Your First Steps After a Dental Emergency

A dental emergency can strike at any time and can take several forms. A toothache may not necessarily require a same-day visit to the dentist, but it can be a sign of a larger problem that you shouldn’t ignore. 

On the other end of the spectrum, a broken or knocked-out tooth requires immediate attention, and the sooner you see the dentist, the better your chances of saving the tooth.

Knowing what steps to take and how to manage dental emergencies ensures that you get the care you need as quickly as possible. It can also save you time and spare you potential oral health problems in the future. 

Our team of dentists offer generalcosmetic, and emergency dentistry services at Arden Dental Group in the greater Asheville, North Carolina, area.

Your first steps after a dental emergency

A broken or fully knocked-out tooth is one of the most common examples of a dental emergency. Depending on the circumstances, it’s sometimes possible to save and reattach the tooth under the right conditions.

Steps to take if your tooth is knocked out include:

  1. Pick up the tooth if you can find it (be careful not to touch the root)
  2. Rinse with clean water only if necessary (don’t use soap or any chemicals or cleaning products)
  3. Try to gently insert the tooth back into the socket 
  4. Don’t dry the tooth or wrap it in tissue or gauze
  5. If you can’t reattach the tooth, keep it moist by placing it in your mouth or soaking it in milk
  6. Get to the dentist as quickly as possible (within 30 minutes to an hour is ideal)

If your tooth is broken or fractured (but the root remains intact) due to a sports accident or other form of trauma, make an appointment to see the dentist as soon as possible. 

Even if the tooth isn’t knocked out, the impact from the trauma may cause internal damage to the tooth. If bacteria gets inside the tooth, the pulp can become inflamed and infected and require a root canal.

Other types of dental emergencies

Another common type of dental emergency is an abscessed or infected tooth. Contact us to schedule an appointment if you notice signs of an infection, swelling, and pain. Infections can result from significant tooth decay or gum disease.

Soft tissue injuries to your tongue, the lining of your cheeks, or your gums may also require immediate attention.

If you’re not sure if you’re dealing with a dental emergency or what to do about other dental issues like a broken crown or damaged braces, give us a call and we can help.

If you’re in an accident or fall and experience significant trauma or bleeding, seek emergency treatment right away. 

For more information about what to do during a dental emergency and other oral health problems, contact us at Arden Dental Group today to schedule an appointment.