We would prefer that we could schedule inconveniences, but that is not possible. At the very least, we ought to be prepared for the unexpected as much as we can. Being in pain commands our full attention and if we have a plan in place beforehand, then the emergency will end sooner than if we had no plan. It is obvious that we are not at our best at making decisions when in pain. When that pain is dental, it may escalate to the point where we begin to consider emergency treatment. Pain somehow seems exponentially worse in the middle of the night than in the daylight hours, and the question of whether to pursue professional pain relief depends on several factors. Let’s plan now for those times by examining our options.

Dental Emergencies

A knocked-out tooth, a swollen gum or jaw where you suspect an abscess, and dental agony which do not respond to over-the-counter analgesics all require emergency attention. Many dentists schedule in response time for dental emergencies during their workday, so check with your dentist first of all. The dreaded after-hours emergency need not be insurmountable. If your locality offers either a private or university-based dental clinic, check them for extended hours and emergency services. In the meantime, deal with your situation by treating yourself. Secure your knocked-out tooth in a glass of milk until it can be reinserted. Warm compresses over any swelling will ease the discomfort until you may be treated professionally. As a last resort, the hospital emergency room will help you become pain-free until your regular dentist is available.

Middle-of-the-road emergencies require a judgment call

Techniques exist for ameliorating dental pain, and you should know them. Oil of clove applied to the aching tooth is a traditional analgesic, and packing a vacant filling space with sugarless gum helps with smoothing rough edges which may abrade the inside of your mouth. Rubbing an ice cube on the web between the thumb and forefinger on the same side of the body as the pain has been reported to be successful.

Painful conditions can be helped, too

These conditions may not be a full-fledged emergency, but they hurt enough to require assistance as soon as possible. For instance, loose braces or wires which jab the sensitive inside of the mouth may be smoothed by applying orthodontic wax over the abrasive edges. Gentle flossing between the teeth will remove any bits of food that may be causing pressure, and your problem will be solved quickly if this is the only factor causing pain. A time-honored technique is to rinse the mouth with salt water several times daily. Knowing these pain control techniques will make the difference between a restful night and a pain-filled one. Your dentist wants you to be pain-free at all times, so let’s help them out by learning as much as possible what to do in a dental emergency.

If you have any questions or need to visit our office due to a dental emergency in Springfield, VA, call us immediately to schedule or walk in, we are here to help.

Insurance Information

We accept all major PPO plans.

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