“Help, I have a dental emergency—is there an ER dentist near me?”
Hopefully, these are phrases you’ll never have to say or ask. And, while dental emergencies are (thankfully) rare, they can happen. When a dental emergency occurs, do you know of a dental emergency room or emergency care dentist? More importantly, do you know the first thing to do in the event of a dental emergency? If not, don’t worry!
At Chester County Family Dentistry, we not only offer emergency dental care. We also aim to educate our patients on what constitutes a dental emergency and what to do in the event of an emergency.
Before Frantically Searching for a Nearby ER Dentist, Follow These Steps
Should I go to the emergency room for a tooth abscess? Should I try to put a knocked out tooth back in the socket? These are some common questions asked by dental patients.
It’s always a good idea to call your dentist’s office in the event of an emergency—even when you’re not completely sure what you have is a dental emergency. Regardless, the most important thing you can do when you feel something is wrong is to remain calm. Although it sounds easier said than done, staying calm ensures you will be able to follow a few important steps.
Take a look at a few strategies that will help you handle common dental mishaps, as well as when to call your dentist:
- Abscessed Tooth
You will likely know if you have an abscessed tooth; you’ll have moderate to severe pain and swelling surrounding the infected tooth. The best thing to do in this situation is to rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress near the site of pain. Call your dentist for the next available appointment. And, do not try to pick or prod at the area, unless you feel you can safely remove any debris with floss.
- Knocked-Out Permanent Tooth
Believe it or not, you can attempt to place a knocked out tooth back into the socket, given the tooth is intact. It’s important to avoid touching the tooth root. If this is not possible, it’s best to place the tooth between the gums and cheek or place it in a small container of milk. This will help preserve the tooth until you can get to the dentist (who should be called immediately).
- Prematurely Lost Baby Tooth
Children can be rowdy, rough, and tough. Hence, a premature missing baby tooth isn’t all that surprising. If your child loses a baby tooth before it’s ready, you should not try to place the baby tooth back in the socket. Instead, call your dentist right away to ask for next steps.
- Cracked or Broken Tooth
Similar to having a full tooth knocked out, if you have a partially cracked or broken tooth, place it in milk to keep it from drying out and try to get to the dentist’s office as soon as possible. A cold compress can be placed near the area to help reduce pain and swelling.
- Injured Tongue or Lip
The best first step when a tongue or lip is injured is to rinse the area with a clean washcloth and apply a cold compress. If the bleeding does not subside, it’s best to call your dentist.
- Broken Jaw
This is definitely a situation in which you want to seek emergency care. If you can’t get a hold of your dentist, seek medical attention at a local emergency room.
- Stuck Objects Between Teeth
If, for some reason, an object gets stuck between the teeth and cannot be gently released with the aid of dental floss, call the dentist. Don’t try to pry the object out, as this can lead to further injury.
Preventative Measures for Dental Emergencies
There are some injuries you simply can’t prepare for—unless you plan on wearing daily full-body armor. However, many dental emergencies can be avoided. Here are a few tips to help you avoid an emergency dentist visit:
- Wear a Mouthguard
You don’t have to be a child or teen to wear a mouthguard. 40% of all dental injuries occur during sports activities. Wearing a mouthguard is one of the best things anyone can do to protect their teeth and gums from a dental emergency.
- Abstain From Running With Sharp Objects
This may seem like a no-brainer, but when in a rush, adults and children alike can trip and fall. Combine this with scissors or knives in the hand, and a dental emergency isn’t far-fetched.
- Avoid Chomping on Certain Consumables
Ice, hard candy, and popcorn kernels, as innocent as they may appear, have been known to cause significant damage in the way of cracked and broken teeth.
In Case Of Dental Emergency—Know Who to Call!
At CCFD, Dr. David Montgomery and Dr. Ryan Dunn always encourage patients to call anytime when it comes to a dental emergency. We offer a range of services and always ensure our clients receive optimum comfort, education, and care.
If you’ve been looking for a nearby ER dentist or would simply like to schedule an appointment, call us today at 610-431-0600.