the issue becomes. Hopefully, the above ideas will save you from the stress, discomfort, and anxiety that come with dental emergencies.