In the case of a dental emergency, make a trip to your dentist instead of the emergency room for expert care of your dire health needs.
Not all medical emergencies deserve a trip to the emergency room. In fact, acute dental emergencies, or any emergency related to the teeth and surrounding tissue that is not life-threatening, should be specially treated by a dentist that provides emergency dental services near Little Rock rather than an emergency room doctor.
See Your Dentist in an Emergency
Your dentist, unlike an emergency room nurse, already has an intimate knowledge of your family’s teeth. Not only is this convenient, but it establishes a relationship of trust. By visiting your dentist in an emergency instead of the ER, you can be confident that they will have the expertise necessary to specifically treat your acute dental needs.
What to Do in a Dental Emergency
Dental emergencies that go untreated can have long-term consequences. Aside from the pain that they might cause, which makes eating and brushing difficult, oral infections can spread to other parts of the body and potentially cause other health problems.
To improve your odds of a healthy recovery, it is important to handle your emergency situation quickly and properly. Begin by contacting a dentist that provides emergency dental services near Little Rock and setting an appointment, then prepare for your visit appropriately:
- If there is a missing, loose, or chipped tooth: Gather any pieces of tooth that may have fallen out and wash them carefully, holding your tooth by the crown rather than the root to avoid further damage. Then try to carefully hold the pieces in place until you arrive at the dentist. If the tooth cannot be replaced in your mouth, store it in some milk or slightly salty water and bring it with you to the dentist.
- If there is oral bleeding: Attempt to stop the bleeding by applying pressure with gauze or a tea bag. Be careful not to swallow any blood or parts of teeth to avoid further complications.
- If there is swelling: Reduce swelling by applying a cold compress to check near the affected area. If the pain is especially unbearable, take a non-aspirin pain reliever such as Tylenol, but do not apply anything directly onto the area as it may cause the gums to burn.
- If there is an infection: Abscess teeth are incredibly painful and require immediate attention to prevent the infection from spreading. If dealing with an infected tooth, rinse your mouth out with warm salt water to bring pus to the surface and repeat often until visit your dentist.
- If there are broken braces, bands, or wires: Broken orthodontic appliances can be both awkward and painful if not treated quickly. If a brace snaps off, a wire becomes dislodged, or a band comes loose, replace the piece as best as possible using dental wax, toothpaste, or denture glue.
- If there is a lost filling or crown: Both crowns and fillings are restorative dental measures meant to protect teeth from potential damage, and therefore must be replaced as soon as possible if lost or damaged. If you have lost a filling, temporarily fill the void using sugarless gum. If a crown has fallen out, replace it with toothpaste or denture glue until you can have it reapplied. If the area is in pain, clove oil can help numb the area.
If any of these actual dental care problems arise, seek emergency dental care promptly. To learn more about options for emergency dental services near Little Rock, contact Arkansas Family Dental or call 501-683-8886. The Arkansas Family Dental staff is on standby during office hours to facilitate the care that you and your family need in case of an emergency.