Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dental Injuries Can Mean Dental Emergencies

Surfing lessons during summer vacation sound like the ultimate experience when visiting the beach; unless a severe collision between the surfer's face and the board occurs, knocking out or chipping teeth. What a way to ruin a vacation. Whether it's a sporting mishap, an auto or bicycle accident, or a serious fall, a dental injury can occur when least expected. Anytime a permanent tooth is knocked-out or dislodged (when a tooth has been partly pushed into or out of its socket, or sideways) it should be treated as a dental emergency.

Injured teeth require immediate attention from a dentist or endodontist, a dentist who specializes in treating traumatic dental injuries. The first thirty minutes after injury can mean the difference between saving a tooth or losing it. An endodontist can determine treatment options after an exam. The exam will also determine if any adjacent teeth are also injured.

After a dental injury occurs, it's important to discuss with your dentist the following practices*:

  • Collect the tooth, or tooth fragments, touching only the crown, never the root. 
  • If there is dirt or debris on the tooth, ask your dentist if you should rinse it gently in lukewarm water for a few seconds only. **Do not scrub it!
  • Consult with your dentist if you should insert the tooth back into its socket, holding it in place with gauze, which may also help control bleeding. 
  • Use an ice pack or something cold to control pain until reaching the endodontist.

Vacation, business trip, or at home, no matter the location, find an endodontist as soon as possible after a dental injury occurs. Because endodontists specialize in emergency dental situations, most have flexible scheduling and even weekend appointments available.

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