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5 Tips for a Dental Emergency

Posted April 28, 2022 in Emergency Dental Care

3 Minute Read: 

Dental emergencies can cause severe distress and never occur at a convenient time. Whether it’s due to a tooth causing sudden intense pain or due to an injury, dental discomfort can stop you in your tracks. 

Man with tooth pain touching his jaw.

The following tips can help you if a dental emergency happens to you or one of your loved ones.

1. Be Prepared 

To prepare yourself and your family for a potential dental emergency, purchase a dental emergency first aid kit and have it readily on hand. These are typically available at pharmacies and can also be purchased online, and you can also put a kit together yourself. 

Be sure your kit contains the following:

  • Ice pack
  • Pain reliever
  • Temporary filling material
  • Dental wax
  • Topical tooth pain reliever (anesthetic)

These items can help you tremendously during a dental emergency.

2. Call Your Dentist

Make contact with your dentist or an emergency dentist without delay. If you have a knocked-out tooth, you have less than an hour to begin treatment — if that. 

If you have a sudden toothache, call to let them know you’ll need an emergency appointment. Even if the discomfort isn’t severe, it may worsen overnight, and you’ll be glad you called.

3. What to Do in the Meantime

A broken tooth may irritate the sides of the mouth or tongue. Applying some dental wax to the sharp edge will reduce the amount of damage done.

If you have lost a filling or a crown has come loose, try using some temporary filling material to mend the tooth until you see the dentist, preferably the same day or the next.

If you are experiencing pain or swelling, hold an ice pack against the affected side of your jaw and take your preferred over-the-counter pain reliever (ibuprofen or naproxen is often helpful if tolerated well). 

Apply some topical dental anesthetic if you have it on hand.

4. What to Bring to the Dentist 

Little boy laying in a dentist chair with a dentist.If a tooth has been knocked out, find it and pick it up by the crown, being careful to avoid the tooth root. If it is dirty, rinse it in a bowl of warm water and then try to place it back in the tooth socket in the correct position and get to the dentist immediately. 

Children who may choke with this method should put the tooth in a container of milk or lightly salted water. 

If the tooth is broken or cracked, wrap any pieces in gauze and follow the dentist’s instructions. Your provider may advise you to bring them with you when you come to the office.

If going to a new emergency dentist, be sure to bring your ID and insurance card.

5. Attend Your Emergency Dental Appointment

If you have had to wait to see the dentist and your symptoms improve, it’s a good idea to see the dentist anyway, so your teeth and gums can be examined. 

Even though the pain has gone away, something caused it to occur in the first place, and chances are, your condition will worsen, making more invasive treatments potentially necessary. What might have initially only required a filling may progress into a problem that necessitates a root canal or extraction.

Gentle Care Dentistry offers root canal therapy to preserve natural teeth and dental implants or bridges to replace them.

Emergency Dentistry in Las Cruces, NM

Gentle Care Dentistry provides emergency dental services in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and is committed to making your dental emergency our priority. We understand the pain and anxiety that dental emergencies can cause and work hard to get you back to yourself again. 

We offer comprehensive general and cosmetic dental care so that you don’t have to be referred to another office and can treat virtually any dental emergency.

Have a dental emergency? Call Gentle Care Dentistry today at 575-524-3722!