So true is the saying a stitch in time saves nine, but what to do if you are stuck in a remote location and have a dental emergency? In situations where you cannot visit the dentist, one should adopt a few emergency dental care measures and stop the situation from worsening. Such emergency dental care is only temporary, and is in no way a replacement to a visit to the dentist!
Before you start your emergency dental care you should take lukewarm salt water and rinse the affected area. This ensures that there is no debris that is causing you discomfort. Traditional and common pain relievers are Aspirin, Ibuprofen and Tylenol.
Some of the common dental emergencies with their temporary cures are:
- Your filling falls out: You should try and retain the fallen piece so that it can be shown to the dentist during your appointment. In the meanwhile you should keep the area clean by brushing gently. It is also advisable to use lukewarm water when you brush. In all circumstances you should avoid chewing or eating from this area. There are some temporary filling materials which can be used until you visit your dentist. Two brands for temporary filling materials are Dentemp OS and Temparin.
- Loose Crowns/ Inlays: You can again use Temporary filling materials. You can spread the filling material evenly under the cap and bite down on the cap, make sure you apply adequate pressure so that the crown’s position is secure. After this gently brush off all the excess filling material which will be present around the cap or crown.
- Pain in the gums: You can get temporary relief by using pain relieving gels like Orajel or Anbesol. Another common over the over the counter drug called Ibuprofen can be used to dull the pain and reduce inflammation or swellings. If the area is swollen or is bleeding, it is advised to see your dentist as soon as possible, as it may be something serious and you may require draining if there’s an abscess or it be some gum infection and you may need antibiotics.
- Suspecting root canal: First things first, keep all cold and sweet things away from the affected area. By doing this the pain would generally go, but at times the teeth are also sensitive to heat, which suggests a more serious problem.
- Like our first aid kit it advisable to have an Emergency Dental Care Kit. Though it is generally hard to plan or prevent dental emergencies, but such temporary measures can be applied to provide relief till you visit your dentist. Your Emergency Dental Care bag should generally contain:
- Your dentists number
- Cotton or Q- tips (for swabbing the area)
- A tiny container (to keep filling or crown)
- Orajel or any other over the counter painkiller which is anti inflammatory (look for NSAIDs)
- Sugar free gum
- Wooden applicator
- A lot of regional hospitals have Emergency dental care facilities and it is advisable to consult your dentist at the earliest to avoid further damage to your teeth, and the above measures are only temporary.