FAQ: What to Do for Dental Emergencies

January 27, 2020

Sometimes it’s hard to tell when we need to visit the dentist right away. But when it comes to dental emergencies, it’s best to visit your dentist as soon as possible. If left untreated, sometimes dental emergency can lead to serious complications. But before you sit in the dental chair, there are immediate steps you should take to make sure your dental emergency is handled appropriately.


Q: What should I do if my tooth gets knocked out?

A: If an adult tooth comes out, it’s important to keep it moist. You can try to put the tooth back in the socket and hold it firmly in place. If it isn’t possible to reinsert the tooth, you will need to store it properly until you get to the dentist’s office. There are tooth preserving solutions sold at local drug stores, or you can use milk.


Q: What should I do if my filling comes out?

A: If your filling falls out, remove it from your mouth (so you don’t swallow it), gently rinse your mouth, avoid chewing on the affected tooth and take pain reliever as needed.


Q: What’s the best thing to do for a cracked or broken tooth?

A: If you crack a tooth, rinse with warm water as soon as possible and then apply a cold compress to the cheek. It will be important to get into the dentist as soon as possible. Use caution if you chew something so it doesn’t not chip more. In most cases, it’s best to cover a broken tooth to avoid exposure to bacteria.


Q: What if my tooth is aching?

If you have a toothache, although uncomfortable, it’s probably not an emergency. However, it could mean you have a cavity. If you have mild pain doesn’t let up soon, it’s good to schedule an appointment with your dentist so they can check it out. If your mouth is significantly sore and tender, it’s best to see your dentist as soon as possible. In the meantime, consider taking over the counter pain relievers (as directed), trying a saltwater rinse (be sure not to swallow) or a cold compress by using an ice pack on your cheek.


If you are on vacation with a dental emergency, your Dental Select benefits travel with you. We understand that emergency situations happen, but it’s good to have a plan ahead of time. Talk it over with your dental provider, or find a dentist near you.