If you look around your workplace, chances are you will find a first aid kit. Many homes have first aid kits on hand, for treating thing like cuts, bumps, and scrapes. Many people take first aid classes to learn how to deal with situations involving serious trauma until medical help arrives. But what about dental emergencies? Dental emergencies don’t need to be a sources of panic and confusion. Here are some things you can do until you can get to the dentist, should a dental emergency arise.
If you lose a tooth, do not handle it by the roots. Wash it off in cool water, and then try to put it back in the socket. If it will fit, gently bite down on it through a piece of gauze to hold it in place. If you can’t fit it into the socket, place it in milk, a tooth preserving solution, or just hold it between your cheek and gums. For best results, you need to see the dentist within 30 minutes of losing the tooth, although you may have a window of two hours.
If you have a broken or cracked tooth, you need to see the dentist as soon as possible. However, you may not even know that your tooth is cracked unless you experience pain in when biting or chewing, or your tooth is exposed to hot or cold temperatures. Any time you experience pain in your tooth, you should make an appointment to see your dentist. In the meantime, you should rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress, if necessary.
A toothache also needs to be treated by a dentist, but until then, rinse your mouth with warm water, and floss the tooth to remove any food that may be trapped. You can use an over-the-counter pain reliever, if need.
A lost crown or filling can be held in place with dental cement, or you can use temporary filling material or cotton pellets to replace a lost filling.
Remember that a temporary solution is just that, and does not replace treatment by your dentist. If you have a dental emergency, or it is just time for your regular cleaning and exam, Dr. Steven Driggers at Sonshine Family Dental in Avon, Indiana, is happy to help. To make an appointment, call 317-271-1330. We look forward to seeing you.