Knowing how to handle a traumatic dental situation is important for your health and your family's oral health. If you are suffering from a dental emergency such as a knocked-out tooth, unexplained or persistent bleeding, a painful toothache, or jaw injury, you should reach out to your dentist immediately. At our Chicago, IL, practice, Dr. Robert W. Hessberger provides emergency dental services so that patients can receive high-quality care when they need it most. Call (773) 792-5562 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.
Defining a Dental Emergency
There are several ways in which teeth can be damaged. While some mishaps can wait until normal business hours, there are other situations that require immediate attention. You are experiencing a true dental emergency if you have:
- Bleeding that will not stop
- A loose or knocked-out permanent tooth
- A cracked or fractured tooth that is causing pain
- Sustained a significant jaw injury
- Painful swelling
- A severe toothache
In cases of severe, persistent bleeding or significant pain, visit your local emergency room.
If you find yourself experiencing a dental emergency, knowing what to do until you arrive at our office can be incredibly beneficial.
How to Handle a Dental Emergency
Unfortunately, accidents happen at the most inopportune times and can be a huge source of stress and anxiety. If you find yourself experiencing a dental emergency, knowing what to do until you arrive at our office can be incredibly beneficial.
A Knocked-Out Tooth
When trauma occurs, a tooth may become partially or fully dislodged. If a tooth is completely knocked out, try to locate it. Grasping it at the crown, gently rinse it off. If you are able, place the tooth back in the socket. If this is not possible, keep it moist by storing it in milk or salt water, or by holding it in your mouth. Contact us and visit our office immediately. If treated soon enough, Dr. Hessberger may be able to successfully save the tooth.
Severely Chipped Teeth
If you have sustained severely chipped, cracked, or fractured teeth, try to locate the pieces if possible, place them in a plastic bag, and bring them with you to our office. Discomfort can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers. We also recommend applying a cold compress to the external jaw to help reduce swelling and inflammation. If there are sharp edges irritating your tongue or lips, place a small piece of orthodontic wax or sugarless chewing gum over the area.
Dental Pain or Swelling
For a toothache, abscess, or other severe dental pain, gently swish with a warm salt water rinse. This will help cleanse and soothe the area. Take over-the-counter pain relievers if necessary and apply a cold compress or ice pack to help reduce swelling and discomfort.
What Is Not Considered a Dental Emergency?
Although any unexpected incident can be nerve-wracking, there are some situations that can generally wait until normal office hours:
- A lost filling, crown, or bridge
- Minor or superficial chips or cracks
- A damaged night guard or retainer
- A dull toothache
You should still call and schedule an appointment at our practice as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
Contact Our Practice for More Information
If you are experiencing a dental emergency, do not wait. Reach out to a team member right away so that Dr. Hessberger can address the issue and help you avoid further complications. Contact us online or give us a call at (773) 792-5562.