What constitutes a dental emergency?

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There are a range of different problems or situations you may encounter throughout your life that could constitute a dental emergency. It is important to be aware of what you should do if you injure yourself or if you are in pain, and who to go to.
In this article, we will look at the different scenarios which will require a dental emergency appointment, and look at alternative routes to go down if an emergency dentist is not available to see you immediately.

I have knocked out my tooth
If you have knocked out a tooth, you should immediately seek medical attention. If you receive proper care straight away, there is a high chance that the tooth will be saved. However, the longer you leave it, the smaller that chance becomes.
In between knocking out your tooth and being seen in an appointment, you should take precautions to make sure that your tooth is not damaged whilst outside of your mouth. Make sure you pick up the tooth by the crown or top of the tooth, as touching the roots can damage it.
Once you have picked it up, begin gently rinsing the tooth to remove any excess dirt or debris. Make sure you do not scrub the tooth as this could remove important tissues and damage the tooth further.
Once the tooth is clean, try gently popping it back into its socket, but if this is not possible, place the tooth in a cup of milk, and contact your dentist as soon as possible for the best chance of saving the knocked-out tooth.

Cracked or fractured tooth
A cracked or fractured tooth is definitely worthy of an emergency dental appointment. Usually, a fractured tooth is an indication of damage inside of the tooth itself, as well as the outside. In some cases, fractures to the tooth are beyond saving, so just like if you knocked it out, be sure to arrange an emergency appointment as soon as possible.
Whilst you are waiting, you should wash your mouth gently with warm water, and not apply any painkillers to the gum, as this can burn the tissue, leaving you in more pain. If you need to soften the pain, take acetaminophen instead of painkillers or aspirin.
If you have chipped your tooth, you can arrange a normal appointment instead of an emergency appointment, as the tooth is not severely damaged. Just take precautions when eating and chewing, so you do not cause any more damage to the tooth.

I have a loose tooth
A loose tooth does constitute a dental emergency, and should be treated carefully, to avoid it falling out. The best thing to do in the meantime is apply pressure lightly to your tooth to try and keep it in place, but do not force it if this does not work.

Knowing when it is appropriate to visit the emergency dentist is important, so if you aren’t sure on what to do if you have damaged a tooth, ask yourself these questions:
• Is my mouth bleeding?
• Have I lost any teeth?
• Is the affected area swollen?
• Am I in a lot of pain?
If the answer to most of these is yes, then you should arrange an emergency dental appointment. If you are looking for an emergency dentist in Loughborough, be sure to contact Loughborough Dentists for a professional service, or look at our testimonials page to see what our previous patients have said!

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