When you have a dental emergency, it can seem like the end of the world – especially if it is accompanied by pain. But there are things that you can do, and things that you should know about dental emergencies. Let’s talk about six things that you need to know when it comes to emergency dental treatment.
The Conditions Requiring Emergency Dental Treatment
The first thing that you should know is what kind of conditions might require emergency dental treatment. Those things include major damage to your teeth such as an injury that knocks out a tooth or chips a significant portion of it, severe mouth or tooth pain, major swelling that could be an abscess or drainage of pus, bleeding that will not stop and major swelling that doesn’t improve with an anti-inflammatory or an ice pack. These are all emergency dental conditions and you should get treatment as soon as possible.
Your Dentist Can Help – Even After Hours
Another thing that you should be aware of is that your dentist can often help – even after the office is closed. That’s because dentists and other medical professionals often employ what are called answering services. These answering services will answer the phone 24 hours a day, and in the case of an emergency, they can call your dentist at home and get advice to pass directly on to you.
There Are Remedies for Pain
If you are having pain, there are some remedies that can help. Obviously, there are the over-the-counter solutions that you should definitely use if you have them available, although be very careful not to exceed the recommended dosage – especially with acetaminophen – because it can damage your liver if you take too much. Ibuprofen is better, because it reduces inflammation. Some other remedies for pain include gargling with salt water, using cloves applied directly onto the painful tooth or gum and an ice pack pressed up against the sore part of your mouth.
Dental Abscess and Infection
You may have a dental abscess or infection if you notice pus or a great deal of swelling. A dental abscess is when the gum or tooth becomes swollen from infection. This is a very painful condition and often requires antibiotics to get rid of the infection before your dentist can treat you.
Dry socket is a condition where the blood clot has come loose after a dental procedure like an extraction. The blood clot seals the part of your gum where the tooth has been removed from and if you dislodge that clot, it can be excruciating. That’s why it is vital to follow your dentist’s instructions and not smoke or use a straw for several days after an extraction.
You Can Get Help without Dental Insurance
Even if you don’t have dental insurance, you should still try to find a nearby emergency dentist, because many dental offices have discount programs that allow you to pay a lower price in a dental emergency or if you do not have insurance.
The Emergency Room is Available
Finally, you should be aware that if you are in so much pain that you cannot handle it, and you cannot get a dental appointment right away for emergency treatment that the emergency room can help you make it through the next few days until you can get in to see your dentist. An emergency room physician can prescribe stronger pain meds and antibiotics to get rid of the infection on a short-term basis to help you until you have your actual dental appointment.