Emergency Dentistry
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Emergency Dentistry

Dental emergencies, like severe toothaches or broken teeth, can happen at any time, and if they’re not addressed promptly and properly, your oral health can suffer significant consequences.

Ideally, patients should do everything possible to prevent dental emergencies. However, prevention may not always be feasible. The next best thing is for patients to know exactly what to do when a dental emergency happens.

Patients should contact Imagine Family Dentistry as soon as possible after a dental emergency, even if it’s after business hours. We will arrange to see you in our office as soon as possible. It can also be helpful to keep certain supplies on hand at home to manage the issue until you can get professional attention.

Steps To Take In Case Of A Dental Emergency

So, what should you do if you experience a dental emergency like a severe toothache or facial trauma that damages your teeth or facial bones? Use your best judgment. If the situation is particularly urgent, seek care at your local ER. In the case of less severe symptoms, call our office for guidance.

Toothache | Emergency Dentistry | Imagine Family Dentistry | St. George UT

When you get in contact with us, we will schedule an appointment for you as soon as possible. Our patient schedule is designed to accommodate emergency cases. We may also suggest ways that you can manage the situation on your own until we can evaluate you, such as storing a dislodged tooth in a small container of dental preservation media.

You can even call us if your dental emergency occurs when our office is closed. Our answering service will help you connect with our on-call team member who can make recommendations about your case.

Building Your Dental First Aid Kit

To help you manage symptoms between the time that your dental emergency occurs and the time when you are able to schedule an appointment at Imagine Family Dentistry, you should consider keeping a dental first aid kit on hand at home. It may include the following items:

  • Dental preservation media, such as Save-a-Tooth
  • Temporary dental cement (to hold a loose crown in place)
  • Dental wax (to cover rough edges of orthodontic appliances or a chipped tooth)
  • Dental floss (to dislodge objects stuck between the teeth)
  • Gauze (to manage bleeding)
  • Over-the-counter painkillers
  • Clove oil (for pain relief)
  • Ice pack

You can buy premade dental emergency kits at websites such as Amazon for a convenient option. Ask your dentist if there are any additional items that you should include.

Preventing Dental Emergencies

The best case scenario is to prevent dental emergencies so that you don’t have to seek emergency care in the first place. Here are some ways that you can work toward that goal:

  • Practice good oral hygiene habits at home.
  • Get adequate professional cleanings and exams, at least twice each year.
  • Wear a custom-designed protective mouthguard when playing contact sports.
  • Wear your seat belt every time you get in a car, and never drive under the influence or while distracted.
  • Keep your living environment free from fall hazards.

Prevention is the best approach, but preparation for handling dental emergencies is also important.

Common Emergency Dentistry Questions

What is a dental emergency?

A dental emergency is a critical oral health issue that must be addressed as soon as possible for the patient’s comfort and well-being. Delaying care in a dental emergency may create the need for more involved and invasive interventions for patients and result in long-lasting consequences for the patient’s oral health.

Do you need emergency dental care?

If you are experiencing symptoms such as severe or persistent pain, bleeding or damage to either the teeth or the facial bones as a result of an injury, you likely need emergency dental care. Use common sense. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, you may first need to go to an ER for immediate attention and then follow up with Imagine Family Dentistry for additional care. Otherwise, you can call our office to schedule an appointment as soon as possible and for information on steps to take until we are able to treat your case.

What if I break a tooth?

If you break a tooth, call our office to schedule the next available appointment. In the meantime, you should rinse your mouth with warm water or salt water and apply an ice pack to the area to reduce swelling. If there is bleeding at the site, apply gauze to absorb it. Any resulting discomfort can be managed with over-the-counter painkillers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

What are different types of dental emergencies?

Patients may experience various types of dental emergencies due to either oral diseases or resulting from facial injuries. They may include: toothaches, abscesses and other infections, broken teeth, dislodged teeth, broken jaws or other facial bones or lacerations to the soft oral tissues. Lost or loose dental crowns or damaged orthodontic appliances can also be considered dental emergencies.