Tips for managing a dental emergency

A dental emergency can strike when you least expect it. Many dental emergencies are preventable through regular oral care, while others are the result of unforeseen accidents. Whether the emergency is caused by a dental injury or trauma, an infection or abscess, broken metal bracket braces, or an impacted tooth, administering some basic first aid and seeking prompt dental care is the first line of defence against more serious complications.

First and foremost, if you are bleeding excessively, it’s best to call 911 or go to the ER. Most dental emergencies can be treated at your dentist’s office, but if dental care is not available and you are bleeding or in a lot of pain it’s best to be on the safe side and seek medical care. If you are caring for a person who is having a dental emergency, do your best to keep them calm as you wait for assistance. Likewise, if your dental trauma was caused by a car accident or some sort of head injury, it’s best to have a checkup done by a medical professional to ensure that you have not sustained further injuries.

Common dental emergencies that we see are knocked out or chipped teeth. If your tooth is completely knocked out, find the tooth and place it in a glass of milk to keep it moist and strong. If all goes well, your dentist may be able to reattach the tooth. You can stop the bleeding by pressing a sterile gauze pad against the injury.  If the tooth is only chipped, save the broken piece and bring it to your dental appointment.

Sometimes patients will experience a dental trauma such a fall or blow to the head which will knock a tooth loose, but not completely knock it out. In cases like these, the tooth often stabilizes over the course of a few weeks. However, it’s still best to see your dentist to make sure the root of the tooth has not been cracked or damaged.

Another common cause of dental emergencies is a toothache. Toothaches can have a variety of different causes, including deep decay, infection, an abscess or impaction. The pain of a toothache can sometimes come and go, but normally a toothache won’t resolve on its own. Dental care will be required as soon as possible to treat the cause of the pain.

At The Dental Studio in Burnaby, we have flexible hours and will do our best to accommodate you in case of an emergency.