Healing and Dealing with Dental Phobias

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What to Do, and What to Avoid, When You Have a Dental Emergency

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If you have a dental emergency, it's always advised that you never assume what you should do and what you should avoid doing in this situation, as you don't want to make the situation any worse for yourself. Note a few tips about handling a dental emergency before you get to a dental clinic so you have the best possible outcome and protect your oral health.

Save any tooth or parts of the tooth

If you have a tooth that's been knocked out or chipped, don't assume that it's not salvageable. Your dentist may be able to suture a missing tooth back into place or glue the chipped part back to the tooth. This can mean a more natural look than if he or she needed to use a bonding or veneer over the chipped tooth and might also mean less trauma to your mouth than if you needed a dental implant put into place where the tooth is now missing. If you can salvage the tooth or chipped part, put it in a solution of saltwater and bring it to the emergency dentist with you.

Don't put the tooth back in by yourself

A tooth that's been knocked out should be thoroughly cleaned, as should your mouth and area of the missing tooth. It should be also examined for damage before it's put back into your mouth. Even if you rinse off a broken tooth or use peroxide or rubbing alcohol on it, the tooth may not be safe for putting back into an exposed area of the gums and nerves of the teeth. You might be overlooking germs and bacteria in the gum line that you haven't properly rinsed or cleaned away, potentially risking infection. Rather than trying to fix any type of dental emergency like this on your own, save the tooth for the dentist.

Avoid applying topical medications

You may want to apply something topical to an open cut or other damage inside your mouth, but this can be very damaging to the skin and gum line and may not address the dental emergency itself. If you irritate the skin, it may simply swell up and make treating your dental emergency more difficult, or you may make the condition more painful. Never apply any medication without first checking with your dentist and explaining the nature of the emergency so you know it's treated properly and your oral health is protected.