Any dental emergency can cause you to panic. After all, we rarely injure our teeth, mouth or gums and when it happens it tends to involve pain and extreme upset. Fortunately, there are many common sense steps you can take if you experience a dental emergency, and the first is to give Dr. William Schlesinger, DDS a call at our Upper East Side, NY office. Even if it is outside of normal operating hours, we will do our best to accommodate you as soon as possible.
If your dental emergency involves any trauma to the head, face or mouth, you must not wait for our return call. Instead, the best and smartest next step is to get proper medical care. You can improve the outcome of this care by following the steps below. Each step involves a single question and the answer will steer you towards the best solution.
The first thing to consider is if there is a broken or dislodged tooth. If so, it is imperative that you treat the area by gently washing or rinsing the mouth and apply a cold compress to help with pain and swelling. If a tooth is dislodged, do not scrub it. Instead, gently rinse it and very gingerly see if you can return it to its original position in the gum and socket. Do not force it! If it does not work out, submerge the tooth in a glass of milk and keep it there until your appointment.
The next thing to address is damage to soft tissue. For example, if there is bleeding to the gums, lips or tongue, you need to gently rinse the mouth with warm water. Consider if you need to apply pressure to a wound in order to stop bleeding. If you can use a compress to help with bleeding and swelling, wait a short period of time and if the bleeding persists, seek medical care at once.
Finally, you must pay attention to the pain of your dental emergency. If you have called our offices because of severe pain, it could be that you have a very bad or deep cavity, but it could be that you have an abscess. Using an over the counter pain reliever and a cold compress to reduce pain and swelling should help. However, if the pain becomes greater as time passes and you are unable to be treated for a long period of time, you may want to seek medical care to prevent infection or damage.
Most dental emergencies can be remedied very quickly. You can use the tips above to ensure the best results. The key is to get in touch with our offices to arrange for care as soon as possible and to use the methods above to stabilize the damaged tooth or tissue, stop bleeding, reduce swelling or get pain under control.
If you have need of emergency care, give us a call at 212-517-4660. If it feels like a dental emergency, but is not extreme or severe, such as mild pain or a chipped tooth, you can also use our online contact form and one of our staff will get back to you promptly.