Dental trauma can happen at any time, even while you are engaging in the most ordinary of activities. Dental trauma treatment is available at most emergency dental offices and, in many cases, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you experience dental trauma — which may include but is not limited to breaking, chipping, cracking, or knocking out a tooth — it is crucial that you know where to turn for trauma treatment. It also helps to understand what and what does not constitute a dental emergency.
Not all dental issues warrant immediate treatment. In fact, many issues can wait until the next business day. However, when a dental concern threatens one’s health or the permanent loss of a tooth, that person should seek dental trauma treatment right away. Below are a few examples of true dental emergencies.
A displaced tooth is one that has been knocked out of its normal place in the mouth but that is still somewhat intact. Typically, tooth displacement occurs while one is playing a contact sport, during a car accident, or because of a fall.
How a person should proceed with a misplaced tooth depends on whether the tooth is permanent or primary. If the tooth is permanent, the injured person should visit an emergency dentist who can reposition the tooth and take steps to prevent infection and the eventual death of the tooth. If the tooth is a primary tooth, most dentists may recommend leaving the tooth alone and letting it fall out on its own.
Losing a permanent tooth due to blunt force trauma is a reason to seek prompt dental trauma treatment. Some injuries, if attended to right away, may allow for the reimplementation of the lost tooth. However, it is crucial that the victim take appropriate action immediately. Appropriate action includes finding the lost tooth, cleaning the tooth carefully with water, and either reinserting the tooth back into the socket or holding it in the mouth until a qualified dental professional can make a more permanent fix. Moisture and immediate action are crucial for reimplementation success. The rates of success greatly diminish after one hour.
In many cases, a toothache is not a reason for a person to seek dental trauma treatment. However, if the toothache is related to tooth trauma, broken teeth, or tooth decay, a person may want to seek emergency care. In these cases, the toothache may be an indicator of an infection, which could become life threatening. If a toothache persists for one or two days, or if it is accompanied by swelling, a fever, and/or uncontrollable bleeding, finding an emergency dentist should become a person’s utmost priority.
If not treated immediately, a broken tooth may trigger an infection and/or decay and die. To prevent tooth loss, a person who somehow sustains an injury that breaks a tooth should seek the care of an emergency dentist right away. A trauma dentist can make the repairs necessary to preserve the integrity of the tooth and save it.
Dental emergencies can happen when one least expects it. For this reason, it is always best for individuals to know where to turn in the event that they should ever need dental trauma treatment on short notice.
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