What To Know if You Need an Emergency Tooth Extraction
Do you think you need an emergency tooth extraction but you're not sure? Here's everything you need to know about emergency dental services.
There are few things more frightening than wondering if you need emergency services when the doctor's office is closed. Especially if the emergency is in your mouth.
While there are plenty of 24-hour health care services, it's impossible to find a dentist open at 2 am. Rather than panicking, it's time to arm yourself with some knowledge.
Here's what to do if you think you need an emergency tooth extraction.
How to Determine if it's Urgent
While you may feel discomfort, not every dental problem is an emergency. Most of them will not require emergency tooth extraction.
However, you also don't want to falsely assume everything is okay only to find out that waiting has made the problem even worse. Let's take a look at what an urgent emergency is.
If you're experiencing bleeding that won't stop, you might need an emergency tooth extraction.
If you have knocked out a permanent tooth or one is loose, it's an emergency. If your jaw is injured, there is swelling in the area, or you have a severe toothache, they're all signs of an emergency.
At this point, if you're experiencing any, some, or all of these conditions, contact your dentist right away.
If your tooth has been knocked out, you need to act immediately. See your dentist within 30 minutes of it being knocked out so you can save your original tooth.
However, if you have any of the following symptoms, they are considered to be non-emergencies and can probably wait until the dentist is back in his or her office.
Any lost fillings, crowns, or bridges can wait. You might feel uncomfortable until it's replaced, but it's not a health emergency.
Even broken or cracked teeth can usually wait. However, there's a lot of pain associated with the broken or cracked tooth, consider it an emergency and call your dentist.
A dull toothache might feel slightly painful but it's not life-threatening. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever like Tylenol to help you feel better and reduce the swelling.
While food stuck in your teeth might feel uncomfortable, usually floss will help get it out. If it doesn't wait until your dental office is open and then give them a call.
Likewise, if you lost or damaged your retainer or mouthguard. These are annoyances, not emergencies.
Helpful Home Remedies
Before you contact your dentist to let them know you may need an emergency tooth extraction there are a few home remedies you can try.
These are helpful whether you are experiencing an emergency or just have some mild discomfort.
Try dissolving a teaspoon of salt in a cup of boiling water. It's a warm mouthwash that can relieve irritation and reduce swelling.
If your tooth has been knocked out, do NOT handle it by the root. Wash carefully with just water.
Try to place it back in its socket. If that doesn't work, place it in a glass of milk until you see your dentist.
Flossing is a great habit for everyone to get into. If you're feeling pain around one specific tooth, it could just mean there's something stuck between them or in the gum tissue. Flossing might just work out the problem.
A cold compress works wonders for reducing swelling, stopping bleeding, and numbing the area.
Lastly, if you have hydrogen peroxide lying around, try using it as a mouthwash. It will kill any bacteria and help alleviate irritation. Do NOT swallow it.
If You Lack Dental Insurance and Need an Emergency Tooth Extraction
It's really scary when you think you need an emergency tooth extraction and you either don't have dental insurance or you're nowhere near your regular dentist.
If you're in either or both of those situations, there are some solutions.
Check online for any discount dental plans or membership programs. Do your homework and choose a dental plan that works for your dental needs.
If there's a dental school in your area, contact them and see if you can't schedule an emergency appointment. You'll have a student working on you but they are supervised by their teachers who are practicing dentists.
You can also go online to see if there are any free clinics or health centers in your area. While they may not have a dentist on call, if you really need an emergency tooth extraction, any medical professional should be able to help you.
Remember that the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get. You'll be in more pain, it will be more expensive, more work may be required.
When to Go to the Emergency Room
If you know you need an emergency tooth extraction, call your dentist right away. Sometimes, for whatever reason, they may not be able to see you right away.
If you can't find a dentist or one can't see you immediately, don't wait. Go to the emergency room where they can help you.
What the Dentist Will Do
Once you arrive at the dentist's office, they're going to want to inspect your teeth to see what's wrong.
Your dentist may take x-rays to have a better idea of what's going on. After that, the course they take depends on the problem you're experiencing.
If you need an emergency tooth extraction, your dentist will numb the area first so that you don't continue to feel any pain. They'll then take the tooth out.
You'll then be given a prescription for antibiotics so you don't get an infection. Your dentist will explain if any further work is needed and then will have you follow up in a few days or a week to make sure you're healing properly.;
Find a Dentist You Trust
If you've just moved, ask neighbors and co-workers to recommend a good dentist to you.
Go online and check out the dentist's website before you make an appointment. See if they have any reviews so you have a general idea of what to expect.
Always take good care of your teeth in between visits to help ensure that you can avoid having to deal with an emergency tooth extraction.
Don't wait until the problem becomes unfixable. Keep your teeth healthy and strong and see your dentist regularly.
Contact us to schedule your next appointment.