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Listen to Your Mouth; Dental Emergencies Need Attention
Dental emergencies should never be ignored. Toothaches, swollen jaws, cracked or broken teeth, filling repairs, gum infections, dental extractions and root canals are some of the dental emergencies that need an immediate appointment.
By: Kirk Kimmerling DDS
A little knowledge on how to handle an emergency situation can sometimes make a big difference in the end outcome.
When a tooth is knocked-out, it is best to follow a few simple procedures. Try to locate the avulsed tooth. Once it is located, examine it for debris. If possible, rinse the tooth with milk, however water will do. Never scrub the tooth, as the attached tissue is important for the tooth to re-implant. If possible, put the tooth in the socket making sure it faces the right direction. Never force it. If the tooth can not be re-implanted, then store it in a cup of milk or water with a pinch of salt until you reach the dentist. Injured adults can place the tooth in their cheek to keep it moist until arriving at the dentist, however never put the tooth in an unconscious or severly injured person. Get to a dentist immediately. The quicker you arrive, the better your chance of a good outcome.
If a tooth is chipped or broken, it is important to save any pieces you can find. Many times, a dentist will use the broken pieces to reconstruct the tooth. If there's an injury and bleeding occurs, use a cold compress on the area reduce bleeding. This should also help with the pain an swelling. If a tooth is dislodged or out of position, try to reposition it back in its correct position if possible. The sooner you get to the dentist, the better.
If a crown falls out, try to slip it back on the tooth. If possible put vaseline, toothpaste or denture adhesive on the under the crown to help the hold. A dentist will be able to fix the tooth more permanently.
Although not all dental emergencies can be avoided, many can through regular cleaning visits to the dentist. The visit allows a dentist the opportunity to examine the mouth, take x-rays to repair teeth before it is a more critical situation and an emergency dentist is necessary.