With COVID-19 sweeping across the nation, many dental practices, including our office, are open for emergency purposes only. But what is a dental emergency and what should you do to handle one if it happens? Dr. John C. Cranham, a dentist in Chesapeake, VA, lists common dental emergencies and what to do until you’re seen in the office.
Taking Care of a Dental Emergency
The first thing you should do in the event of a dental emergency is to call our office. We want to make sure you get seen as soon as possible. Below is a list of some of the more common dental emergencies and how you can assist at home:
Severe Tooth Pain
Tooth pain is never something you should ignore, particularly if it’s sharp and sudden. It can be caused by a number of different things, including infection, an abscess, or tooth decay. Unless you can see the abscess or decay, it can be hard to tell what the cause is without a dentist taking a look. Use over the counter pain medicine to help with the pain until you can be seen. A cold compress can assist if you experience swelling.
Most importantly, try not to panic if you get an adult tooth knocked out. Instead, try to retrieve it if possible, touching only the crown and not the tooth root. Gently rinse off any dirt and debris, but avoid scrubbing, as it can cause damage. Place the tooth in a cup of milk or your own saliva to preserve it as best you can. Never attempt to put the tooth back in the socket on your own.
At the office, the dentist can evaluate if your tooth can be salvaged. If not, there’s no reason to worry. We offer many options to replace missing teeth. Dr. Cranham often recommends dental implants as they’re considered the gold standard of tooth replacement. They feel and look like your natural tooth!
Broken Dental Crown or Bridge
Most dental restorations are sturdy and can last for years. However, there’s always the possibility of one getting damaged. If your dental crown breaks or falls out, do not attempt to reattach it. You can bring the pieces with you to your appointment, but it’s likely that a new dental crown will have to be made to replace the broken one.
For a dental bridge, make sure you have all of the pieces and bring them with you. Depending on the condition, Dr. Cranham will decide if it’s something that can be repaired and still function properly. Otherwise, a new dental bridge will be made to fit you perfectly.
Your Dentist in Chesapeake, Virginia
If you have a dental emergency, call us immediately. We’ll also be here for you for regular checkups and cleanings when the COVID-19 crisis is over. You’ll need a good checkup to ensure the pandemic stress hasn’t damaged your smile. Call us or schedule an appointment for the future online!