Dental emergencies can happen at any time – even when most of the country is in lockdown. If you’re staying at home to protect yourself from the coronavirus, you could still end up suffering from severe oral pain, or you might knock out or break a tooth in an accident. You’ll need to act quickly to stop the pain and keep the rest of your smile safe while still taking the necessary steps to avoid an infection. Keep reading to learn about the 3 steps you need to follow when you have a dental emergency during quarantine.
1. Call Your Dentist Right Away
Right now, dentists in many states are only able to see patients in the case of an emergency such as knocked-out teeth, cracked teeth, and oral infections. As soon as you notice worrisome symptoms (which could include pain, visible tooth damage, bleeding, or swollen gums), get in touch with a dental practice you trust. Describe your situation in full detail so that they can accurately pinpoint what the problem likely is. Follow any first aid instructions they give you. If you have a real emergency, you’ll need to schedule an appointment so that your dentist can examine and treat you in person.
2. Take Care of Your Teeth at Home
To stop the situation from getting any worse, you need to do everything in your power to protect your teeth while you’re waiting for an emergency appointment. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do at home to deal with common dental issues. For example:
- For cracked teeth, keep the area clean by rinsing with warm water, and use an ice pack to control any swelling that occurs.
- If a tooth is lost, make sure it stays moist until you see the dentist. Try to place it back in your mouth if you can, but otherwise keep it in a glass of milk or in the space between your cheek and gums.
- When suffering from a toothache, you can use OTC painkillers, but avoid placing aspirin directly on the tooth or gum tissue.
- Use a piece of gauze to control any bleeding.
3. Stay Safe When You Go to Your Appointment
When you visit your dentist during an emergency, they’ll do everything they can to keep you – and the rest of their patients – safe from the coronavirus. They’ll wear appropriate protective gear (including different kinds of masks depending on the procedure), provide you with hand-sanitizer, keep the environment disinfected, and may ask you to rinse with peroxide. Follow their instructions before and during your appointment very carefully. Do not just head straight to the dentist on your own; many practices are only allowing one patient into the building at a time.
Coronavirus or not, ignoring a dental emergency is never the right call. Have a fully stocked emergency kit on standby and be ready to call your dentist when you need to. If the worst happens, you need to be able to take control of your oral health as soon as possible!
About the Author
Dr. Maria Shahdad wants to make each visit a pleasant experience free of fear for her patients. During an emergency, she’ll use an appropriate form of sedation to keep you at ease, and she’ll do everything in her power to make sure you stay comfortable while she restores your smile. To schedule an emergency appointment or ask any questions you might have about the coronavirus, get in touch with her Allen practice, DFW Absolute Dental, by visiting her website or calling (972) 727-8100.