In modern dentistry, we place a significant amount of emphasis on preventive care. With preventive measures in place, we can prevent most dental diseases and conditions from occurring. But, we must remember, even with our best preventive efforts, accidents will still happen. Preparing for a dental emergency is the best way to lessen the impact and improve the outcome of a dental accident.
Once you have addressed the immediate concerns regarding a dental emergency, you should rush the victim to your dentist for the appropriate professional care.
Advanced preparation for an emergency should include a well-stocked first-aid kit:
- The business and after-hours phone numbers for your dentist’s office
- A clean cloth, tissues, or a handkerchief
- Cotton gauze (2×2 or 4×4)
- A small, clean container with a lid
- An anti-inflammatory pain reliever such as Ibuprofen (Avoid medications that contain aspirin, which is a known blood thinner and can trigger excessive bleeding.)
Typically, dental emergencies can be prevented when you practice simple precautionary habits:
- Remember to wear a mouthguard during athletic activities
- Avoid chewing on hard objects (including hard foods) that could fracture the teeth or puncture the gums
- Always wear a seatbelt in the car and a helmet on motorcycles and ATV’s
Both your natural teeth and also your crowns or dentures can be damaged as you partake in common activities that are deemed harmless. Whether you are having dinner, playing with the children, exercising, or travelling in the car, you or a loved one can suffer an accidental dental injury.
Your level of advanced preparation and your ability to remain calm during an emergency can have a direct impact on the outcome of a traumatic event. Your actions during this time will increase the chances that the teeth, bone, or soft tissues can be repaired once you receive professional help.
With your emergency kit, try to assess the situation, stop bleeding and swelling, find the tooth (if it has been knocked out), and contact your dentist as soon as possible for an appointment.