When it comes to rating unpleasant experiences, dental emergencies are right up there with tax audits! Particularly since most people don’t have much experience with handling unexpected dental injuries or toothaches. Since the best thing you can do is prepare yourself before an emergency strikes, keep reading for answers to 5 frequently asked questions people often ask an emergency dentist in Medford. You can’t always prevent emergencies but, with this information, you’ll at least know how to handle them!
1. What Should I Do For a Knocked-Out a Tooth?
If you’ve knocked out a tooth, you’ll have the best chance of saving it if you can be seen within an hour. In the meantime, be sure to handle the tooth correctly by only touching the crown, not the root.
Then gently rinse the tooth off and either put it back in its socket (facing the right way) or in a glass of cold milk or water until your appointment. You can also apply a cold compress to your face for pain relief.
2. What Happens At an Emergency Visit?
Once you arrive, an emergency dentist will start by asking about your symptoms and reviewing your medical history. Then they’ll do the following:
- A visual exam – To get a general idea of what kind of treatment you’ll need, a dentist will visually inspect your teeth and gums.
- Take images – Then X-rays will be taken to assess what’s going on inside the jaw and roots of the teeth and whether there’s an infection present. A small intraoral camera may also be used to take up-close photographs of your teeth.
- Provide recommendations and treatment – Last, you’ll get a diagnosis and treatment recommendations and have an opportunity to ask questions before treatment begins.
3. What If I Have an Emergency On the Weekend?
If you have an emergency on the weekend or late at night, call a dentist in Medford and leave a message. The front desk staff will check the messages as soon as they arrive and get back to you first thing the next morning.
In some cases, however, it’s necessary to go to the hospital or an urgent care center for immediate attention.
4. When Should I Go To the Hospital?
The following situations require medical care right away:
- You have heavy bleeding that doesn’t subside after applying pressure for 15 minutes.
- You have a fractured or dislocated jaw.
- You have swelling, a severe toothache, or an abscessed tooth and you can’t make it to a dentist. You may have an infection that requires antibiotics as soon as possible.
- If you’ve knocked out a tooth and can’t see a dentist within an hour.
5. Can I Take Pain Medication Before I’m Seen?
It’s fine to take over-the-counter pain medication as directed. However, remember that, even if your pain goes away, you still need to come in for treatment as soon as possible. In some cases, you may have an infection that needs treatment before it becomes dangerous to your overall health.
Needing unexpected dental care isn’t ideal. But getting emergency treatment is well worth it because it gets you out of pain in the short-term and maintains your oral health in the long-term!
About the Author
Dr. Thomas Lloyd is a general and emergency dentist in Medford and a recipient of the Quintessence Award for clinical excellence in restorative dentistry. He and his colleagues make emergency care a priority and are always just a phone call away in any emergency. If you have any questions or need to schedule an appointment, he can be reached via his website.