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Things to Know About Dental Emergencies

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Things to Know About Dental Emergencies

It won’t always hurt

Although a painful issue will quickly persuade us that we have a dental emergency on our hands, some dental emergencies aren’t painful, but are urgent if you hope to save your tooth. For example, a filling that has fallen out or a broken tooth won’t necessarily hurt unless the nerve is exposed, but should nevertheless be treated as urgent since the exposed area is vulnerable to further decay. Green Apple Dental is your local emergency dentist in Surrey, BC that offers the same day emergency appointments.

What constitutes a dental emergency?

Medical emergencies are much easier to define than dental emergencies – generally, they are classed as anything life-threatening or any condition that poses a threat to physical integrity or long-term health.

One method that is used to determine whether a dental issue is an emergency is to determine whether the patient is willing to go to a dentist at short notice. Obviously, severe dental trauma or a painful condition should be treated as soon as possible, and sometimes even cosmetic issues can be a social handicap that calls for speedy attention.

Swelling can be an indicator of a nasty infection or abscess, and since dental abscesses can affect your whole body and even cause death in rare cases, they should be treated as soon as possible. Most dentists consider the following as dental emergencies and will go out of their way to accommodate you as soon as possible:

  • Injuries to the inside of the mouth that won’t stop bleeding (an emergency room can also help)
  • Broken or loosened tooth or teeth
  • Knocked out teeth
  • Discomfort or pain owing to something stuck between teeth
  • Painful toothaches
  • Lost fillings or crowns
  • Dental abscess

Prevention is better than cure

Avoiding dental emergencies is way better than having to deal with them. Limit your chances of experiencing an emergency by:

  • Not chewing or biting things like ice, popcorn kernels or even sticky toffees.
  • Using a scissors rather than your teeth to open packaging, etc.
  • Not picking your teeth – use floss instead.
  • Wearing a mouth guard when playing contact sports.
  • Taking good care of your oral hygiene by brushing and flossing properly.
  • Going for regular dental check-ups.
  • Attending to non-painful or minor issues as soon as possible before they become aggravated through neglect.

In an emergency

To limit damage or to provide temporary relief, you can try the following:

  • Rinse the mouth out with warm water or a mild saline solution.
  • Stop bleeding with a gauze pad or clean teabag and light pressure.
  • Apply clove oil to painful teeth or gums.
  • Use a cold compress applied to the outside of the face.
  • Swallow pain medications (do not apply aspirin directly to teeth or gums)
  • Preserve knocked out teeth by keeping them in milk or by placing them in your mouth between teeth and lips.
  • Use sugar-free gum to plug fallen out fillings.
  • Use dental floss (not toothpicks or other sharp objects) to dislodge trapped objects.

At Green Apple we will always do our best to accomodate dental emergencies.  We can usually see you the same day.  Normally patients with an appointment are seen within 5-10 minutes of their scheduled appointment, but if it is a same day emergency please be aware there may be a 15-30 minute wait.  Usually treatment will begin and be completed the day of your visit, but in some cases further appointments will be necessary.  Just as with any other treatment, Dr. Cancar and Dr. Kooner will give you all options for treatment to alleviate pain, and restore function, and esthetics.

After hours Dr. Mirna Cancar or Dr. Pavandeep Kooner can be contacted on their personal cell phones.

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