With the COVID-19 crisis, many dental offices have offered limited hours and services. However, emergency dentistry is important and necessary to have available even during a pandemic. Dr. Sahil Goyal, a Columbia, MD family dentist, lets you know what constitutes a dental emergency and how you can handle one if it happens to you.
Handling a Dental Emergency
If you experience a dental emergency, the first thing you need to do is call us. We want to get you into our office and seen as soon as possible. Below is a list of common dental emergencies and how you can help them until you’re seen in the office.
Severe Tooth Pain
Tooth pain isn’t something that you should just ignore, especially if it’s sharp or comes on suddenly. The pain can be caused by a number of conditions. These include extreme tooth decay, an abscess, or an infection. Unfortunately, most of the time it can’t be determined exactly which is the cause until a dentist can do an examination. Use over the counter pain medication to help ease the pain and a cold compress if you experience any swelling.
It’s not surprising if you panic when an adult tooth is knocked out. But you have to stay calm and make sure you retrieve your tooth. Avoid touching the tooth root and pick it up only by the crown. Carefully rinse off any dirt or debris that’s gathered on the tooth. Place the tooth in a cup of milk or your own saliva to help preserve it. Never attempt to put it back in the socket by yourself.
Bring the tooth with you to your appointment. Your dentist will examine it and determine if it’s still viable for replacement. If it isn’t, you don’t have to worry. Our office offers many replacement options for missing teeth. In particular, we offer dental implants, often considered the gold standard of tooth replacement. They’re the most stable and natural way to replace a missing tooth.
Broken, Cracked, or Chipped Tooth
Sometimes, a chipped tooth can be something simple and cosmetic. When it’s more severe, that’s when it becomes a dental emergency. A severe break or chip can expose the tooth pulp and nerves inside your tooth. This is extremely painful and you don’t want to get an infection inside your tooth.
A severe crack can also expose the inside of your tooth, leaving an opening for bacteria to invade. It’ll depend on the severity and location of the break or crack to determine the treatment. Dental bonding may be used to fill in cracks. Porcelain veneers or a dental crown may be used to cover a large break.
Your Dentist in Columbia, Maryland
If you have a dental emergency, call us immediately. We’ll also be here after the pandemic to assist with any impact the stress of it may have made on your smile. Call us or schedule an appointment online for the future!