You take a cool drink of water, accidentally bite into a piece of ice, and immediately feel a shooting pain radiate through your entire jaw. You give it a moment to stop, but you can practically hear your tooth throbbing. You’re disoriented by the pain, you don’t know what to do. Should you call 911? Do they even take care of toothaches? What is the fastest way for you to get relief? Don’t go to the emergency room; this is the exact kind of situation where you should call your emergency dentist in Ephrata, PA. It’s the only way for you to get the treatment you need quickly.
Avoid the Emergency Room
Each year, over a million people go to the emergency room because of dental problems. While they might be able to provide medication to stop the pain, very few emergency departments are equipped to actually handle dental care. More than likely, they will make you wait behind more urgent patients, or divert you to a dental practice anyway. When it comes to emergency dental care, the best place for you to be is with your dentist. They’ll have both the tools and the training to give you the exact kind of help that you need.
Common Dental Emergencies
If you traumatically injure your teeth or are in a large amount of dental pain, this is a dental emergency, and in order to get the appropriate treatment, you need to act swiftly. Some common dental emergencies are:
- Knocked out teeth
- Broken or cracked teeth
- Broken or cracked dental work
- Severe toothache
- Large object caught between teeth
- Injury to the jaw
- Injury to the gums
Have a Plan
Dental emergencies may be uncommon, but it’s best to have a plan in place before they happen. You should call your dentist in Ephrata, PA as soon as possible after experiencing one. In fact, you should put their number in your phone right now so you don’t have to look it up while injured. This will enable your dentist to make an appointment to see you as soon as possible, and allow their team to instruct you on how to apply first-aid. Some basic tips are:
- Keep a knocked out or broken tooth wet. Put it back in your mouth or in a container of milk. This will preserve it until your dentist can see you.
- Rinse the injured area with warm water to prevent infection.
- Use a cold compress to reduce the pain and swelling.
- Ideally, have someone else drive you to the office.
The care you receive immediately after a dental emergency is just as important as what you will get at the office. The initial moments are critical. When you make it to the office, your doctor will quickly get to work relieving your pain and fixing your problem.
How To Prevent One
You can protect yourself from a dental emergency in two main ways. Firstly, consistently brush and floss your teeth, as well as get regular check-ups with your dentist. Many times, dental emergencies happen because a lack of care has left the teeth vulnerable. This basic hygiene is the best way to help prevent one.
The other method is to wear a mouthguard while playing sports. Dentists estimate that between 13%-39% of all dental injuries occur during physical activity, so a simple mouthguard can make a big difference.
Now You’re Covered
An injury to your teeth can be a very distressing experience, and trying to think clearly at that time can be difficult. Fortunately, you can now have a plan in place. Hopefully you never have to use it, but it can still give you peace of mind, and make all the difference when you do.
About The Author
Dr. Sean Moriarty, DMD is a board-certified general, cosmetic, and emergency dentist. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry. He currently practices in Ephrata, PA at Ephrata Family Dentistry, and can be reached at his website or (717)723-8951.