How to Navigate Dental Emergencies

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

At Eggert Family Dentistry, we are no stranger to unexpected dental incidents. From sports injuries to falls to hard or sticky foods that wreak havoc on teeth, we know there are plenty of scenarios that can lead to dental damage. The challenge comes in deciphering which scenarios constitute a dental emergency and which scenarios don’t need immediate attention, and then proceeding accordingly.

A cracked or broken tooth is one example of unexpected dental damage. In this case, it’s important to weigh the severity of the fracture. If your tooth is only slightly chipped or cracked, and isn’t resulting in significant nerve discomfort or pain, it’s likely not an emergency and you can call us during regular business hours. However, if your tooth is severely fractured and/or is causing you significant nerve pain (8-10/10 on the pain scale), we recommend you call Eggert Family Dentistry immediately. If the emergency happens after normal business hours, you will be directed to call Dr. Elizabeth’s cell phone number.

In the case of a severe trauma, like if a tooth is knocked out, there is a specific protocol we recommend you observe. Stop bleeding with a cold, wet compress. Then, while handling the tooth as little as possible and not touching the root of the root, try and place the dislodged tooth back into the socket. It is very important to orient the tooth in the correct direction. Lightly biting down on moistened gauze may help temporarily relodge the tooth. If your tooth does not go back into the socket, place it in a small cup of milk to preserve it and transport it to our office. Whether the tooth relodges or not, a knocked out tooth always constitutes an emergency. Call Eggert Family Dentistry right away. The tooth needs to be replanted within an hour.

Occasionally, an abscessed tooth will present itself with immediate and intense nerve pain and/or severe swelling. If you suspect this is happening for you, we recommend you give us a call at the onset of symptoms, once again utilizing Dr. Elizabeth’s cell phone number for after hour emergencies. In the middle of the night, she may not get the call. If at any time you feel like your airway is compromised or the swelling is out of control, it is important to go to the nearest Emergency Room.

We make all dental emergencies a top priority. Dr. Jeff and Dr. Elizabeth intentionally leave slots in their schedules to see patients who are in need of urgent dental care.

If you have any questions regarding dental emergencies, we would be happy to connect with you. We can be reached at 651.482.8412!

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