How to Prepare for a Dental Emergency
What is a good dental emergency plan?
No one wants to experience a dental emergency, but life has a way of throwing unexpected situations our way. Even if you take great care of your teeth, you could still experience a dental emergency. As a result, it’s wise to prepare for the possibility of a dental emergency, but with so many misconceptions on the internet, it can be hard to figure out how to do that. Here is how you can prepare for—and work to prevent—a dental emergency.
Have a plan in place.
The best way to prepare for a dental emergency is to learn what you should do in each possible scenario. For example, if your tooth gets knocked out in a fall or car accident, there are steps you can take to increase the likelihood that Dr. Staley can successfully place your natural tooth back into its socket. These steps include picking the tooth up without touching the root, rinsing the tooth in warm water, and storing it properly by placing it back in the socket, in the pouch of your cheek, or in a cup of milk or saliva until you can get to our office in Boise.
Once you know what you should do in each instance, you can take steps to prepare for those scenarios. Add supplies you’re likely to need to your first aid kit, such as gauze, dental cement to hold dislodged crowns in place temporarily, clove oil for pain relief, and a small container to hold a tooth. This will ensure that you’re not running around trying to find the necessary supplies at a local pharmacy; you’ll have everything you need right away and can simply focus on getting to our office.
Learn to assess the urgency of an issue.
Some dental emergencies require more immediate attention than others, so it’s important to learn the difference between an emergency that can wait until our office opens and one that requires immediate attention regardless of what time it is. Dental emergencies will usually cause pain or discomfort, but a good rule of thumb is that you should seek immediate treatment if you’re in severe pain. Mild toothaches and cracked teeth, lost fillings, or lost crowns that aren’t causing severe pain can all usually wait until our office opens.
If a tooth is knocked out, knocked loose, or severely cracked or broken, you should contact our office here in Boise immediately for an emergency appointment. You should also seek immediate treatment for severe toothaches, especially when the pain is spreading to your jaw, ear, and neck, or you have a fever or swollen lymph nodes in your neck. Knowing the difference between a situation that can wait and one that can’t will help you to get immediate treatment when you need it and save you from unnecessary panic when you don’t.
Prevent dental emergencies by visiting the dentist regularly.
You can reduce the likelihood of dental emergencies related to decay by visiting Dr. Staley for an appointment every six months. Small dental issues such as cavities or loose fillings can easily become dental emergencies if they’re left untreated, especially since they tend to be completely painless until the issue is already severe. If you wait to schedule an appointment until you’re in pain, more involved treatments may already be necessary—and you could end up with a dental emergency instead of a mild toothache. During your regularly scheduled appointment, Dr. Staley can spot potential issues early and treat them before they have the chance to grow bigger. We understand that going to the dentist isn’t what most people would prefer to do with their afternoon, but regular appointments save you time, money, and pain in the long run.
Follow your dentist’s recommendations.
During your regularly scheduled appointment, Dr. Staley might provide you with recommendations to improve your oral health. This may include asking you to floss and use mouthwash, recommending a nightguard to prevent you from injuring your teeth if you grind them in your sleep, or simply telling you about an area of your mouth you’re not cleaning as well during your regular oral hygiene routine. It’s always wise to follow Dr. Staley’s recommendations; after all, he’s trained to evaluate and help protect your oral health, so he knows what your teeth and gums need to be healthy.
Just as ignoring a doctor’s recommendations is a recipe for disaster, ignoring a dentist’s recommendations will almost always result in a dental emergency down the road. In most cases, the suggestions Dr. Staley makes are easy for you to implement on a daily basis, so you don’t have to worry about committing to huge life changes. Listening carefully to Dr. Staley’s directions and following them will help you avoid dental emergencies, but it will also decrease the number of smaller dental issues you run into.
While there are plenty of steps you can take to minimize your risk of encountering a dental emergency, sometimes life throws us a curveball. When that happens, being prepared with the knowledge and supplies to handle the situation can make all the difference. Not only will it help you to remain calm, but it may even help Dr. Staley to treat you faster and more effectively. If you’re suffering from a dental emergency in Boise or have any questions about how our office handles dental emergencies, feel free to call our office at any time.