First Choice Dental Emergencies – What to do After-Hours or Away from Home

Verona, WI, August 04, 2014 --( Forgetting your tooth brush as you head out on your summer vacation doesn’t constitute a dental emergency. But what about the severe tooth ache, missing filling, or chipped tooth that happens miles from home or hours after your dentist’s office has closed? First Choice Dental offers some tips on how to determine what types of issues and symptoms indicate whether or not you need emergency dental care. Dentists at First Choice Dental encourage you to call your dental office and to help you determine if you need to be seen immediately or not.

Issues requiring immediate care:

Broken teeth as a result of an accident or sport-related injury: the earlier treatment is sought, the more likely it is that we can preserve and protect the affected tooth.
A tooth that's chipped to the point of causing pain or discomfort.
Any dental pain that keeps you awake or makes eating, drinking or talking uncomfortable. Keeping your head elevated above your heart will help to minimize throbbing pain.
Disrupted or broken dental work that results in pain or discomfort that makes sleeping, eating, drinking or getting through your day painful or uncomfortable.
A swollen face or jaw.
A knocked out tooth – Hold the tooth by the crown and rinse (don’t scrub) the root of the tooth with water. Try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root and hold it in place. If that is not possible, place it between your cheek and gums or in milk and get to a dentist quickly.
Possible fractured jaw- Immobilize the jaw and seek immediate treatment at a hospital emergency room.

Issues that can probably wait: (but please call if you are unsure)

Toothache –Rinse the mouth with warm salt water (1 tsp. of salt in 8oz water) to clean it. Gently use floss to remove any food caught between teeth. Never put aspirin or other painkillers against the gums or near the teeth because it may burn the gum tissue.

Filling that has fallen out – Cover tooth in paraffin (wax); take pain reliever as needed.

Temporary or permanent crown has fallen out - Clean the crown of any loose materials, then use a denture cream adhesive like Fixodent or an over-the- counter temporary cement to gently replace the crown on the tooth until you can see a dentist.

Objects wedged between teeth – Try to gently remove the object with floss, not with any sharp or pointed instruments, and then rinse with warm salt water.

In case of a dental emergency:

If you have a dental emergency, call your dental offices. If it is after-hours you will most likely be given the choice to leave a message or get in contact with an answering service who will help you get in contact with the doctor-on-call.

· If traveling abroad contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate or ask the staff at your hotel to refer you to a dentist. If stateside, check online to find the state or local dental society phone number to get a referral.

Ask the local hospital emergency room to refer you to a dentist. If you are out of area or out of state and need to be seen, you may also want to check in with your insurance provider.

Some preventive measures to keep in mind:
- Make an appointment for a checkup before you leave on your trip especially if you are traveling to remote areas without access to good dental care.

- All root canal treatment should be completed before traveling to avoid potential infections and pain due to pressure changes while flying.

- Consider preventive tactics like avoiding chewing on ice, popcorn kernels and hard or sticky candy.

- Use scissors, not your teeth to cut tape or other materials.

- Wear a mouthguard when participating in sports or recreational activities.
First Choice dental
Hilary Kleese
(608) 848-5366