Types of Dental Emergencies
Emergencies happen when we least expect it. It is always best to be prepared for them by learning how to recognize what constitutes a dental emergency and how to react should you or your dear ones have one.
When is my problem classified as an emergency?
Go through the following checklist to work out whether or not it is time to rush to the nearest Vancouver dentist. If you can’t raise a response because it is after hours, go to the local hospital.
Take immediate action if any of the following apply to your situation. Call your dentist straightaway, describe your symptoms.
- You are in severe pain.
- You are bleeding from the mouth.
- Any of your teeth are loose.
- You have swelling around your mouth, cheek or chin areas.
- You have lumps of bumps on your gums.
- If immediate action can save a tooth.
- If you have received a blow to the face.
Types of dental emergencies
You suspect you might have an abscess
Take immediate action if you have a pimple-like swelling on your gum or in the mouth or if it hurts to bite down on a tooth. An abscess can be extremely dangerous.
Take a painkiller and use an ice pack to relieve the pain. Do NOT put the pain pills directly on the sore tooth and do not use a heating pad or hot water bottle on your jaw. This could make it worse.
Broken or chipped tooth
It is usually possible to save a chipped or broken tooth. If it is a small chip or a small piece has broken off, your dentist may use a white filling. Should it be a serious break, a root canal may be called for and a crown may be used to cap the tooth.
Your tooth has been knocked out
Very quick action is required if you want to save your tooth. Provided it is put back immediately – within a matter of minutes, it is possible that it can take root again. After 2 hours there is less chance of success.
If it looks clean and there’s no risk you might swallow it, try putting it back in place in its socket yourself without touching the root. If that’s not possible, put it in a container of milk and get to the dentist as quickly as possible.
Badly bitten lip or tongue
If you are bleeding, press down with a clean cloth on the place that’s bleeding. If your lip is swollen, use an ice pack. However, if the bleeding doesn’t stop, go to the Hospital Emergency immediately.
You have something stuck between your teeth
Try to dislodge it using dental floss. Work very gently and try to ease it out – never use anything hard or sharp or try to poke it out. Doing so could cut your gums or scratch the tooth surface. If you can’t get it out, see your dentist.
You’ve lost a filling
Protect your tooth for a short time by putting a piece of softened sugarless chewing gum in the place where the filling fell out.
Your tooth is loose or out of alignment
Get an emergency appointment at your dentist. Try to put the tooth back in position gently by applying very light pressure. Don’t force it.
The most important thing to do in an emergency is to remain calm and act as quickly as possible in order to save your tooth when possible, relieve pain, and prevent further damage.