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Are You Prepared For A Dental Emergency?
February 13, 2012

dentist HinsdaleOne of the best things you can do to be prepared for any emergency is to have a plan. But a dental emergency is seldom thought of as a serious enough issue to have formulated a plan and discussed it with your family. Our Hinsdale dentist would most definitely urge you to be prepared and know what to do for a dental emergency.

What to do during a dental emergency?

The first thing you should know in a dental emergency is who to contact. Does your family dentist have an after- hours number? If so posting it in plain sight and keeping it in your wallet or phone for emergencies away from home is a great idea.

What constitutes a dental emergency?

The toothache you’ve had for four days that has not progressively gotten worse is not a true emergency. However, an accident that breaks or chips a tooth that is accompanied with pain or discomfort should be dealt with as soon as possible. The reason is if you are experiencing sensitivity where the break has occurred, you could be dealing with the nerve of the tooth.

Seeing your dentist within 24 hours is recommended so that if you require additional treatment such as a root canal to save the tooth, it is best to get this done as soon as possible.

Having a tooth knocked out is traumatic at any age. But an accident involving tooth loss, particularly when the patient is a child, is frightening for all involved. Knowing what to do is critical to how your dentist will be able to respond and treat the area.

First of all, if you have the tooth, clean it carefully by running it under water. Try not to handle the root. For a child that is old enough to understand the importance of keeping the tooth in place, try to replace the tooth and hold it in with a wet towel.

If you are dealing with a very young child or a child that is hysterical it is best to place the tooth in a glass of milk. Even baby teeth are important to try to salvage and replace as they serve a very important function in the formation and development of the permanent teeth.

Getting to your dentist within the hour will offer you the best chance of saving the tooth. Your dentist will attempt to re-implant the tooth if seen quickly and the tooth has been properly kept.

The most important thing to remember is the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Make sure your child wears a protective mouth guard when performing sports or activities where the danger of knocking out a tooth is present. But accidents will happen so being prepared is the next best thing to prevention.

If you would like more information about ways to prepare for a dental emergency, or if it’s time for your next dental exam, please contact our experienced team at Hinsdale Dentistry today!

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