KNOW WHAT TO DO IN A DENTAL EMERGENCY
While you may not be able to stop accidents and injuries, you may be prepared for how you handle a dental emergency. You may wonder: What counts as a dental emergency? When should I call my dentist in Cary, NC? What do I do if I lose a tooth or restoration? These are all really good questions, that our team at DentalWorks – Cary Crossroads wishes to answer for you. If something happens to you or your family, we are here to help you with emergency dental care.
WHAT IS CONSIDERED A DENTAL EMERGENCY?
Essentially, anytime you feel pain or a tooth is lost, you should get in touch with your board-certified dentist in Cary, NC. When in doubt, get in touch with your dentist to learn if you need emergency dental care. These are some of the top dental emergencies we have seen at DentalWorks – Cary Crossroads:
- SEVERE TOOTH PAIN
While any tooth pain should be reported to your dentist, severe tooth pain is a dental emergency. In some cases, the onset of your tooth pain may be sudden and severe. Tooth pain may also progress from mild and become severe pain over time. In any case, get in touch with your dentist right away to get care for severe tooth pain.
- BLEEDING GUMS
A little blood in your gums after brushing or flossing isn’t good, but it isn’t an emergency. If a cut in your gums causes significant bleeding or it doesn’t clot quickly, it is a dental emergency. Continue to maintain pressure on the cut with a clean cloth while you contact your dentist.
- BROKEN OR CRACKED TOOTH
A cracked or broken tooth should be treated immediately to avoid a bigger problem. Even if the crack is small or not visible, you still will need to get urgent care from your dentist. Without treatment, a cracked or broken tooth can allow an infection and irritants into your dental nerves, causing sensitivity and pain.
- CHIPPED TOOTH
Although a chip in your tooth may not look like a major deal, it actually can be. Depending on the size and positioning of the chip, it can expose the sensitive interior pulp of your tooth. This may result in an infection or abscess without treatment, so call your dentist if you have chipped tooth.
- KNOCKED-OUT TOOTH
A tooth could get knocked out during sports, a car accident, an everyday mishap, and from other reasons. If a permanent tooth comes out from your mouth, carefully pick it up, clean it off as best as you can, and then hold it in your mouth while you get to the dentist. While the saliva in your mouth is excellent for preserving your tooth, cold milk is also be used.
- LOOSE, DAMAGED, OR LOST RESTORATION
If a bridge, crown, filling, or other dental restoration is loose or comes out, get in touch with your dentist right away. If the restoration is lost or loose, your teeth are weaker and more vulnerable.
BEFORE YOUR VISIT
In case you or a family member is having a dental emergency, contact your dentist right away. Even if you’re not sure it is an emergency, contact your dentist. They can help you determine if you need help since you shouldn’t take chances when it comes to your dental health. If you are calling your dentist after their office is closed, they will possibly have an answering service that will deliver a message to your dentist in an emergency or a message giving you instructions in case of a dental emergency. When you speak to someone to schedule your appointment, ask for advice on how to store a knocked-out tooth or restoration.
Depending on your particular dental emergency, your dentist will recommend an appropriate treatment. A broken or chipped tooth might be protected with a temporary crown or a quick bonding treatment with composite resin. A knocked-out tooth might be saved if you stored the tooth correctly and get to the dentist fast.
AFTER A DENTAL EMERGENCY
After your emergency dental appointment, be sure to follow any instructions given by your dentist. This might include following a liquid or soft foods diet, taking prescription antibiotics, or scheduling a follow-up appointment. If you received a temporary crown, your dentist will let you know when your custom restoration is ready so it can be placed. Depending on your oral health, your dentist may recommend scheduling another oral health exam sooner or more often to help identify problems before they become dental emergencies.
TIPS TO AVOID DENTAL EMERGENCIES
Sometimes accidents can’t be avoided, but if you’d like to do everything you can to avoid dental emergencies, these are a few of our top tips:
- AN ORAL CARE ROUTINE AT HOME
Developing and following a great home oral care routine can help you avoid problems like gum disease or a cavity that may turn into a painful dental emergency. Brush your teeth at least twice every day and floss at least once every day for healthy teeth and gums. If you need help with your brushing or flossing technique, request a demonstration from your dental team at your next trip.
- AVOIDING HARD AND STICKY FOODS
Try not to bite hard candy and ice because this can cause chips and cracks in your teeth. If you have a dental restoration (crown or bridge), you might want to prevent sticky foods, like caramel, since these can make them loose or pull them out.
- VISITING YOUR DENTIST TWICE A YEAR
Visiting your dentist in Cary, NC at least twice a year is able to help you avoid dental emergencies. During your exam, your dentist will find and treat issues, like cavities and gum disease, before they turn into serious pain. Your dentist can also check the wear of your restorations, so they can determine if they will need to be replaced or repaired.
- USE A CUSTOM MOUTH GUARD
If you play a contact sport, like football or hockey, a mouth guard is probably required. However, a mouth guard is a fantastic accessory for any sport where you might fall and knock out a tooth, like skateboarding. DentalWorks – Cary Crossroads offers custom mouth guards for comfortable protection.