When you or your child suffer a dental emergency, it’s no laughing matter. While dental emergencies can take various forms, the American Association of Endodontics reports the majority of dental emergencies are the result of dental trauma, often caused from sports-related injuries or accidents. Dr. Moriarty, your dentist in Lancaster County, says the most common dental injuries he treats are due to falling, bicycles, and being hit by a foreign object—especially among young children and adolescents. Any time a tooth has suffered serious trauma, you need to head to your emergency dentist in Lititz right away for treatment.
Understanding Dental Injuries
When the mouth has suffered from trauma or an accident, the most common dental injury involves a fracture of the tooth crown, root, or a combination of both. Depending on the severity of the injury, one or more teeth can become chipped or fully knocked out. However, if your tooth has suffered an injury where there doesn’t appear to be any physical damage, teeth can become concussed. A concussed tooth is often painful and sensitive.
Whether you can clearly see damage to a tooth or not, it’s essential you call your emergency dentist right away for treatment. During a dental emergency, time is the biggest factor you’ll face if you have a tooth that is traumatized, broken, fractured or knocked out. If you’re seen within 60 minutes of the accident, there’s a greater possibility the tooth can be saved instead of having to perform a root canal or other endodontic procedure, while also saving the tooth from extraction.
Any time a tooth has been hit or injured, it’s always a smart idea to head to the dentist to get it checked out. Even if the tooth doesn’t appear to be chipped or fractured, the bone and surrounding structures that support the tooth may have fractures. Not to mention, young children who still have baby teeth may have permanent damage to the underlying adult teeth.
Responding During a Dental Emergency
During a dental emergency, the first thing to do is calm down and call your dentist. If you’ve had a tooth knocked out, find the tooth and rinse the tooth with water. Do not use any soaps, cleaners, or dry the tooth. You’ll need to keep the tooth moist by placing it in a glass of milk. The sooner you get to the dentist, the more likely we can reinsert the tooth. If you have a tooth chip or fracture, apply ice to the area to help with the pain and swelling. Call the dentist right away for treatment.
While dental injuries aren’t fully preventable, you can reduce the potential for an injury by wearing a mouthguard while involved with sports and other activities. A mouthguard will give your teeth added protection in the event of trauma to help reduce the damage that may occur.
If you’re suffering from a dental emergency, call your dentist in Lancaster County at (717) 925-3842.