Parents, caregivers, and babysitters alike have at one time or another been faced with a dental emergency involving a broken tooth, bloody lip, or worse. When these problems occur, it would be to turn to that could take care of the situation.
Having access to a dental provider during normal business hours is wonderful. But many dental emergencies occur after your dental office is closed for the day or weekend. Having a dentist that has an emergency number to reach them after hours is certainly a plus in the event of an emergency.
Posting that after-hours number in a conspicuous place inside your home would aid all family members and those responsible for their care. Carrying that same number in your wallet is also wise because accidents don’t always occur at home.
If a tooth is knocked out, it is critical to reach your dental provider and be seen within one hour, if possible. But what should you do between an accident and reaching your dental office? The tooth should be rinsed off, being careful not to handle the root of the tooth. If possible, the tooth should be replaced in the socket and held in place during transport to the dental office.
If you are dealing with a very young child or the patient is very upset, placing the tooth in a glass of milk during transport might be a better alternative than trying to replace the tooth.
Some dental emergencies might appear worse than they are. If you chip a tooth, but there isn’t any discomfort or swelling, this likely is not an emergency. You should contact your dentist and be seen during normal office hours, but an after-hours call would not be necessary.
A child who has punctured the soft tissue inside their mouth or lip can bleed, making the wound look very serious. Generally, rinsing the mouth and applying ice and a compress will be sufficient unless it is obvious that sutures are required. This is a judgment call, but seeing your dentist immediately is usually unnecessary if the bleeding is controlled.
Knowing what to do in the event of an emergency can make you a hero if the need arises. And having access to your dentist after office hours guarantees you will be prepared for any dental emergency.
To learn more tips on how to handle a dental emergency in Dallas, TX, contact our experienced team at Joseph Loftus, DDS.