Because dental issues can exacerbate quickly, many are taking necessary precautions and storing emergency dental supplies in case this issue arises.
Having necessary emergency resources to turn to can help you provide adequate care, as well as be able to fall back on knowledge if there are any additional signs to look for regarding infections, secondary infections, etc. Resources such as “When There Is No Dentist” by Murray Dickson has a wealth of knowledge that one could use during a disaster (Click here to download a PDF version of this resource). Familiarizing yourself with the most common types of dental emergencies, and knowing what dental supplies would be best to invest in will hep you be more efficient in your preparations.
Here’s what to do if you face one of the following dental emergencies in a short-term emergency:
1. You lost a filling. The first thing to do is to rinse out the cavity with warm water. Take a cotton ball or a special dental filling product like Dentemp and press it firmly into the cavity. Arrange for someone to treat you soon.
2. You lost a crown or cap. Missing crown won’t trigger “immediate pain,” but it definitely can if you don’t do anything about it, especially as you eat and food gets in the exposed area. Don’t wait more than two days to get this treated if a cap or crown is displaced. Placing dental wax or a temporary cap can help aleive sensitivity while you eat.
3. You have a toothache. A severe toothache is one of the most painful forms of trauma you can face with a dental emergency. If it happens to you, immediately rinse your mouth out with warm water and place a cold compress against your cheek for 20 minutes to alleviate swelling. Remove the compress and let the afflicted area warm up again or use a hot pack, then re-apply the cold compress. One mistake people make with a toothache is to apply pain medication directly against the gum. Dentists say that could inflame the gum and potentially do more damage to the teeth. In any case, make sure to visit your dentist to check for a bacterial infection that might have caused the toothache in the first place. If left untreated, bacteria can lead to serious problems.
4. You chipped or broke a tooth. The first thing to do is to save the chipped or fully dislodged tooth. Then, once again, rinse the area inside your mouth with warm water. Also make sure to rinse the tooth that’s been displaced. If there is bleeding, apply some gauze or cotton to the area for five to 10 minutes. Then apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth, over the impacted area, until the swelling goes down.
5. You knocked a tooth out of your mouth. Dentists say that your best chance of saving a tooth that’s been fully removed from your mouth is to visit a dentist within one hour. Until then, keep the tooth safely tucked away – in a small container of milk, or in water with some salt added. Then head straight to your dentist.
Tips courtesy of Main Street