The Benefits Of Being Prepared For Dental Emergencies
Nobody expects a medical emergency of any kind, and when things happen that result in injury the best case scenario is to get yourself to a medical professional as quickly as possible in order to potentially avoid the complications that come with waiting too long for treatment. While the obvious course of action when an injury takes place is to head immediately to an emergency room where the staff is equipped to deal with an number of injuries that can happen to a person, there are such things as "specialized injuries" where the immediate determination to go to an emergency room might be the wrong choice. The case of "dental emergencies" is one of the most obvious, where an emergency room might be able to stabilize an injury but not be equipped to actually save teeth that have been knocked out. In these kinds of cases, it is best to be able to assess the amount of damage and the severity of the injury and make the decision to go to an emergency room or an emergency dentist based on that assessment.
If you are in an accident that results in trauma to the mouth or teeth in the form of either a blunt-force blow to the mouth or a cut that has been produced inside of the mouth, you will have a far better chance of potentially saving any teeth that have been knocked loose or free if you head to an emergency dentist first, and save the time that would have been spent going to an emergency room only to then be sent to the dentist. The amount of time that the teeth are outside the body or free from their typical position is usually one of the major determining factors that will decide if it can be re-implanted and saved or if you will end up with a prosthetic tooth in its place. There is no way to effectively prepare for a dental emergency except knowledge of which cases should result in a dental visit and which should result in an emergency room visit. The general rule is simple, if you are bleeding profusely head immediately to the emergency room, where they have the ability to treat the life-threatening aspects of blood loss. Do not be concerned with saving your teeth, and instead be concerned only with the amount of blood that is being lost. You can survive without teeth, but you cannot survive if you bleed too much, so always go to the emergency room if you are bleeding heavily. If you have had a tooth or teeth knocked out and you are only slightly bleeding or are not bleeding at all, you should consider going to an emergency dentist first. If the tooth that has been knocked out is properly stored in cold liquid like milk or water (nothing acidic) then there is a chance that the tooth will be able to be re-implanted and potentially be saved. While few people are prepared with a glass of milk on hand, any liquid will do that is not acidic. This could even mean filling a cup with saliva and placing the tooth into it for transport. By minimizing the amount of time the tooth is without a blood supply and minimizing the amount of decay that will be happening during the timeframe until you see the dentist, you have a greater chance of saving that tooth.
Always keep your dentist's phone number and address in your purse or wallet in case a dental emergency happens. Make sure you know the operating hours of your dentist, and ask them if they can take an emergency case if necessary. Lastly, always have someone call in advance before choosing to head to that dentist. If you drive all the way there to find out they are closed, precious time is lost that could have been spent going to a different dentist or the emergency room. Always be prepared, it can save your teeth and your life.