Have you ever had a true dental emergency?
I know that experiencing an emergency of any kind is very scary. You don?t know what to do and everything is in panic mode for you. Oftentimes our judgment is clouded and things that we would normally do to fix a problem, are forgotten. Well, it’s no different when you or someone you know is experiencing a dental emergency.?
The first thing that you should do during a dental emergency is to make sure you don’t panic. I know that it?s hard to do that because it?s an emergency, but it?s so important to remain calm. When you?re calm you can think clearly about what?s going on and you?re able to make better decisions.?
Now let’s discuss 3 steps that you should take if you are having a dental emergency.
1 | Make Sure It?s Really An Emergency
The first thing that you want to do is make sure that you?re truly experiencing an emergency. Just as you would make a decision about whether or not you really need to head to your local emergency room, you need to make sure that the symptoms that you?re experiencing are an emergency. While some things are clearly an emergency other times you may be experiencing something that can wait until your dentist?s regular office hours.?
What constitutes a dental emergency? So many things! It could be a broken tooth, a broken crown/veneer/filling. ?It could be severe pain. ?It could be swelling of your face, or inside of your mouth. It could be that your entire tooth has come out. ?There are a lot of symptoms or issues you could be experiencing that could constitute as a dental emergency, and some are definitely more serious than others. ?Either way, if you have an issue, you need to communicate it with your dentist, but the point is that some things can wait (if it’s after hours), while others can’t!
2 | See If Your Dentist Offers Emergency Hours
If you determine that what you?re experiencing is an emergency and you can?t wait to see your dentist during regular business hours, then you need to get ready to head into the emergency room. Some dentist may have emergency after hours or will provide you with information on what to do if you need to be seen after regular office hours. If your dentist doesn’t provide you with this information then it?s best to head to the emergency room department. ?This is especially important if you think you my have an infection, or if you’re having trouble seeing or breathing (yes dental emergencies can lead to these symptoms).
If your emergency occurs during your dentist’s regular office hours, give your dentist a call and see if they are able to squeeze you in that day! Make sure to tell them you are having an emergency and communicate what your emergency is. ?Most of the time, your dental office should be able to accommodate you.
3 | Head To The Emergency Room
If all else fails and you can’t get a hold of your dentist, or any dentist, then head the to emergency room. Contrary to what others may think, the emergency room department deals with their fair share of dental emergencies. I will say that in medical school, the only part of the body medical doctors don’t learn about is the teeth, however, if you’re having sever pain, or swelling, or difficulty breathing or seeing, or you feel as though you are having some kind of emergency and you can’t get a hold of any dentists, it’s best to head to the emergency room. ?They can help manage your symptoms, and sometimes even direct you to a dentist that may be able to help you!
By the way, if you do happen to loose a tooth, make sure to bring the tooth with you!?
Again, it?s important that you do your best to remain calm during everything. The calmer you are the easier it is for your medical professional to know what?s going on and take the right course of action. After your visit, you?ll most likely be told to follow up with your dentist. Make sure to keep all of your papers and follow up as soon as possible or within the timeframe that you?re told during your visit to the emergency room department.
These are just a few tips on how you can handle your dental emergency if you ever experience one.
It doesn?t have to be any more stressful than the situation already is. The one that you want to remember is to follow the same steps that you would follow during any other emergency that you may be experiencing. And the number one step is to stay calm!