When Should You Request Emergency Dental Services?
There are different kinds of dental emergencies that can be pretty worrisome because of the pain they inflict on people. When they happen to someone, the person needs to be treated right away to ease their discomfort and to prevent their condition from getting worse. Here are a few examples of emergency situations that require immediate dental assistance:
Without a doubt, toothache is one of the most common kinds of dental emergencies. In certain situations, the pain can be alleviated by certain remedies, such as:
- Over-the-counter medicines – Taking painkillers and ibuprofen (like Advil and Tylenol) can relieve the pain for a bit. But this solution does not address the root cause of the toothache, so it’s still best to consult a dentist to get proper treatment.
- Ice pack – The low temperature from the ice constricts the blood vessels in the gums. As a result, you’ll feel less pain, and the swelling around the affected area will be alleviated as well.
- Garlic – Rubbing garlic paste around the affected area relieves inflammation and eases the pain. Chewing a whole clove of garlic is also a good idea because it offers just the same effect.
- Mouthwash – Rinsing with mouthwash disinfects the gums and flushes away the bacteria in your mouth. Experts recommend mouthwashes that are alcohol-free as they also help prevent tooth decay, dry mouth, and tartar buildup.
If none of the emergency treatments mentioned above worked, then it’s time to visit an emergency dental clinic. Dentists will look at your teeth and gums and pinpoint the cause of your problem. This way, they can offer the right kind of treatment to get rid of your toothache.
Broken or Chipped Tooth
Athletes sometimes experience unfortunate circumstances that cause their tooth to chip or break. This is especially the case for those who engage in contact sports like rugby, boxing, and soccer. When their mouth is hit by the ball or an opponent’s fist or elbow, their tooth can chip or break.
But a chipped or broken tooth isn’t a problem for athletes alone. Even a common person can experience the same issue due to certain conditions, like eating something hard or getting into an accident. And when these emergency situations happen, the best course of action is to visit an emergency dentist as soon as possible. The dentist will look for ways to salvage your tooth through different methods, such as:
- Tooth reattachment – If you were able to keep the part of the tooth that fell off, the dentist can sometimes reattach it to the crown. Make sure to put the fragment in a glass of milk to keep it moist and exposed to essential nutrients, like calcium.
- Bonding – This treatment method involves repairing the crown using composite resin or porcelain that is cemented to the broken tooth and dried using UV light. The bond is extremely durable, and with proper care, it can last for up to 10 years.
- Porcelain Veneer – A veneer is a custom-made shell of tooth that is used to cover the broken crown to improve its appearance and prevent further damage. The chipped tooth will be chiseled and smoothed to make sure that the shell will fit perfectly. If well maintained, the veneer will last for about 30 years.
There are instances, though, when the broken or chipped crown can no longer be repaired. In these cases, the dentist may recommend extracting the damaged tooth and replacing it with an implant or a denture.
Fractured or Dislocated Jaw
A fractured or dislocated jaw is a very serious and common injury. It’s most often a result of external trauma, mostly due to accidents. The condition is also called a mandibular fracture, and its symptoms often include pain and swelling around the area, as well as bleeding in the mouth. In some cases, the person may notice bruises in the jaw area and experience minor speech problems. However, in the most extreme situations, the patient may have misaligned teeth (malocclusion) or a twisted jaw. This prevents them from opening their mouth and sometimes causes breathing issues.
Whenever this happens, the first thing to do is to request emergency dental services. You may be required to get a facial X-ray, which gives your dentist a cross-sectional view of your broken jawbone. This way, they can determine the ways your injury can be treated. On most occasions, surgery will be needed, and the healing process after the operation can take one to two months. During this period, you may not be allowed to open your mouth very wide or eat hard foods.