Family Dentistry

What To Do In Dental Emergencies

By November 5, 2019 No Comments

Dental emergencies, chipped toothWe all know that life is full of surprises, and unfortunately accidents do happen. You may take great care of your teeth, but dental emergencies can affect anyone at any age. Often sudden damage to your teeth or gums is caused by playing contact sports or car accidents, but it can also occur by simply tripping over and knocking your mouth, or by biting on something hard. And if you have children the odds of requiring emergency dental treatment at some stage are even greater!

Dental emergencies can include:

  • Sudden, chronic toothache
  • A broken or chipped tooth (fractured tooth)
  • A tooth (or teeth) being knocked out
  • Facial swelling
  • A filling falling out
  • Tooth abscess
  • Any severe pain or bleeding in your mouth

The first thing to remember in a dental emergency is to stay calm and call your dentist. We will book in an urgent assessment and advise you on anything you can or should do in the meantime. This could involve instructions on how to handle or store a tooth that has been knocked out, salt-water rinses for bleeding, whether pain medication is recommended, or applying ice packs to facial swelling.

The good news is that the cost of treating accidental damage to your teeth or gums could be contributed to by ACC. If you have suffered any form of accident to your mouth, contact us immediately. We will assess the damage, get any necessary treatment underway, and submit your forms to ACC. They will advise the cost of treatment that they may contribute to.

Occasionally an accident or injury will occur but you may not be sure if there has been any lasting damage. It might feel like everything in your mouth has settled down and there is nothing to worry about. However, we always recommend coming in for an expert assessment. Unfortunately, we do see cases where trauma to a tooth has happened some time ago but it took months or even years to become apparent. For example, impact to a tooth may damage it to the extent that it begins to die, which can take days, months or even years. It’s important to get your mouth checked urgently after any accident or injury – however minor – so that any necessary treatment can begin immediately, and so that the accident can be registered with ACC, who may assist with any future costs you incur.

Avoiding Tooth Accidents And Injuries

While accidents will always happen, our top tips for preventing tooth accidents and injuries are:

  1. Always wear a mouthguard when you are playing sport.
  2. Avoid chewing hard lollies, ice, popcorn kernels and other similarly hard foods which can potentially crack a tooth.
  3. Never use your teeth to rip or cut things – always use scissors.

If you suffer any form of dental emergency, don’t panic. Contact us immediately on (09) 837-2598 – we are here to help.

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