January 7, 2017
You take a cool drink of ice water and immediately feel a shooting pain radiate throughout your entire jaw. You give it a moment to stop, but you can practically hear your tooth throbbing. You’re disoriented by the pain, you don’t know what to do. Should you call 911? Do they take care of toothaches? What should you do to get immediate relief? Don’t go to the emergency room; this is the kind of situation where you should call your emergency dentist in Scottsdale.
Avoid the Emergency Room
Each year, over a million people go to the emergency room because of dental problems. While they might be able to provide medication to stop the pain, very few emergency departments are equipped to handle dental care. More than likely, they will make you wait behind more urgent patients, or divert you to a dental practice anyway. This is because when it comes to emergency dental care, the best person to see is your dentist in Scottsdale.
When to Call Your Emergency Dentist
If you traumatically injure your teeth or are in a large amount of dental pain, this is a dental emergency, and to get the appropriate treatment, you need to act quickly. Some common dental emergencies are:
- Knocked out teeth
- Broken or cracked teeth
- Broken or cracked dental work
- Severe toothache
- Large object caught between teeth
- Injury to the jaw
- Injury to the gums
These are the particular kinds of situations where you need to call your dentist, not the emergency room.
Have a Plan
Dental emergencies may be uncommon, but it’s best to have a plan in place before they happen. You should call your emergency dentist as soon as possible after experiencing one. In fact, you should put their number in your phone right now so you don’t have to look it up while injured. This will enable your dentist to make an appointment to see you as soon as possible, and allow their team to instruct you on how to apply first-aid. Some basic tips are:
- Keep a knocked out or broken tooth wet. Put it back in your mouth or in a container of milk. This will preserve it until we can see you.
- Rinse the injured area with warm water to help prevent infection.
- Use a cold compress to reduce the pain and swelling.
- Ideally, have someone else drive you to the office.
The care you receive immediately after a dental emergency is just as important as what you will get at the office. The initial moments are critical. When you make it to the office, your doctor will quickly get to work relieving your pain and fixing your problem.
An injury to your teeth can be a very traumatic experience, and trying to think clearly at that time can be difficult. Fortunately, you can now have a plan in place. Hopefully you never have to use it, but it can still give you peace of mind, and make all the difference when you do.
About The Author
Dr. Alex Martin, DDS is a board-certified general, cosmetic, and emergency dentist. He is currently a member of the American Dental Association, The Arizona Dental Association, and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He currently practices in Scottsdale, AZ, and can be reached at his website or (480)351-4821.
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