Even if you make sure to follow a strict oral healthcare routine and regularly see your dentist, a dental emergency can still happen to you. But what should you do if you experience one? Dr. Paul C. Larsen of Larsen Family Dentistry, a dentist in Bountiful, UT, offers some advice.
What is a Dental Emergency?
A dental emergency is a severe dental problem that needs to be treated immediately. These aren’t dental problems that you let go for a while. If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, call our office immediately. Below, Dr. Larsen lists some common dental emergencies and how to help them until you’re able to be seen in the office.
Severe Tooth Pain
Tooth pain is never something you should ignore, particularly if it’s sharp or comes on suddenly. It can be caused by many things, most of which need an expert diagnosis. These include an abscess, tooth decay, or an infection in your tooth. Take over the counter painkillers to try and ease the pain. If you experience swelling, hold a cold compress to the affected area.
It’s natural to want to panic when an adult tooth gets knocked out. However, you want to try to remain calm so you can recover the tooth. Be careful to pick it up by the crown and avoid touching the tooth root. Gently rinse off any dirt or debris that’s accumulated on it. Then, place it in a cup of milk or your own saliva to preserve it.
When you get to the office, Dr. Larsen will evaluate your tooth to determine if it’s viable for replacing. If not, you don’t have to worry too much. Our office offers many tooth replacement options if it’s necessary. In particular, we recommend dental implants. They give you the most natural look and feel for a restoration. There’s a reason they’re considered the gold standard for replacing missing teeth.
Broken, Chipped, or Cracked Tooth
Sometimes, you can chip a tooth and it’s just a cosmetic issue. However, it becomes a dental emergency when it goes beyond that. A large chip or break can take a sizeable chunk out of your tooth. This can expose the nerves inside your root canal, causing pain and sensitivity. Something like dental bonding or even a dental crown may be needed to make sure these nerves aren’t exposed.
A severe crack in the tooth can open up the interior of your tooth to harmful bacteria. Inside the root canal is where the dental pulp and nerves reside. If an infection gets in here, it requires a root canal procedure or a tooth extraction, depending on the severity of the infection. Dental bonding can often seal the gap, but a dental crown may be recommended to stabilize the tooth.
Your Emergency Dentist in Bountiful, Utah
If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, please call us immediately. If you want to schedule an appointment to try and prevent a future emergency, call us or contact us online!