What Should You Do In a Dental Emergency?

Do you know what to do if a dental emergency arises? If you bite your tongue, have a toothache, or break or knock out a tooth, you need to know what to do in case a dentist is not immediately available. Dr. James Fondriest, a Chicago area dentist, would like you to be prepared for a dental emergency so that you can preserve your teeth.

Specific Dental Emergencies and How You Should Respond

The following precautions will help you act smartly and quickly in a dental emergency:

    • Bitten tongue or lips: Gently clean the area and apply a cold compress.
    • Cracked or broken teeth: Carefully rinse the area and save any tooth fragments for the dentist. If you lose the fragments, restorations like dental crowns or porcelain veneers can repair them beautifully.

  • Knocked out tooth: Cautiously rinse away dirt and debris, taking care not to touch or damage the root or nerve. With a cooperative adult, you can attempt to replace the tooth in the socket for as long as it is comfortable. Storing the tooth in milk, saline solution, or saliva can also preserve it. Try to go to a dentist or emergency room immediately because the first 30 minutes to one half hour are crucial for successful tooth reimplantation. (If a tooth cannot be saved, options like a dental bridge or dental implants could replace it.)
  • Toothache: Look for debris between the teeth and gently remove it with dental floss. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can ease the pain until you are able to see Dr. Fondriest. Avoid aspirin because it can increase bleeding, which could be dangerous if you require dental work.

Although it is smart to be prepared for dental emergencies, the best way of protecting your teeth is through preventive care. Proper oral hygiene and regular dental checkups will maintain your dental hygiene.

Dr. Fondriest can help you care for your teeth. If you encounter a dental emergency, or if you are interested in preventive dental care, please call our Lake Forest, IL, dental practice at 847-234-0517. Dr. Fondriest provides preventive, general, and restorative dentistry to patients in the greater Chicago and North Shore areas.

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