Advice for Dental Emergencies to Make Surgery Go Smoothly
The best kind of dental surgery is the kind that you can go into with peace of mind, knowing the occasion has been well-prepared for. But sometimes this isn’t an option—an emergency happens, and suddenly you need to see a dentist, and fast. Emergency dental treatment isn’t an ideal situation for anyone to find themselves in. But it doesn’t have to be a travesty worthy of a slapstick everything-that-can-go-wrong-does-so comedy. If you follow these 5 steps, your dental emergency might not be easy, but it won’t be the worst it could be either.
This sounds at first like terrible advice—obviously, if you could perfectly control panic, life would be much easier. But it’s important in any kind of emergency, especially broken teeth, to take a deep breath and think through what to do next. When you panic you act before you think—right now, what you need to do is the reverse. So take a moment, breathe deep, and find as much calm as you can.
Set Your Priorities
There are many ways you can damage, break, or lose a tooth, from biting into something very hard and rough, to sudden blunt force trauma to the face or head. Ideally you should never delay emergency dental treatment, but the truth is, sometimes there are bigger things to worry about. If you could potentially have a concussion or other brain injury, or need stitches, or have fractured a bone, put dental surgery on the backburner. Visit an emergency room first.
Don’t do it. Please, just don’t. You’d be surprised what some people have thought was a good idea—like gluing their own teeth back together, reinserting lost fillings, or using sharp tools in their own mouths. But, and this should come as little surprise, it never ends well. Just don’t do it.
Contact an Emergency Dentist
Some dental offices offer emergency walk-in services. Call ahead to make sure they’re open, and to give them forewarning that you’re on your way—the more prepared they are for dental surgery, the more swiftly you might receive treatment. It’s important not to delay if you can avoid delays, as the longer you go without treatment, the more the problem may be exacerbated.
Preserve Intact Teeth
Once in a blue moon, a tooth will be knocked clean from its socket, remaining completely intact from root to tip. In such instances, the tooth can be reattached if it remains undamaged. Rinse it off with clean water (don’t use soap or anything else you’d normally never put on your teeth) and soak it in cow’s milk if you have any available. Take it with you to your emergency dental treatment, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get to keep it for many years to come.