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With fights breaking out every now and then, athletes who play professional ice hockey can expect to experience a dental emergency from time to time. The same goes for stunt performers, who risk life, limb, and their pearly whites whenever they’re on the job.
Dental emergencies, however, could happen to just about everyone. Your child could stumble on the playground and chip a tooth. You could knock out a tooth or two in a household accident. You can even chip a tooth even when you’re just watching TV while munching on popcorn.
In case you find yourself in a dental emergency situation, it would be great if you or anyone in your household knows a little first aid for a cracked or knocked-out tooth. However, anything you do will only be a temporary solution. For always, dental emergencies should only be fully addressed by emergency dentists.
You need to remember, however, that while all emergency dentists are schooled in dental care, not all dentists provide emergency services. While you could opt to go to your regular, family dentist for dental emergency cases, the urgency of the situation requires the attention of an emergency dentist who is available 24/7.
The round-the-clock availability of emergency dental offices is the primary reason why they should be the ones to go to when you or a loved one sustains a dental injury.
Let’s say that you heard a strange noise downstairs in the middle of the night, and you come down to check it out. Unfortunately, your kid left a toy on the stairs, and you stepped on it, causing you to fall face-first. You feel incredible pain, and find out that you’re missing a tooth.
Since a knocked-out tooth can still be re-implanted within 30 minutes, you pick it up, put it in your mouth or in a glass of milk to keep it moist, then drive to your dentist.
Then you remember that it’s one in the morning, and your dentist’s office is most likely closed. Obviously, given the 30-minute window for successful re-implantation, you cannot wait for it to open in the morning. You will have lost your tooth for good by then.
Emergency dentists’ offices, on the other hand, are almost always open, and they will provide you the treatment and relief you need regardless of the time of day.
Your regular dentist may be an expert in installing braces, crowns, or veneers, but dealing with dental emergencies is an entirely different animal.
For one thing, a dental emergency almost always comes with severe pain, and addressing that is the primary objective of an emergency dentist. Whether you’re going in for a knocked-out tooth, a cracked one, an abscessed tooth, or a bad case of a toothache, an emergency dentist will do his or her best to relieve you of your pain and stabilize the injured tooth and the soft tissue around it to prevent further damage.
Once the pain has been dealt with, the emergency dentist will, in the case of a knocked-out tooth, begin the re-implantation process by administering a local anesthetic to numb the gums. The dentist will then re-insert the avulsed tooth into the socket and splint it to adjacent teeth to keep it stable. He or she will also instruct you to not bite on the splinted tooth until the bone around it has healed completely.
The re-implantation of an avulsed tooth is just one of the many things that an emergency dentist can do to help you. Go to an emergency dentist for all types of dental injuries, and you will get proper relief and treatment no matter what time of day.