Dental emergencies are challenging regardless of whether they are minor or significant. For example, a knocked-out tooth late in the evening requires a visit to the emergency dentist near you with the tooth in your possession for emergency restoration. Delay the appointment by over 30 minutes, and you are left searching for replacement solutions to close the gap between your teeth.
Whether you lost your tooth to injury or infections, replacements become essential unless you prepare yourself to endure the embarrassment of living without a tooth. You confront various challenges when you have a missing tooth or teeth. For example, chewing and smiling become complex resulting in problems with a bad bite which soon affects you as your remaining teeth begin shifting towards the empty space. Your facial features start sagging, making you look older than you are, and replacement solutions knock the wind out of you with their high prices.
The knocked-out tooth will make you wonder whether it is possible to prevent dental emergencies altogether. While the situation to confront is challenging to avoid, especially if you lost the tooth due to an injury or accident, many dental emergencies are preventable if you remain proactive with your dental care. When you confront a dental issue like a lost tooth, the best option before you is to contact an emergency dentist as soon as possible for the treatment you need. However, for most other dental emergencies, use the tips mentioned in this article to try and prevent them before they occur.
1. Panic and anxiety are natural whenever you experience a dental emergency. It would be best if you react quickly without panicking and with care. A knocked-out tooth is not the end of the world, but if you want to have it back in your mouth, you must gather the tooth holding it by the crown and rinse it in water. Try to insert the tooth back in its opening if possible. Suppose you cannot place the tooth in a cup of milk with a pinch of salt. Contact the emergency dentist nearby and get to the clinic as soon as possible.
2. Remaining proactive with your dental care is the optimal method to prevent dental emergencies. Besides brushing and flossing your teeth diligently as recommended by your dentist, you must also incorporate six-monthly visits to the professional to ensure they detect abnormalities in your mouth and treat them right away.
3. Regular dental visits enable dentists to detect issues like loose fillings or crowns to advise you how to manage them if they come off. Unfortunately, loose fillings and crowns will likely come off sooner than later, needing treatments from an emergency dentist or your regular dentist. Therefore the better option is to get them fixed during your visit to your dentist.
4. Did your dentist mention that you have a cavity in your tooth? Getting dental holes filled is a standard procedure completed by dentists within the hour. Do not let dental anxiety overcome you, fearing the filling process. Leaving the cavity untreated is an invitation for significant dental infections to affect the tooth, causing severe damage to your neighboring teeth, your jawbone, and overall health. Therefore if informed about dental cavities, get them filled right away to prevent additional problems.
5. If you have orthodontic braces to correct tooth misalignments, the appliance, despite its strength, can break or stick out, poking your cheeks and gums. In such cases, don’t try to cut the wire or leave the issue untreated without visiting your orthodontist. While preventing such emergencies is not within your scope, you can undoubtedly avoid them by visiting your orthodontist for monthly adjustments to ensure the braces are in place without any damages.
6. Dental abscesses develop near the roots of your tooth only when you have an untreated cavity that has expanded sufficiently to infect the dental pulp inside your tooth. You could have prevented it by getting the tooth filled to avoid a life-threatening condition. Now that you have a dental abscess, you either undergo root canal therapy or get the tooth extracted and search for replacements.
7. If you have an excruciating toothache, it indicates you probably have some food particles trapped between the teeth or an infection in your tooth expanding significantly. Here again, you can prevent such dental emergencies by remaining proactive with your dental health and listening to your dentist on any recommendations they give you to treat infections in your tooth.
Suppose you are involved in contact sports; do not risk your perfect smile when showing your love for the game. Instead, consider wearing a custom-made mouthguard to ensure an impact doesn’t chip or knock out a tooth. Keep the mouthguard in your possession before you head onto the field to avoid dental emergencies.
Your teeth are robust but can surprise you with the ease at which they chip or crack. Do not bite into complex foods if you are fearful of risking tooth loss. Likewise, don’t use your teeth for purposes other than eating or chewing because teeth can chip and break when biting into pens, pencils, fingernails, and even during childbirth.
Use the tips mentioned in this article and remain proactive with your dental hygiene to prevent most dental emergencies other than accidents.
Dr. Jackie Calcagno is our in-house pediatric dentist at North County Dental Group in Poway. She completed a residency in pediatric dentistry after graduating from dental school. Because of her experience and training, Dr. Jackie has a special touch with children, and understands how best to cater to their specific needs.