We all have our own personal little doomsday scenarios that play out in our heads as we go through the motions of our lives. Some fear slicing off a finger in the kitchen, while others dread the possibility of a house fire, or being electrocuted. How many among us, however, are adequately prepared for a dental emergency? Most people will agree that it’s not something that comes to mind often. Following these guidelines from our emergency dentist in Van Nuys will help you be prepared for the worst.
Most people hear the phrase dental emergency and think about tooth decay, gum disease, root canals, and a whole host of other maladies which tend to develop slowly over time and that are usually caught by our dentist while you’re in our office for your semi-yearly appointment. To be clear, this is not what we refer to as an actual dental emergency. A dental emergency is defined by the suddenness and severity of the sustained injury and is characterized by the fact that it usually does not take place in a situation where a trained professional is readily available to address the damage. A tooth that gets knocked out while participating in sports, for example, is a classic example of a common dental emergency. Chipped and fractured teeth also qualify, as do accidents where the flesh of the mouth, cheeks, gums, or tongue become injured by the teeth, such as in the case of an individual biting through the delicate tissue while eating or talking.
In the same way that we must always be vigilant enough to toss a severed digit into a cooler full of ice when disaster strikes, we also must we be prepared to handle any emergency regarding our teeth. Many families have an emergency kit in their homes, both for medical emergencies and natural disasters. In this same way, it is highly recommended that an emergency dental kit be included in those precautions. It should include more than just a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, and a container of floss – like any ordinary medical emergency, some types of oral injury will involve an excessive amount of bleeding, so gauze and wound disinfectant should certainly be at the top of the list. In the case of an adult tooth lost through injury, some water and a vessel to carry it in is a good idea to have on hand as this will keep the root alive until you can get to a medical professional. Having your dentist’s contact information included in the emergency kit is also a good idea.
Prevention is, of course, the best cure. If you have any more questions, give our office a call. Our Van Nuys dentist will be happy to give you all of the information you need.