Prevention is Key, According to Your Emergency Dentist in Arlington

March 9, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — smilesforlifeteam @ 9:54 pm

A woman covering her mouth.

You always hope that you’ll never have to deal with a dental emergency, but if you live a particularly active lifestyle or you don’t practice proper preventive care, the chances will go up significantly. One of the most common emergencies your emergency dentist in Arlington deals with is a knocked-out or broken tooth either from a fall or sports injury, but there are ways to prevent an emergency from happening in the first place.

The same reasons you wear a helmet while riding a bike also apply when playing contact sports, a mouthguard is a great way to protect the teeth during contact sports. Should an emergency occur, here’s what you should do.

Is Your Situation a Dental Emergency?

The first step you’ll need to take is determining if the situation you’re in is an emergency that needs addressing immediately. Some emergencies need to be addressed right away to save your teeth while others can wait until your dentist is open during normal business hours, so ask these questions before rushing to the emergency room:

  • If you cracked a tooth, does the crack reach to the root?
  • Is there a large portion of your tooth missing?
  • Does the tooth have nerve damage?
  • Is your tooth knocked out completely?
  • Are you experiencing severe tooth pain?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you are more than likely experiencing a dental emergency. In the next section, we’ll discuss what you need to do next to protect and/or save your teeth.

What to Do During an Emergency

If your tooth is cracked or you’re in severe pain, call your emergency dentist in Arlington right away. If you call them during office hours, they can provide you important first aid advice and typically get you scheduled the same day for treatment. If your tooth has been knocked out completely, start by locating the tooth and picking it up only by the top part (the crown.) Try to place it back into your tooth socket the same way it was originally. This will help keep it moist and salvageable once you make it to your dentist.

If the office closed or you can’t make it to the dentist at that moment, keep the tooth in your mouth until you can. If that isn’t possible, keep the tooth in milk, saltwater, or saliva to preserve it. If your mouth is bleeding, apply a clean gauze or cloth to the wound. Go to the emergency room if bleeding does not stop after 10 minutes of applying pressure.

How to Practice Prevention

The best ways to prevent dental emergencies from occurring is by wearing proper protection and practicing regular oral habits. If you participate in contact sports, we can make a custom fit mouthguard to wear during these activities.

Since severe tooth pain is usually a sign of an abscessed tooth caused by an infection, you’ll want to make sure you visit your dentist every 6 months to ensure your oral health is in good shape. In between visits, brush twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste and floss daily. Don’t put off severe pain if you want to save your tooth.

With these tips in mind, you can prevent dental emergencies and treat emergencies when they occur. Don’t be afraid to call asap if you think you’re having a dental emergency!

About the Author

Dr. James T. Gray earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Texas dental school at Arlington and since then has been practicing for over 30 years. He’s a member of multiple organizations that help him stay up to date on the latest advancement in dentistry, including the Texas Dental Association, the ADA, the Arlington Dental Study Club, the CEREC study club, and the Implant Team International study club. If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, don’t hesitate to call him at (817) 460-4131 or visit his website.