What Is Considered A Dental Emergency?
None of us want to deal with damaged or decayed teeth, but how do we separate regular oral health concerns from emergencies? The best way to distinguish routine care from emergency care is to determine if it can wait for a regular appointment or if you require immediate treatment from our Lafayette dental practice.
Dental emergencies can be caused by tooth decay, gum disease, or tooth infections. If you’re suffering from extreme pain, have swelling, uncontrolled bleeding, injuries to your mouth, or chipped, cracked, broken, or knocked-out teeth, these are all dental emergencies.
A dental emergency requires urgent intervention to prevent the situation from becoming worse, from pain becoming debilitating, and from causing serious complications to your overall health.
Did You Know…
If you have a loose tooth, you should very gently bite down on the tooth to prevent it from moving excessively and contact the dentist.
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What To Do In A Dental Emergency
Your top priority should be to stop bleeding because a large volume of blood loss is extremely serious. You should bite down on damp gauze for about 10 minutes to form a blood clot and stop the bleeding. If bleeding persists, bite down on a wet caffeinated tea bag.
Keep Your Mouth Clean
Saltwater solutions are effective at removing bacteria and tooth fragments from the mouth as well as reducing pain and swelling. You don’t want any bacteria to be accumulating in your mouth if you have vulnerable teeth or an exposed root.
Treat Pain & Swelling
Take anti-inflammatory pain medication, keep your head elevated, and use a cold compress until you can get to the dentist but do not try to treat your symptoms yourself. Swelling is a sign of infection and requires immediate treatment.
As soon as you can, contact your Lafayette dentist to inform us that you are dealing with an emergency so we know to prepare for your arrival.
Common Dental Emergencies In Lafayette
A knocked-out tooth is a time-sensitive issue which is why you need to try to find the tooth and reattach it as soon as possible, ideally within 30 minutes. If the tooth is dirty, you can rinse it under water but don’t hold it by the root side of the tooth. Place it in the socket and bite down to encourage reattachment. If reattachment is unsuccessful, you will bring it to the dentist with you in a container of milk or your saliva and we will try to reattach it with the help of a splint. If the tooth is no longer salvageable, we can replace the tooth with an implant, bridge, or partial denture.
If you have suffered from an oral injury from playing contact sports, falling, getting hit in the face, teeth grinding, or biting on something too hard, then your teeth may be damaged. Severe chips and cracks will require fillings and protection with dental crowns. In some cases, the pulp of the tooth may have been damaged and could require root canal treatment.
Signs of Infection
If you are experiencing pain, swelling, discoloration, and sensitivity, these are all signs that your tooth is infected. You need to get to the dentist immediately to prevent the infection from spreading and to save your tooth.
A root canal involves removing the infected pulp, cleaning the canals, and filling the inside of the tooth with a special material. This is 95% effective at saving the tooth from extraction.
A toothache is considered a dental emergency if it is severe and doesn’t go away despite taking pain medication. Believe it or not, a toothache is an indication of a serious problem because healthy teeth should not cause any pain. This could be caused by a variety of things, from injury and decay to an infection or gum disease.
Same-Day Dental Care For Emergencies
Don’t hesitate to give us a call at SOLA Dental at (337) 222-3299. Treatment for a dental emergency can save your tooth and prevent serious oral health problems from becoming more severe. Do not delay treatment and come to our Lafayette office right away so we can perform an oral exam, relieve your pain, and start your treatment.
Did You Know…
Having loose teeth is a sign of gum disease.
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