Imagine you're watching your child practice their newest skateboard trick. Do you know what to do when they chip a tooth?
Trauma or severe pain is a sign that you should see a dentist as soon as possible for emergency care. Chipped, broken, or loose teeth, throbbing or shooting pain are all signs you need someone to take a look at your teeth.
It's important to visit a dentist in this case because delaying care can make the damage worse. A broken tooth can break into the gum line, making the tooth harder to repair. A severe toothache can be the sign of an infection. Going without treatment can allow that infection to spread to other areas of your jaw and gums. An infection that spreads beyond one tooth will require a more expensive treatment.
What to Expect from an Emergency Dental Visit
Your dentist will ask how you hurt your tooth, and ask you to describe your pain. If they think your tooth is infected, they may make your tooth very cold, and ask you to describe what it feels like, and how long it feels that way. This can help them judge how deep the infection is.
After an examination of your tooth or teeth, you'll get dental x-rays. This gives your dentist the best possible information about the damage to your tooth.
Your treatment will vary, based on why the tooth is damaged. An infected nerve might need antibiotics, followed by a root canal and crown. A chipped tooth may only need cosmetic treatment. A broken or completely missing tooth may need a bridge or implant to replace it.
Your dentist should give you a thorough explanation of what treatment is best for you and answer all your questions.
Preventing Emergency Dental Care
We all know that accidents happen, but there is a way to protect teeth from trauma. When you or your children are playing sports, they should wear a mouth guard to protect their teeth. Simple mouth guards are available at sports stores and some pharmacies.
The best way to protect your teeth from infection is good dental hygiene. This means brushing twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste, flossing every day, and seeing your dentist for cleanings twice a year. Infections that need immediate care are usually the result of a small cavity that allowed germs inside the tooth. Preventing and catching small cavities is the key to avoiding infections and root canals.
Talk to an emergency dental care specialist like Children's Dentistry of Lake County for more tips on preventing dental emergencies.