What to do If You Have a Dental Emergency

Some people in this world just don’t tend to react well to emergencies. These are the folks who panic the moment things begin to go wrong, health-related or otherwise. Then there are the people who never seem to take things seriously, even when the situation warrants a more immediate response. Though a happy medium approach to emergencies is probably ideal, the reality is that when it comes to matters of the mouth, it can be difficult to know exactly what constitutes an actual dental emergency–and what to do when one occurs.

As an experienced dentist in Stoneham, Massachusetts, Dr. Joseph Pizzarello is no stranger to dental emergencies. Here therefore suggests the following when it comes to urgent dental situations:

Don’t panic
Losing a tooth or experiencing some form of oral trauma can be disturbing without a doubt; but panicking isn’t going to help you at a time like this. Rather than lose your cool, try to take a deep breath and then figure out a game plan.

Don’t delay
Once you’ve had a moment to assess the situation, pick up the phone and call your dentist’s office for help–even if it’s after hours or on a weekend. There are plenty of dentists who understand that emergencies don’t always happen during regular working hours, and it’s wrong to assume that you won’t be able to get help at 3:00 in the morning on a Tuesday or 9:00 on a Saturday night.

Do as you’re told

If your situation truly warrants emergency status, then your dentist’s office will probably instruct you to come in as soon as possible. Before you hang up the phone, however, make certain that you’re clear on how to handle your injury until you can be seen in person. For example, if you’re told to apply a cold compress to the affected area of your mouth, then be sure do just that.

What types of situations are usually considered emergencies?

According to Dr. Pizzarello, any type of facial injury or trauma will usually fall under the category of “urgent scenario.” The same holds true when a tooth breaks, cracks, or falls out in its entirety.

If you’re not sure that your situation qualifies as an emergency, then it’s always better to contact your dentist’s office and check in. In some cases, something as common as a lost filling may be considered “urgent” depending on the underlying circumstances. So rather than rely on your own judgment, ask someone like your dentist who’s actually in a position to make the call.

*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.

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