Dental Trauma Emergency Kit to the Rescue
How to Be Prepared for a Dental Emergency
Most homes have an emergency kit stocked with bandaids, gauze, wound ointment, or a full first-aid kit at the ready, but what if the injury isn’t a cut finger? Oral injuries are fairly common, yet many first-aid kids don’t contain the necessary products to treat a dental emergency effectively.
Preparing a dental trauma kit before you need it will help you treat yourself or a family member while seeking urgent or emergency care. By being prepared in this way you’ll help keep the injured person more comfortable and prevent further damage from occurring until a dentist is able to assist.
Let’s take a look at what constitutes a dental emergency and how to create your own kit.
Common Oral Injuries and Dental Emergencies
Oral injuries vary greatly in terms of cause and severity. An injury could occur while doing something as mundane as eating a snack, or serious trauma could happen from an accidental impact to the face.
Here are a few examples of more commonly seen dental emergencies:
- Severe and uncontrollable toothaches.
- Broken, cracked, or chipped teeth.
- Loosened permanent teeth.
- Knocked-out permanent teeth.
- Broken or dislocated jaw.
- Bitten or cut tongue, lip, or inside cheek.
If the injury or pain is coming from or related to the mouth, the problem would be considered oral. In most cases, a dentist will be the one to treat the underlying injury or teeth damage, but in the case of broken bones or severe oral lacerations, a trip to an emergency center to see a doctor may be necessary.
Signs That Dental Emergency Care is Necessary
Not every oral injury is a dental emergency; for example, a toothache may be very uncomfortable, but it typically wouldn’t warrant a trip to the local ER.
In cases of minor to moderate oral injuries with controlled symptoms, it’s usually safe to wait for an urgent or same-day dental appointment. However, if you’re experiencing a true dental emergency, it’s important to either get help from a dentist who provides emergency services or head to an ER.
Some situations in which dental emergency care is needed include a:
- Knocked-out permanent tooth.
- Shattered, broken tooth.
- Toothache that is unbearably painful or coupled with fever or swelling.
- Fractured jawbone or facial bone.
- Laceration, bite, or another oral injury that won’t stop bleeding.
It’s always a good idea to give your dentist a call if you are unsure if your particular injury or pain requires emergency care.
How to Build Your At-Home Dental Trauma Emergency Kit
A dental emergency kit should have all of the basic supplies you need to control oral bleeding and pain, as well as reduce the risks of permanent damage (i.e. a permanently lost tooth).
These must-have supplies include:
- Examination Gloves: Always wash your hands before touching your mouth or anyone else’s. It’s an even better idea to wear some disposable, sterile gloves.
- Sterile Gauze Pads: Gauze pads are useful for cleaning an oral injury, stopping bleeding, or biting down on to keep a loose tooth in place.
- Dental Mirror: A dental mirror can make it easy to get a closer look at a painful or damaged tooth. It’s an optional tool but can be handy for spotting problems.
- Floss and Toothbrush: Keeping a separate pack of floss and a very soft-bristled toothbrush is a good idea. Use this rather than your normal brush if you have an oral injury but need to clean your teeth.
- Temporary Tooth Filling: This store-bought, putty-like product can be used to fill in a cavity from a lost filling or add structural support to a loose filling or crown. Follow instructions and always see a dentist as soon as possible.
- 100% Clove Oil: Clove oil is a natural analgesic that works especially well for oral pain. Always use pure clove oil and dilute it by half with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil. Apply topically to the tooth and surrounding gum tissue.
- Topical Toothache Relievers: Store-bought toothache relievers are very safe to use and quite effective. The gel formulas are also less messy and easier to apply than clove oil.
- Small Sterile Container: Keep a small sterile container in your kit in the event a tooth is knocked out. You’ll place the tooth in this container, fill it with cold milk or Hank’s Balanced Salt Solution, and head to emergency care.
Keep in mind that a dental emergency kit isn’t a replacement for dental care, it’s a way to stay comfortable and safe until a healthcare professional can help.
Finding a Dental Home with Urgent Care Services
Not all dentists provide emergency dentistry services for patients. By taking the time to find one that does, you’ll have peace of mind knowing, if trouble strikes, someone you already trust with your smile will be able to help. Dr. Naik and her team provide a full menu of modern dentistry services, including same-day appointments and emergency dental care. If you’re experiencing an oral injury, you can call our Flower Mound, TX, office for access to our emergency line. For non-urgent appointments, you can either call our office or use this online booking form.