With COVID-19, many dental offices have been following the ADA’s recommendations and closing for everything but emergency dental services. Ridgetop Dental Group realizes that handling dental emergencies is still necessary even during a pandemic. Dr. Datta, a dentist in Northern VA, offers advice on what to do if you find yourself experiencing a dental emergency.
Handling a Dental Emergency
If you’re having a dental emergency, the first thing you should do is call our office. We want to make sure we can get you in and taken care of as soon as possible. Below is a list of common dental emergencies and how you can help until you’re seen in the office:
Severe Tooth Pain
When you have tooth pain, it isn’t something you should just brush off. This is especially true if it comes on suddenly or is really sharp. Tooth pain can come from a variety of conditions, such as tooth decay, an abscess, or an infection. Many of these conditions aren’t visible except to the eye of an experienced dentist. Use over the counter pain medication to help ease your pain and a cold compress if you experience any swelling.
Though you may want to, it’s important that you don’t panic if an adult tooth is knocked out. Stay calm so you can retrieve the tooth. Be sure to pick it up by the crown and avoid touching the tooth root. Gently rinse off any dirt that may have accumulated and put it in a cup of milk or your own saliva to try and keep it preserved. Never try to put the tooth back in your mouth on your own.
When you get to the appointment, Dr. Datta will analyze the tooth and determine if it’s viable for replacement. If it isn’t, you don’t have to worry. Our office offers multiple methods of replacing missing teeth for our patients. In particular, we specialize in and recommend dental implants. They’re often considered the gold standard of tooth replacement due to their stability and how natural they feel in the mouth.
Broken, Chipped, or Cracked Tooth
If you’re lucky, a chipped tooth will be just a cosmetic issue that can be fixed easily. However, when you have a severe chip or break, you’ll definitely recognize the difference. A break or chip that’s considered an emergency is when a large chunk of your tooth is removed, exposing the tooth pulp and nerves. This causes pain and you’ll want to get it fixed immediately.
A cracked tooth also causes problems. It gives bacteria access to the tooth pulp, which can then get infected. This is what leads to the need for a root canal. Never try to fix chips, cracks, or breaks on your own. Take over the counter pain medication and rinse your mouth out with warm saltwater. Dr. Datta will evaluate the tooth and determine whether dental bonding, a dental crown, or another method is the best solution.
Your Dentist in Northern Virginia
If you have a dental emergency, please call us immediately. We’ll also be here when pandemic restrictions loosen to make sure the stress of the crisis hasn’t impacted your smile. Call us or schedule an appointment online for the future!