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Important First Steps if You Have a Dental Emergency

Though we try not to think about them, accidents - and emergencies - do happen. We should not constantly be worrying and stressing out, but we should be prepared and aware of what to do should a dental emergency arise. And a dental emergency can take a few different forms and, depending on that form, will dictate what course of action a person should take. So to prepare and be ready for whatever might happen, we are going to provide you with some important first steps that you can take with this type of emergency.

Assess the Situation

First things first - assess the situation. No matter if you are the person in need or it is another person, you need to take inventory of what has just happened. Though there may be a lot of pain, try to relax and work slowly. See if there are any missing teeth and, if there are, where they went. See if there are any cracked teeth or if there is any other damage to the mouth or gums. Of course, assess any bleeding and what its origin might be - perhaps there is something lodged into the gum or mouth. Before you do anything else, get your bearings and try to be patient with the situation.

Knocked-Out Tooth

If a tooth has been knocked out, then find the missing tooth. Once found, try to grab the tooth by the crown and, if it is dirty, rinse with water. Importantly, do not scrub the tooth or remove any tissue that may be on it. And this might be counterintuitive, but you should try to put the tooth back in place. However, do not try to force the tooth back into place. If the tooth does not fit, put it into a glass of milk. If you do not have milk, then a glass of water with a dash of salt. Once you have your feet under you, as it were, immediately go to your dentist.

Chipped or Broken Teeth

When you or someone else’s tooth has become chipped or broken, try to save as many pieces of the tooth as possible. For this dental emergency, apply gauze to the affected area until the bleeding has stopped. Then, apply an ice pack to the affected area. Like the other emergencies, see your dentist as soon as possible.

Partially Dislodged Tooth

If you or someone else’s tooth has become partially dislodged - it has not been knocked out but has drastically shifted - immediately go to your dentist. Your dentist will then be able to do what they can to re-establish the tooth in its socket. If the area is painful, apply an ice pack to the painful area until you see your dentist.

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