A Guide to Dental Emergency Preparation

We believe that being prepared for an emergency is just a part of being a responsible adult! You want to be able to take care of your children and family in the event that anything should go wrong. In fact, you probably have a first-aid kit already stored in your home, and we hope that you feel comfortable using it!

Today, we want to talk about an emergency that often stretches beyond the ability of the classic first aid kit. We want to spend today talking about dental emergencies. After all, having a problem with your teeth is different than having a problem with the rest of your body!

Many of our patients tell us that they felt unprepared when a dental emergency hit their family, so we want to give you the basic information you’ll need to be calm and collected should you ever find yourself in this situation! Let’s get started!

Know the Most Common Dental Emergencies

Injured Tooth:
An injured tooth is the dental emergency that makes every parent’s heart start pounding! No one wants to see a tooth broken, cracked, or knocked out, but accidents happen! The risk here is that the tooth will not be viable if it is not repaired quickly, so you must act fast!

Broken Dental Appliance: We use dental appliances like crowns and bridges to repair teeth that are already damaged and vulnerable. If something were to happen to a dental appliance, you would need to get help right away in order to protect your sensitive tooth below!

Painful Tooth: Waking up or biting down and feeling a shooting pain in your tooth is not going to be pleasant, but it can happen to anyone. This is a definite sign of trouble for your tooth, and you will want to be seen very quickly. This type of pain has a way of making anyone miserable!

Create a Dental Emergency Kit

As you can probably tell, these emergencies are different from cuts, scrapes, and broken bones. You’ll need a different set of supplies to prepare your household for this type of emergency. Don’t worry, we have created a list below to help you figure out what you’ll need! Some of it you will already have on hand.

Gauze: You probably have gauze in your first-aid kit. You can use gauze for a dental injury like a tooth that has been knocked out. Create a pack of gauze, and ask the patient to bite down gently to hold it in place.

Tweezers: Tweezers make collecting small pieces of tooth or dental appliance much easier for you.

Small Container: In the event that you are collecting pieces of a tooth (or the entire thing), you’ll need a place to put it in milk or saliva. A small, sealable container is perfect!

Temporary Adhesive: You can purchase actual temporary crown adhesive at the drugstore, but denture adhesive works the same way!

Fast Acting Pain Reliever: You probably have this in your medicine cabinet already, but a fast acting pain reliever is a good thing to have on hand in the event of sudden and severe pain from a tooth.

Know What to Do

Now that you know what can happen and what you’ll need, let’s take a quick look at basic protocol for these common emergencies. Remember, if the patient is in a life-threatening situation, call 911 before you do anything else! Otherwise, call our office once you have the situation under control!

Injured Tooth: In the event of an injured tooth, you will want to collect the tooth (or pieces) and rinse them gently in warm water. Do not scrub, and do not touch the root of the tooth. Then, place the tooth in the small container with saliva or milk. If you don’t have access to your kit, you can place the tooth in the patient’s cheek.

Broken Dental Appliance: A broken crown or bridge needs to be put back in place whenever possible. Using the adhesive in your kit, gently place the appliance over your tooth and get to the dental office as soon as you can for a permanent repair.

Painful Tooth: If you wake up with severe pain, swelling, or general discomfort, take a pain reliever and give us a call so that we can see you as soon as possible! You can also try a salt water rinse to ease the discomfort.

Call Us!

Once the emergency situation is under control to the best of your ability, call our office! We see emergency patients on the same day, and we have convenient early and late hours to make your life a whole lot easier!

Contact us today to learn more about emergency dental procedures or to set up your next appointment. We can’t wait to see you very soon!