Wondering whether a damaged tooth constitutes a dental emergency? Read on to find out. A damaged tooth may be considered a dental emergency if it causes severe and borderline intolerable discomfort (pain, swelling, sensitivity), causes a severe cosmetic issue, or is at risk of worsening complications, such as the loss of the tooth or the…
Dealing with a Broken Tooth: Tips from an Emergency Dentist
A broken tooth is rarely expected, which can make the situation scary when it happens. However, there are a few things that emergency dentists recommend so that patients can appropriately deal with a broken tooth if and when it happens. Of course, it is ideal to get to a professional right away; however, that may not always be possible. Then, having an understanding of what to do first and foremost can be quite helpful.
While it may seem unnecessary to review these tips if you do not currently have a broken tooth, they can be helpful if this urgent problem arises. Continue reading to learn more!
Dealing with a broken tooth
Outlined below are a few important tips from an emergency dentist on how to deal with a broken tooth.
Assess the situation
A broken tooth can refer to one that has a small piece missing, a fracture in the entire tooth, or even a tooth that is mostly dislodged from the socket. When a break occurs, it is crucial to assess the situation. Determining what type of break is present will help to determine what next steps are necessary.
For example, if there is a small piece missing, it may not be necessary to immediately visit an emergency room. However, the following tips will remain relevant. On the flip side, if a tooth is completely fractured or mostly dislodged from the socket, the following tips will be critical. Get to an emergency room right away.
The most important thing to do when dealing with a broken tooth is to stay calm. It can be easy to get worked up and frightened over a tooth that has broken, but it is necessary to remain level-headed in order to remedy the situation. Staying calm will also help ensure that the necessary measures are taken so the patient avoids further damage to their mouth. Utilizing friends and family that are present can be helpful in staying calm as well.
Collect any tooth parts
Another tip from an emergency dentist is to collect any tooth parts after the break occurs. Whether the entire tooth is dislodged or just a piece of it comes out, it is important to collect the parts. A broken tooth often results from biting down on something too hard or an injury to the mouth. In most cases, the tooth parts can be collected and taken to the emergency dentist. Additionally, if the patient cannot get to the emergency dentist right away, it is recommended that they keep the tooth parts in a glass of milk for preservation.
Stop any bleeding
A broken tooth may result in slight bleeding, which can be frightening. It is important to stop any bleeding that occurs with gauze or a soft cloth. Pressing against the bleeding area can help reduce the blood flow. Additionally, using a wet cloth can help clean the blood up at the same time. Lastly, rinsing the oral cavity after the bleeding stops is necessary, as this can reduce the chances that bacteria start to grow. It is key to note that if bleeding persists past a few minutes, it is necessary to visit an emergency room quickly.
Take an over-the-counter medication
Often, a broken tooth results in slight pain or discomfort. In order to remedy the pain, emergency dentists recommend taking over-the-counter pain medication. These medicines usually contain an anti-inflammatory, which can help reduce swelling or inflammation that may have resulted from the broken tooth. It is important to take any medication in moderation and with plenty of liquids.
Try cold packs
Sometimes when a broken tooth occurs, there is swelling or inflammation around the area. After any bleeding is stopped, it is recommended to utilize a cold pack or ice pack to help reduce these symptoms. Of course, doing this in increments of 15 minutes or less is ideal.
Make an appointment
Aside from all of the tips above, the number one thing to do is to make an appointment with an emergency dentist. Emergency dentists are trained to treat urgent dental needs that arise, including a broken tooth. Most emergency dentists are staffed in hospitals or standalone facilities where emergencies are the sole focus.
Reach out today
A broken tooth is rarely expected, making it a sudden surprise when it happens. However, with the help of an emergency dentist and the tips above, it can be easier to be prepared. Reach out today to learn more!
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