What to do in a dental emergency

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Dental emergencies include accidents that involve oral injury, soft tissue trauma and bleeding, as well as severe toothaches & oral pain, oral infections and facial swelling.

Seek dental treatment promptly

When dental emergencies occur, it is essential to seek dental treatment as soon as possible to prevent potential long-term oral damage and/or widespread infection.

For a knocked out tooth, time is critical. Your window of opportunity for a successful re-implantation is about 30 min. Even then, you have a 50/50 chance of saving your tooth, so seek emergency treatment from your nearest dentist. Every minute counts.

Tips for handling common dental emergencies:

  • Severe toothache and pain – Clean mouth with a warm water rinse. Gently remove any food residue caught between the teeth with a toothpick or floss. Alleviate moderate pain with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medication.
  • Jaw pain – Manage swelling by applying a cold compress. Alleviate moderate pain with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory, pain medication.
  • Knocked out teeth – Keep tooth moist with milk or saliva, and prevent drying. Do not handle by the root. Store tooth by placing it back in its socket, in milk or between the patient’s cheek and gums.
  • Tooth fractures, chips and cracks – Rinse mouth immediately with warm water to clean the area. Avoid eating. Apply a cold compress to reduce swelling.
  • Bitten tongue, lips, cheek and soft tissue trauma – Clean area with water gently, and apply a cold compress with firm pressure to stop bleeding, and reduce inflammation and bruising.
  • Abscesses, oral infection and swelling – Manage swelling by applying a cold compress. Alleviate moderate pain with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medication. Anti-biotic dental treatment is usually required to treat major oral infections to prevent wide-spread infection.

Emergency dental appointments

Contact your dentist for advice on what to do in your emergency situation. Be ready to supply as much detail as possible regarding your dental emergency. Your dentist will also be able to prep for your dental emergency ahead of your arrival – buying you more valuable time.

Keep in mind that dentists are always ready for emergencies. They usually have emergency slots reserved in their daily schedules to accommodate dental emergencies at any time – so even if you just walk into a dental clinic, emergency dental treatment will be provided promptly.

At Complete Dental Works, we treat your dental emergencies with great care, skill and attention. In the event of a dental emergency, call our reception on 07 3848 1574 for emergency help and advice.

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