At Long Island Smile, we strive to provide you with the best possible oral care. We also try to provide you with all of the information you need to keep your mouth healthy at home. Even with the best prevention, however, emergencies can happen. Moreover, when they do, the situation can be scary. Here is what you should know when it comes to handling a dental emergency.
The first thing you should do in the event of a dental emergency is to remain calm. While an emergency can be a scary situation, most are not as bad as they seem when they first occur. Remaining calm is important not just for thinking clearly and taking the right steps. Staying calm also helps to keep your heart rate and blood pressure from increasing, which can help to keep bleeding to a minimum.
Assess the Situation
Not all accidents are emergencies. It is important to assess the situation to determine whether or not what you are experiencing is an emergency and requires emergency care. Sometimes, what seems like an emergency may be able to wait if the accident happens after office hours or on the weekend.
Urgent emergencies that need to be dealt with right away include heavy bleeding that will not stop, a broken tooth that can cause injuries to your intraoral tissues, painful toothache or painful swelling, or an injury to your jaw. There are also emergencies that are non-urgent. This means that they do not require immediate care. If it is during office hours, you can schedule an appointment, but if it is after hours or on the weekend, you may be able to wait until the office is open again. Non-urgent emergencies include a broken tooth that does not pose a risk to your soft tissues, a broken retainer, a dull toothache, or a missing filling or crown.
Whom Should I Call?
When faced with a dental emergency, your first call should always be our office. We can help you to determine if the issue is something that we can treat in our office or if you should go to an emergency room. If it is after normal business hours, however, you might be confused about what steps to take next. If it is an urgent emergency, you should go straight to the emergency room. However, in the case of non-urgent dental emergencies, you can save yourself the trip and the cost. These types of emergencies can wait. However, if you suddenly start to experience severe pain or uncontrollable bleeding, then you should go to the emergency room right away.
Is There Anything I Can Do at Home?
If you are experiencing a non-urgent dental emergency, there are things that you can do at home to keep yourself comfortable until you can schedule an appointment. A salt water rinse can help alleviate irritation and swelling. A cold pack can help to reduce swelling and alleviate pain. Gently brush and floss your teeth if you suspect that you have something stuck.
How Can I Prevent a Dental Emergency from Happening?
There are steps that you can take to prevent dental emergencies. Brush and floss regularly. Have regular cleanings and exams. Complete recommended dental treatments. If you play sports, wear a custom mouthguard. While you can prevent emergencies, this does not mean that you will always be able to stop them. Make sure that you have a dental emergency kit stored with your medical emergency kit. Keep it stocked with items such as gauze, a small container, floss, paraffin wax, and a mouth rinse. This way, you will be prepared to handle an emergency should it arise.
For more information on how to handle dental emergencies, or if you have a dental emergency, call Long Island Smile at (516) 243-7473 today.