Dental emergencies are an unfortunate fact of life. The truth is, most of us will face a dental emergency or two in our lives, or will have to deal with one of our children receiving an oral injury.
You may not think it can happen to you, but it can. That’s why you need to know what to do when you are experiencing a dental emergency – and what NOT to do. In this article, we’ll focus on the latter, and discuss some of the top mistakes that many people make when they are experiencing a dental emergency.
1. Don’t Assume Your Condition Isn’t A Dental Emergency
This is the most common mistake of all. When most people think of a “dental emergency”, they think about oral trauma. A broken tooth after a slip and fall or a hard hit during football practice, for example – or oral damage and lacerations after a car accident.
But these are not the only kinds of dental emergencies. Many other things count as dental emergencies, such as:
Missing or damaged dental work (fillings, crowns, dentures, bridges, veneers, etc.)
A serious toothache, which indicates an infected tooth and may require root canal therapy
Severe gum problems, such as bleeding and pus, which may indicate an advanced case of untreated gum disease.
In reality, these types of emergencies are much more common than oral trauma.
Still not sure if you are experiencing a dental emergency? Here’s a good rule of thumb. If your dental condition is causing you pain and discomfort, and you cannot treat it at home in some way, it counts as a dental emergency. See an emergency dentist right away!
2. Don’t Wait To Get Treatment
This is another very common mistake. Some dental injuries, like a missing (avulsed) tooth require treatment within just 1-2 hours to save the tooth. While others are not as time-sensitive, seeking help from an emergency dentist within 1-12 hours of your injury is typically recommended.
The sooner you get treatment, the better the chances are that your tooth can be saved, and that you won’t experience any long-term side effects or oral health issues. When you notice an oral injury or dental emergency, the very first thing you should do is call an emergency dentist to schedule your appointment.
3. Don’t Leave Your Tooth Or Dental Work Behind
If you have a missing tooth or a damaged piece of dental work, it’s usually best to recover it. Missing teeth can sometimes be re-planted and heal properly, preserving your original tooth.
And, in the same vein, dental work can usually be reused. Veneers that are knocked off, for example, can usually simply be cleaned and cemented back into place. Even if your dental work cannot be reused, it’s helpful to have it, so that your dentist can assess the reason for its failure.
4. Don’t Go To An Emergency Room Or Hospital (In Most Cases)
If you have experienced serious and significant oral trauma, you may need to go to a hospital or emergency room. But this is very rare. Most dental emergencies can be treated without a visit to the ER, by an experienced Winnipeg emergency dentist.
Unless you believe that your oral injury is life-threatening, you should visit an emergency dentist. This will save you both time and money, as most ERs will not admit a dental patient unless they are suffering from other related injuries, such as head trauma received from a car accident.
Don’t Make These 4 Mistakes – And See An Emergency Dentist Right Away!
We said it once already, but we’ll say it again. As soon as you notice that you are suffering from any kind of dental emergency or oral injury, you should contact an emergency dentist immediately. Follow this guide and avoid these common mistakes, and you’ll get the treatment you need to relieve your pain and discomfort, and restore your smile.