If you have a problem with a tooth that you feel is a dental emergency, you likely have a lot of questions. For some peace of mind in the event of an emergency, here are some questions you should know the answers to before there's a problem.
When Do You Need to Visit an Emergency Dentist?
If you are suffering a dental emergency, don't feel like you have to wait to schedule an appointment with your normal dentist. There are emergency dentists that work late nights and weekends that can help get you the relief you need from your dental related pain. However, you likely want to seek out an emergency dentist if it is truly an emergency. If you have lost a tooth, are experiencing a lot of pain, or are suffering from swelling in your facial area due to trauma, you likely need to visit an emergency dentist to have the problem fixed.
Some problems do not require an emergency dentist. For example, if you chipped a tooth and it does not cause you any pain, it can likely wait for your normal dentist.
What Medications Should You Take to Relieve Pain?
Your initial reaction will be to go into your medicine cabinet and get a pain reliever to help you get through the dental emergency. However, you will want to avoid using ibuprofen or aspirin, since these are blood thinners. This will not mix well with a dental emergency that is causing your gums to bleed. Instead, take acetaminophen to help deal with the pain that you are experiencing.
What Should You Do When You Lose a Tooth?
Losing a tooth can be quite traumatic, but you want to act correctly rather than make a mistake if it happens. It is important to know how to touch the tooth correctly and how to prevent it from drying out.
When grabbing the tooth, you always want to touch the tooth by the crown. Getting oils and germs from your hand on the root of the tooth can cause the root to become damaged. By only touching the crown of the tooth, you are essentially just touching the part that was already sticking out of your gums and is used to—and made for—interacting with foreign substances. You'll also want to keep the tooth moist, which can be done by placing it in a cup of milk rather than water. Don't have milk? You can fill up a cup with your own saliva, or gently place the tooth in your mouth and hold it next to your cheek.
If you have more questions about using an emergency dentist, be sure to call and ask before you visit.