We all know emergency rooms. For most, they have helped us to recover quickly at specific times. However, finding an emergency dentist is sometimes not that simple. It is something that we do not notice until we really need it. For this reason, we have prepared this article for you with all the necessary information for you to act in case of a dental emergency.
We also talk about how the technology put at the service of dentistry has made telemedicine take a giant leap in recent years. And TOP DOCTORS is betting very hard to develop it. Telemedicine applied to dental emergencies in particular and dentistry in general has brought about a revolution in the world of dental health.
What are dental emergencies?
The first thing you should know is how to differentiate a situation that you can solve in a normal dental consultation from one in which a dentist is really required as soon as possible. The main dental emergencies are:
The main cause of emergency consultations are trauma, falls, blows, etc. Dental trauma must be treated as soon as possible since the time that elapses after the accident has occurred can be decisive in saving or losing a tooth.
In general, these are children who have suffered an accident at home and have lost a tooth (dental avulsion). It can also be athletes, whether children or adults, who practice a risky or contact sport. The main situations that can occur due to trauma are:
- Loss of a tooth
- Fractured teeth.
- Teeth displaced from their normal position.
- Wounds or injuries in the mouth, whether on the teeth, gums, lips, tongue, etc.
- Pain in some oral structure after an accident even if there are no visible injuries.
- Sudden onset pains
The pains that appear little by little and develop over time should be resolved in a previously scheduled control appointment. These pains can usually be relieved with pain relievers until you attend the consultation.
However, when it comes to acute and sudden pain, the best thing you can do is go to an emergency dentist. Especially if this sudden pain is accompanied by other signs and symptoms such as:
Volume increase: whether they are lumps on the gum, cheeks, lips, tongue, etc.
Erythema: Redness in any tissue in the mouth.
Fever: It can be a general fever or even just a sensation of heat in a specific area.
Complications after dental treatment
Although this is not very common, it can always be the case that you experience some signs and symptoms after dental treatment that require immediate dental attention. For example, the appearance of bleeding that does not stop after a tooth extraction or pain, fever or edema after dental fillings, implant surgeries, root canals, etc.
Deterioration of any ongoing dental treatment
The most common in these cases is the loss of dental fillings, dental caps or crowns, which cause great discomfort to the patient and need to be restored as soon as possible. In turn, we must mention the damage of dental appliances that can injure the oral cavity such as a broken bracket or a loose wire.
How to find an emergency dentist?
If you have a dental emergency during business hours, it will not be very difficult to get the dental care you need . You can simply go to the hospital or a nearby dental clinic.
The situation is complicated when accidents occur outside working hours: holidays, night hours, Sundays, etc.
Some dental clinics offer 24-hour care services, but not all. Therefore, you should ask your dental clinic if they have this service in case you need it.
Most private health insurances with dental coverage offer this service. The Spanish social security can give you a list of all the health centers where you can find an emergency dentist. Just remember to ask for this information and have it handy in case you need it.
In case you find yourself in a very serious emergency situation and you cannot find a dentist on duty, the best thing you can do is go immediately to the emergency room of a hospital so that you receive the necessary medical attention.
If you want more information on how to act in the event of a dental emergency, we recommend reading this specialized article on the oral health portal Dentaly.
What to do if you have a dental emergency?
The main thing is to stay calm. If it’s trauma, inflammation, or pain, you can choose to take an over-the-counter pain reliever to ease the pain while you go to the dentist.
For bleeding, apply pressure to the wound with gauze or a piece of cotton. This should decrease bleeding while you find an emergency dentist.
If it is a dental avulsion, that is, the tooth is completely out of place, what you should do is keep it moist since it is possible that your dentist can reimplant it and thus preserve your natural tooth. How should you take care of it? You can put it in a container with milk, drinking water or physiological solution.
However, it is unlikely that you will have all of these things on hand, so you can simply put the tooth inside your mouth to keep it moist with saliva. Put it on one of your cheeks until you can get dental care. In this case, the sooner you are treated, the more likely it is to reimplant the tooth.
When it comes to the defect in some dental treatment it is possible that it does not represent a nuisance immediately. However, you should fix it as soon as possible: a fallen filling leaves the tooth weak and could fracture; A broken bracket, even if it has not injured the mouth, prevents orthodontic treatment from being effective.
In case you hit yourself and there is no visible injury or you feel no pain, an emergency dentist is not necessary, but you should make an appointment with your dentist for a check-up as soon as possible. This way you will avoid future complications.
Telemedicine and its importance in dentistry
Telemedicine or eHealth is a branch recently implemented in TOP DOCTORS that implements the use of ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies), to facilitate access to quality medical and dental care (teleodontology).
The emergence of telemedicine is greatly changing the way we receive healthcare. Mainly for those people with few resources or who live in isolated areas, since through a videoconference prevention, diagnosis of conditions or follow-up of some treatment can be carried out.
One of the main advantages of teleodontology is that it allows the patient to receive an initial orientation as soon as possible, either through a chat, call or videoconference.
Although your dentist cannot attend you physically in the middle of an emergency, he can give you precise instructions that will allow you to relieve discomfort and get the oral care you need as soon as possible.
Dental emergencies are inevitable, the best thing you can do is be prepared to deal with them effectively.
Not all dentists offer emergency services, you should verify that your dentist does.
For very serious emergencies such as bleeding that does not stop, you should go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
Social security and private insurers have all the necessary information, request a list of the places where you can find an emergency dentist.
Being properly informed can help you solve your dental emergency quickly and without prolonging your pain.