Simple Instructions for Dental Emergencies

7780344384_05b6f3c8f7_bYour team at Beadnell Family Dentistry knows that it can be unnerving to discuss events, such as dental emergencies, that you don’t want to happen in the first place. However, the likelihood of sailing those rough waters successfully is far higher if an emergency plan was discussed before the emergency occurs. Here are simple instructions for handling dental emergencies:

Keep calm and carry on

There may be a lot of blood, but even after losing a tooth to a mis-encounter with a T-ball bat, your child is still going to earn a high SAT score, get into a good school, and live a successful and happy life– think big picture.

If your child has lost a deciduous tooth (also called “baby” teeth) and his mouth is free from harm, then no action besides the distribution of popsicles is required on your part. However, in any collision or fall that knocks out a deciduous tooth, keep an eye out for pain or discomfort that doesn’t resolve within a reasonable amount of time. This could be a sign that there is something else going on in your child’s mouth besides the lost tooth, and he or she needs dental care.

In case of a “permanent” loss

Unfortunately, the loss of a permanent tooth is more serious than the loss of a baby tooth, but in younger patients, fixing the problem is far more likely to be successful. If your child or someone else loses a permanent tooth, this is a dental emergency. He or she needs to be seen at Beadnell Family Dentistry ideally within an hour of the injury.

Transport the tooth carefully! If you can, re-insert it into the patient’s mouth. Be very careful not to touch the root of the tooth– it is very easily damaged. Hold only the crown to reinsert the tooth, and if this isn’t possible, ask the patient to carry it carefully between teeth and lips (saliva protects the exposed root) or place the missing tooth in milk.

Some extreme and unlikely examples

Rarely, an event occurs that can shatter a tooth. Bike accidents (wear a helmet!), car accidents (wear your seatbelt!), or sports (wear a mouthguard!) are probably the most frequent events. A shattered tooth is always a dental emergency and should be treated as soon as possible.

…and less extreme examples

While it’s not life-threatening, a toothache can really be a party spoiler. If you, your child or loved one is suffering from a toothache, treat their pain first. Hot or cold compresses, rest, and over-the-counter pain medication should be your go-to in managing their discomfort.

The important thing about toothaches is that they are often a message that something may be wrong. If you are experiencing frequent toothaches, or if you haven’t been seen regularly by a dentist, now is the time to make an appointment with Dr. Beadnell and get that regular dental check up that insures longevity in oral health.

Through thick and thin, we’re here for you, your Hillsdale dentist of choice!

Regular dental care– in the form of brushing, flossing, and visits to Beadnell Family Dentistry every six months– is almost always all it takes to prevent toothache-causing cavities. But we can’t foresee every adverse event (like a poorly thrown baseball) that may take place. That’s why Hillsdale dentist Dr. Beadnell and the team at Beadnell Family Dentistry promise to be there for you when you need it.

We’re committed to supporting you when unexpected events occur, even if all that’s needed is a phone call to determine that the popsicle and toothfairy together have resolved the problem and saved the day. Call us with your questions, and we look forward to seeing you, your child, or loved one at your next scheduled appointment!

Photo Credit: Andrea Crisante via Compfight cc

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