What You Should Know About Dental Emergencies
By Kathryn Winkel, DDS
March 06, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Dental Emergency  

Your smile is one of your most precious possessions. You take care of it with brushing, flossing and six-month check-ups and cleanings. dental emergencyBut, do you know what to do in a dental emergency? First off, don't panic, and second, call for advice from your Midland, MI emergency dentist, Dr. Kathryn Winkel. She and her team are dedicated to preserving as many natural teeth as possible. So, when the unforeseen happens, count on them for quick, accurate services that keep you smiling.

What is a dental emergency?

It can involve many things, including bleeding, broken teeth and chipped prosthetics, laterally displaced or avulsed teeth, a dislocated jaw, a lost crown or veneer and more. Throbbing toothaches from a dental abscess or something caught between your teeth need prompt attention, too.

So when an emergency strikes, know what you can do immediately before you see your dentist in Midland. Here are some tips from Dr. Winkel:

Tip #1 Stay calm. Whether you, your child or someone else is having difficulty, a clear head can prevent further damage.

Tip #2 Act quickly. For instance, if you experience tooth avulsion (a tooth is knocked out), it may be replanted successfully if you get to Dr. Winkel's office within an hour, says the American Association of Endodontists. Rinse the tooth in clear water, grasp it by the crown, and insert it, roots down, into the empty tooth socket. Hold it in place while going to the dentist's office. If putting it back doesn't work, place the tooth in a sealed container with milk or water, and take it to Dr. Winkel.

Tip #3 Call the office right away if you have a toothache. Deep decay or infection requires immediate treatment. To alleviate symptoms, ice your swollen jaw (10 minutes on and 10 minutes off), and take over the counter acetaminophen. Avoid aspirin as it promotes bleeding. If you have drainage, rinse your mouth with warm salt water.

Tip #4 If you crack or chip a tooth or lose a restoration such as a crown, filling or porcelain veneer, save the fragments for Dr. Winkel. She may use composite resin bonding to repair it.

Tip #5 A broken or dislocated jaw or a severe oral laceration is a medical emergency. Get to the hospital emergency room nearest you as soon as possible. Apply direct pressure to a profusely bleeding wound.

Tip #6 If you get a piece of food or foreign object, such as a toothpick, lodged between two teeth, try gently removing it with dental floss. If this doesn't work, contact Dr. Winkel.

Emergency preparedness

We prepare in the event of a hurricane, snow storm, or another natural disaster. We keep flashlights and batteries on hand in case of a power outage. CPR training is mandatory in many high schools in the United States. Preparing for dental emergencies is crucial, too, says Dr. Winkel in Midland, MI. Keep her phone number in your contacts, and call when the unexpected happens: (989) 631-6680.

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