To borrow a phrase from former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, if you have a dental emergency, you will know it when you see it.
Dental emergencies can happen anytime and anywhere. They may be the result of a problem that has been growing for years. They may happen in an instant.
When they do happen, we want you to know what to do. One of the first things you should do is contact our team at Beaumont Family Dentistry in Lexington. With our three convenient locations, we’ll get you in as soon as possible to treat your problem as quick as we can.
Signs of a dental emergency
As we mentioned, dental emergencies can happen at any time. Some signs are more apparent than others, but here are some questions that can help you:
– Are you in pain? Pain inside your mouth should be considered an emergency. Your teeth, gums, and jaw should not hurt. If any of them do, then something is wrong.
– Has your tooth been damaged? Maybe you took an elbow to the mouth when you were trying to get a rebound. Maybe you didn’t see a pass coming and the ball hit you in the teeth. If your tooth has been chipped or broken, don’t delay.
– Did you lose a tooth? If your tooth falls out or gets knocked out, then something bad has happened. The sooner you take action, the sooner we can try to fix it.
– Is your crown or bridge coming loose? You dental restorations should stay in place. If they aren’t, you need to deal with it as soon as you can.
– Did you injure the soft tissue in your mouth? Damage to your cheek, gums, tongue, or other mouth tissues can lead to bigger problems if left untreated.
What to do in a dental emergency?
First and foremost, if your situation is critical, you should call 911 or go directly to the emergency room at the nearest hospital.
For any other kind of dental emergency, contact one of our dentist offices as soon as you can to make an appointment.
If you call during our regular hours, we’ll make every effort to see you as soon as we can. If you call after hours, call the number provided by our answering machine to speak with our on-call dentist. He or she will advise you what to do until we can set up a time to meet you.
Pay close attention to the instructions provided by our staff or the on-call dentist. This will help you get the best results when one of our dentist is able to treat you in person.
Before we can see you in person, here are some suggestions on how to handle some different types of emergencies.
Toothache — Try using dental floss to remove food particles that may be stuck in your teeth and between your teeth and gums. If the pain persists, call our office. Do not place aspirin against your gums because this can burn the gum tissue.
Cracked tooth — Find the broken piece if possible, then rinse it in warm water. Also rinse your mouth if you are bleeding. Cover the broken tooth with wax or gauze. This may prevent you from accidentally cutting your tongue or the inside of your mouth.
Lost tooth — Again, find the tooth that has fallen out or been knocked out. Clean the tooth, and if you can, try to place it where it goes. If it will not stay in place, hold the tooth between your gums and teeth or place it in milk. The sooner you can see the dentist, the better your chance of being able to replace it where it goes.
In any circumstance, try to not touch the root of your tooth. Damage to the root may prevent the dentist from replacing the tooth.
Another good idea is to have an emergency tooth prevention kit. This kit has a jar of solution that can preserve a knocked out tooth for up to 24 hours. Be sure the kit has an ADA Accepted seal.
The sooner we can see your during an emergency, the better.
You can’t anticipate every emergency, but good oral health is a good preventive step. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and professional dental cleanings every six months go a long way toward maintaining your oral health.
If you have an emergency, call any Beaumont Family Dentistry office in Lexington at 859-554-1772, 859-554-1612, or 859-554-4049.
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