A large number of individuals will require treatment from an emergency dentist in their lifetime following a serious injury or the accidental breakage of a tooth, but many people may not know where to go for assistance when their dental practice is closed. In many cases, people may not consider an incident concerning their oral health severe enough to seek assistance immediately after an incident, which could put their teeth at risk. For this reason, it is necessary to be aware of the signs of dental injury and the actions to carry out as a result. Dental professionals recommend that patients ensure their oral health is maintained to the best of their ability in a bid to prevent minor issues exacerbating over time.
What action should be taken in a dental emergency?
Immediately after sustaining serious dental damage, it is important to take the necessary steps in order to stabilise the injury before it has chance to worsen. Depending on the type of accident, patients are advised to think fast and contact an emergency dentist as soon as possible in order to receive the best advice. Simple actions such as wedging sugar-free chewing gum into a cavity after losing a filling, or placing a lost tooth in a glass of milk could be advised until a dental professional is able to examine the affected area. In addition, practitioners are able to recommend suitable painkillers that could prevent unnecessary pain or discomfort. It is likely that each patient’s local dentist will have the resources and staffing arrangements to accommodate their needs following an injury. This could be the difference between finding a possible solution and causing significant damage to the teeth and overall oral health.
Alternatively, dental practices may have an emergency out-of-hours hotline that can be contacted during the night if a patient has been in an accident and requires urgent treatment. Using this service, individuals will be able to follow useful steps to ensure treatment is possible. Patients should not attempt to treat a problem themselves and should seek the assistance of a professional as soon as possible. Dental emergencies procedures can be extremely painful and, in many cases, make the issue worse and more difficult to correct.
Which injuries require attention?
It is vital for patients to increase their awareness about the incidents that can be classed as a dental emergency, which could be the difference between finding a speedy solution and sustaining permanent damage. In addition, worried individuals will enjoy peace of mind when they discover their injury is nothing to worry about.
Knocked out teeth – Many patients do not realise that their natural tooth can fit back in place if taken care. Although people often believe their only option is the installation of a false tooth or denture, the tooth can be placed back into the socket if an emergency dentist is visited within one hour. Keeping the tooth in a glass of milk before the procedure is recommended in a bid to prevent future problems with bite as a result of a lost tooth. This issue is also known to cause problems with eating, talking and chewing, while the remaining teeth are placed under increased stress and are more likely to become damaged. Crooked teeth– Teeth that have been knocked out of place can be gently pushed back into their socket after an accident or sporting injury. Following this action, it is necessary to visit an emergency dentist as soon as possible, while ensuring no attempt is made to remove the tooth at home.
Broke, chipped and cracked teeth- A high number of people will experience a chipped or cracked tooth at some point in their life, with many sustaining this injury as a result of trauma or daily wear and tear. Biting down hard on food could also cause this issue, particularly if there is some decay, which may have weakened the area and made it more vulnerable to damage during the consumption of food and drink. This type of accident can be treated using a number of different procedures after an emergency dentist has examined the extent of the damage. Fillings, crowns or complete extractions are the most common outcomes for this type of issue.
Cuts and broken jaws – Although many people may believe they should go to a hospital if they break their jawbone or receive a serious cut in their mouth, an emergency dentist is also able to give guidance regarding the issue. A professional is able to provide an initial examination and clean the wound, as well as painkillers, before patients are referred to their local hospital. Chronic toothache – Patients who fail to attend appointments with their dental practitioner are more likely to experience serious bouts of toothache that occur suddenly and for no clear reason. If minor oral health issues are left to build up over long periods of time, they can often lead to serious damage to teeth and gums through a lack of professional care. In some cases, an abscess can develop if decay is left untreated and can cause severe pain and require immediate dental attention.
Lost fillings – When individuals lose their fillings they may be able to continue their day-to-day lives for a substantial period of time. However, the longer this issue is left untreated, the more likely it becomes that decay will occur, as well as serious bouts of pain and discomfort. Therefore, it is highly recommended that patients seek emergency dentistry as soon as they can after the loss of a filling. Many professionals advise members of the public to fill the cavity with a piece of sugar-free gum, while others believe a temporary solution is more reliable until a permanent fixture can be installed
How can emergency dentistry be prevented?
Mentally preparing for the occurrence of an event where emergency dentistry is required could assist in providing peace of mind for members of the public who may panic and become distressed in an unpleasant situation. Therefore, it is advised that patients take time to make appropriate arrangements, such as taking note of emergency contact numbers, to ensure the solution is always attainable. A high number of situations that require an emergency dentist are caused by neglect over a long period of time, which suggests that individuals should take more action to ensure their teeth and gums are looked after as part of an effective oral hygiene routine. Brushing teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, as well as flossing at least once every day, can help to ensure oral health is maintained. Regular check-ups with a dental professional are also necessary to make sure any issues are monitored and identified from the early stages. Flossing has also been proven to help protect the body against a number of different diseases such as diabetes, arthritis and having a stroke. Smoking, alcohol consumption and a poor diet are considered three of the most dangerous actions to take for oral health and can cause a series of life-threatening wider health issues. Avoiding foods such as sugary breakfast cereals, sweets, chocolate, pastries, fruit pies and ice cream could be beneficial in reducing the need to see an emergency dentist. A white and healthy smile can be achieved by cutting out substances that can stain the teeth, such as cigarette smoke and coffee. In addition, alcoholic substances can erode the protective layer of enamel on the outside of teeth, which can lead to decay. The build-up of bacteria on unprotected teeth can, in many cases, lead to the requirement of costly fillings or corrective treatment.
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