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What To Do In A Dental Emergency

Accidents happen. Most dental emergencies happen when you’re playing football or baseball, but it can even happen when you’re just riding a bike. And sometimes a dental emergency doesn’t result from an accident. You could just wake up one morning with a really bad toothache.

At Kirchner Dental in Jeffersonville IN, we won’t make you wait in an emergency. If you can call us before 9:30 a.m., we will see you that day. We’ll always try to fit you in no matter when you call.

Dental Emergencies Due To Accidents

So how do you know when something requires dental care, and what can wait until normal business hours? You can always call us at 812-406-0914 if you’re not sure. In the meantime, here are some general guidelines:

A chipped tooth or a minor tooth fracture can likely wait for an appointment during regular business hours.

If a crack is severe, or if you’re missing a large piece of your tooth (or a tooth has been knocked out completely), you should give us a call immediately. With a chipped or missing tooth, you run a chance for infection. Any wound, if not treated soon, can become more complicated to fix later on.

How To Prepare For A Dental Emergency

By their very nature, emergencies are hard to predict or prepare for. But there are a couple of steps you can take to be on the ready should something unexpected happen, or to prevent injury in the first place.

  • Wear an athletic mouthguard when playing sports. We offer customized athletic mouthguards that fit comfortably over your teeth. A mouthguard can help protect your teeth from severe damage.
  • Have an emergency medical kit on hand. In a box or container, keep a bottle of clean water, some sterile gauze, a small container to hold any teeth that are lost, and a note with our address and phone number listed on it.

What To Do While You Wait To See Us

In the case of a broken tooth: Try to collect every piece of the tooth you can find to bring with you to our office. Rinse your mouth with warm water and apply gauze to the tooth area. The gauze will keep it from bleeding but also protect the rest of your mouth from any sharp points of the broken tooth. Apply a cold compress to your face where the injury occurred. This will reduce swelling and ease pain.

If your tooth is knocked out: If your tooth is knocked out, you shouldn’t touch the root for any reason. You can rinse the tooth off in lukewarm water to get dirt off, but don’t remove any tissue. Be sure to touch only the crown.

It’s best to put the tooth back into its socket within the first hour after the accident if at all possible. But if it doesn’t go back into place easily, don’t force it. Just put the tooth in some cow’s milk–it contains a fluid balance that helps the root survive. Once you’ve done this, call our office immediately.

If you’re in pain with the injury, you can take some ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Non-Injury-Related Emergencies

Like we said earlier, some dental emergencies aren’t necessarily due to injury. You could wake up one morning with an abscessed tooth (a pocket of pus that happens due to a bacterial infection).

Even though it’s not an injury, there’s no reason for you to suffer in pain. There is also risk that an abscess can spread to your jaw, neck, or even brain. You’ll need dental care because abscesses don’t go away on their own.

Symptoms of an abscess can include:

  • Severe toothache that over-the-counter pain relievers are not helping
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Fever
  • Facial swelling
  • Swollen lymph nodes

If you’re in doubt, just give us a call at 812-406-0914. We’ll help you with your emergency.

Make An Appointment

If you think you’re experiencing a dental emergency, you can call us at 812-406-0914. You can call us even if you’re not sure what you’re experiencing is an actual emergency. You can also use our online contact form to send us a message. Just fill it out and a member of our team will get back with you as soon as we can.