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How to Avoid Needing to See an Emergency Dentist
If you are stressed out by debilitating tooth pain or if an accident has affected your teeth and mouth, it's time to consider visiting an emergency dentist. Today, most dentists provide this service. Early intervention can help dismiss the pain and prevent complications.
What constitutes a dental emergency? Are there any indicators and symptoms to watch for other than pain?
What's considered a dental emergency?
Without question, some dental issues require immediate attention. Since many emergency dentists set aside time for urgent matters, it should be easy to obtain treatment when needed. However, not every toothache is an emergency.
Severe injuries to the gums, teeth or face, grave infections or abscesses and loss of a filling or crown are considered dental emergencies. This group also includes:
- Lingering pain or bleeding that arises soon after dental therapy
- Wounds to the tongue, cheeks or lips
- Severe tooth pain brought on by accidents
- Tooth fractures
- Loss of a tooth
- Cracked or chipped teeth
- Facial discomfort
- Lost crowns
For instance, biting on a piece of food that is too firm may result in broken, cracked or knocked out teeth. Sports injuries, car accidents and falls are familiar culprits behind tooth loss. If any of these problems occur, contact an emergency dentist immediately.
What to do before visiting an emergency dentist
In the meantime, there are a few things that can lessen the damage and avoid complications. Let's say the tooth breaks or becomes loose. Leave the tooth inside the mouth until a dentist can examine it.
In the case of a knocked-out tooth, pick it up by the crown without handling its root. Rinse it carefully and position it back into its socket. If this isn't achievable, place it in a container. The dentist may be able to reinsert it and preserve its function.
If one or more teeth happen to become loose due to an injury or auto crash, try to place the teeth back into their original position. Apply a little pressure with the fingers. Visit the dentist on the same day.
Ways to prevent dental emergencies
Most dental emergencies are prevented with good hygiene. Simple things, such as brushing and flossing the teeth after every meal, will help keep the mouth healthy. If engaged in contact sports, wear a mouth guard to shield the teeth. Stay away from hard candy, popcorn kernels and other foods that may crack a tooth.
Don't use your teeth to open a bottle, break objects or cut items. Reduce sugar between meals. Purchase a new toothbrush every three months or so, and use mouthwash daily. Preferably, use toothpaste that contains fluoride. Chew sugar-free gum to clean teeth between meals.
If a tooth aches, do not take prescription drugs without consulting a dentist first. Certain medications can worsen symptoms and cause further complications.
Book an appointment with the dentist at least twice a year. Regular checkups can help spot any potential issues that affect tooth health.
The bottom line
Don't wait until a dental emergency to visit your dentist. Remember that prevention is better than treatment. However, if you experience any of the urgent matters above, contact an emergency dentist as soon as possible!
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