How to Avoid Needing to See an Emergency Dentist

An emergency dentist is often a lifesaver for debilitating tooth pain or dental damage that occurs in the middle of the night outside regular office hours. Nowadays, many dentists render this service, knowing that prompt treatment helps to relieve pain and prevent oral health complications. This article covers dental emergencies, signs to watch out for and how to prevent them.

What constitutes a dental emergency?

Some dental problems must undoubtedly be treated promptly. It is easy to get the necessary treatment from an emergency dentist because they prioritize emergency situations. However, not every dental condition is an emergency. Dental emergencies include severe injuries to the teeth, gums or face, severe infections, abscesses and damaged fillings or restorations. The list of dental emergencies also includes:

  • Injuries to the cheeks, tongue or lips
  • Persistent pain or bleeding after a dental procedure
  • Debilitating tooth pain caused by accidents
  • A knocked-out tooth
  • Facial pain
  • Tooth fractures
  • Lost dental restoration

For example, biting on a hard food item may cause a broken, fractured or knocked-out tooth. Sports injuries, hard falls and car crashes are common causes of tooth loss. In the event of any of these problems, a timely visit to the emergency dentist is crucial.

Fortunately, patients can do certain things to reduce damage and prevent complications. For instance, if a tooth gets knocked out or comes loose, it is better to save the tooth in the mouth until the patient can see the emergency dentist. Dental experts advise patients never to touch the roots of a knocked-out tooth, but instead rinse the tooth thoroughly and place it back into its socket if possible. If not, they can keep it in a cup of milk. The dentist can still restore the tooth and make it functional.

If one or more teeth loosen because of an injury or car accident, the teeth should be kept in their original location. The patient will need to apply a little pressure and visit the dentist immediately.

Easy ways to prevent dental emergencies

Many cases of dental emergencies are preventable with excellent oral hygiene. This means brushing with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, replacing the toothbrush every three months, using mouthwash and chewing sugar-free gum after each meal to keep the teeth clean and healthy.

For people who participate in contact sports, wearing a mouthguard to protect the teeth from damage is essential. Also, one should never open bottles or break hard items with their teeth, as this can cause serious damage to the teeth and gums, potentially resulting in a dental emergency.

Avoiding hard foods that may cause tooth fractures, such as popcorn kernels and hard candies, as well as reducing sugary and starchy foods can help minimize chances of experiencing a dental emergency.

When experiencing tooth pain, patients must avoid taking prescription drugs without first asking their dentist, as some medications can worsen the situation and cause more problems.

Final note

You do not have to wait until there is an emergency to see an emergency dentist. Remember that preventive care is less expensive than restorative care. Regular appointments with the dentist at least twice yearly for dental checkups and cleaning are recommended, as routine checkups can help detect potential oral issues before they cause pain or dental emergencies.

Request an appointment here: https://www.drcharvet.com or call Charvet Dental Center at (504) 208-4751 for an appointment in our Metairie office.

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