Dental emergencies can be scary, and we hope you and your family never have one. But if you do, there’s really no reason to panic when you know you can contact your dentist in Harker Heights for prompt care and attention. In this week’s blog post, Dr. Melinda Duncan and Dr. Brenna Sura share what your next steps should be following any dental emergency. Spoiler alert: keep calm, get the situation under control, and then call us right away!
Step One: Evaluate the Situation
Too many people avoid getting the urgent dental care they need because they don’t realize they’re dealing with a true emergency. In general, if you are in pain or bleeding from the mouth, you should seek professional attention right away. Some of the most common situations we treat as emergencies include…
- Knocked out or dislodged teeth
- Something lodged between teeth
- Broken crown/filling/dental restoration
This is certainly not an exhaustive list, so please don’t hesitate to contact us with anything that you think needs emergency attention. While we are well-equipped to provide care for most emergencies, you should head to the ER for a wound that bleeds profusely for more than 10 minutes or if you have broken a bone in your jaw.
Step Two: Stop the Bleeding/Swelling/Pain
You are likely to experience bleeding, swelling, and discomfort with any dental emergency. Try to control all three before you can make it into our office. Place firm, consistent pressure on an open wound with a clean gauze or cloth to stop or slow bleeding. Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater to kill bacteria, reduce swelling, and soothe pain. Applying an ice pack to the affected cheek in 10-minute intervals (10 minutes on, 10 off) can help to reduce swelling. You may also want to take an over the counter pain medication to ease discomfort — we can prescribe you something stronger if you need it later.
Step Three: Call Your Dentist ASAP
Now that you’ve gotten the situation under control, it’s time to get in touch with your emergency dentist in Harker Heights. If you call our office during business hours, we will get all the details on what’s going on and provide advice that’s specific to your emergency. Then we’ll plan on a time for you to come in as soon as is necessary given your situation. If you reach us outside of our office hours, though, just leave a detailed message and we will get back to you as soon as we open the next morning.
Bonus Tip: Save Our Number Today
You can’t prevent dental emergencies, but you can help yourself be more prepared if one happens to you. Save our number in your phone right now so we will only be a few taps away when you need us most. When the unexpected happens to you or someone you love, reach us at (254) 831-4329 and we’ll have you out of pain and on with your life in no time!