Dental Emergency First Aid

July 28, 2021
5 MINS READ

Dental Emergency First Aid: What To Do In An Emergency

A dental emergency is a problem involving the teeth and supporting tissues; it is of great importance that it is handled by the professional concerned. Dental emergencies don't always cause pain, although this is a clear sign that something is wrong. The pain can come from the tooth, surrounding tissues, or it can feel like it originates from the teeth but is actually caused by another source. Depending on the type of pain experienced, an experienced doctor can determine the probable cause and can treat the problem as each type of tissue delivers different messages in a dental emergency.

Emergencies are manifold and can range from bacterial, fungal or viral infections to a fractured tooth; each problem requires an individual response and different treatment from subject to subject. Fractures can occur anywhere, both on the tooth and on the surrounding bone, and depending on the site and extent of the fracture, treatment alternatives vary. Even the fall or fracture of the dental restoration can be considered a dental emergency as it can cause aesthetic, nutrition and phonation problems and as such should be treated with the same importance as the loss of natural dental tissue. All dental emergencies must be treated under the supervision or guidance of a dental health professional in order to preserve teeth for as long as possible.

It is a common belief that a medical emergency is often more precisely defined as an acute condition that presents an immediate threat to life, limbs, vision or long-term health. For this reason, dental emergencies are usually not considered medical emergencies. Some define a dental emergency in terms of the patient's willingness to participate for emergency dental care at any time and at short notice. There are often diverging opinions between doctors and patients about what constitutes a dental emergency. Medical emergencies occurring in the dental office can therefore be more or less alarming. One way to minimize the alarm is to create a complete history of emergencies so that possible emergencies can be, to some extent, anticipated and have a good working knowledge of how to manage emergencies thanks to the experience gained.

Distinguishes Dental Emergencies Into Three Classes:

Dental Emergencies That Require Immediate Hospital Visits:

These are the three situations that can jeopardize the patient's life.

1) Uncontrolled and profuse bleeding.

2) A widespread bacterial inflammation of the intra and extraoral tissues that can potentially obstruct the airways.

3) A trauma involving the maxillofacial district with potential obstruction of the airways.

Dental Emergencies That Require Immediate Dentist Intervention:

There are nine clinical situations that require "the immediate attention of the dentist to relieve intense pain, the risk of infection and to reduce access to hospital emergency departments". Minimally invasive treatments are recommended.

1) Acute painful pulpitis.

2) Post-extraction osteitis.

3) Disodontiasis of a third molar.

4) Abscess with pain and swelling.

5) Dental fracture with pain and soft tissue texture.

6) Dental trauma with avulsion or dislocation.

7) Dental treatment required prior to critical medical therapies.

8) Definitive cementation of bridges or crowns in the event that the provisional is lost or fractured or in the presence of gingival irritation.

9) Biopsy of a suspicious lesion.

Other urgent dental care are six clinical situations that need intervention:

1) Pain due to extensive dental caries or loss of a restoration.

2) Removal of suture.

3) The repair or touch-up of a removable prosthesis.

4) The adaptation of a removable prosthesis in a cancer patient undergoing radiotherapy.

5) The remaking of a temporary filling in a patient undergoing endodontic therapy with previous pain and abscess.

6) Pain and irritation of the oral mucosa from brackets, orthodontic floss and piersing.

First Aid for Dental Emergencies 

Toothache Clean the area around the sore tooth thoroughly . Rinse the mouth vigorously with warm salt water or use dental floss  to dislodge trapped food or debris. DO NOT place aspirin on the gum or on the aching tooth. If face is swollen, apply a cold compress. Take acetaminophen for pain and see a dentist as soon as possible .

Knocked-Out Permanent Tooth Find the tooth. Handle the tooth by the top (crown), not the root portion .You may rinse the tooth, but DO NOT clean or handle the tooth unnecessarily . Try to reinsert it in its socket. Have the child hold the tooth in place by biting on a clean gauze or cloth. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, transport the tooth in a cup containing milk. See a dentist IMMEDIATELY! Time i s a critical factor in saving the tooth. 

Broken Braces and Wires If a broken appliance can be removed easily, take it out. If it cannot, cover the sharp or protruding portion with dental wax, cotton balls ,gauze, or chewing gum. If a wire is stuck in the gums, cheek, or tongue, DO NOT remove it. Take the "V' J child to a dentist immediately. Loose or broken appliances which do not bother the child don't usually require emergency attention. 

Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek Apply ice to bruised areas. If there is bleeding, apply firm but gentle pressure with a clean gauze or cloth. If bleeding does not stop after 15 minutes or it cannot be controlled by simple pressure, take the child to a hospital emergency room. 

Broken Tooth Rinse dirt from injured area with warm water. Place cold compresses over the face i n the area of the injury. Locate and save any broken tooth fragments. Immediate dental attention is necessary. 

Other Emergency Conditions Possible Broken jaw: If a fractured jaw is suspected,try to keep the jaws from moving by using a towel , tie or handkerchief.then take the child to the nearest hospital emergency room. 

Bleeding After Baby Tooth Falls 0ut: Fold and pack a dean gauze or cloth over the bleeding area. Have the child bite on the gauze with pressure for 15 minutes.This may be repeated once;if bleeding persists .see a dentist. 

Cold/Canker Sores: Many children occasionally suffer from "cold" or"canker" sores .Usually over-the-counter preparations give relief. Because some serious diseases may begin as sores. it is important to have a dental evaluation if these sores persist.