Dr. Bruce Matthews, DDS

Three Steps to Take during a Dental Emergency

May 4, 2020
Posted By: Bruce E. Matthews, D.D.S., PA Staff
Man with bad tooth pain in need of emergency dentist in Wilmington DE

Going through a dental emergency can feel scary and overwhelming, especially if you’ve never injured a tooth before. 

While the experience is never pleasant, you can be a little more in control during an emergency if you have a plan of action. By taking a few minutes to prepare ahead of time, you’ll be calmer and act faster than if you’d never considered the possibility.

Below, we outline three simple steps you can take during a dental emergency in Wilmington to help you stay calm:

#1 Assess the Scene

Because some dental injuries occur instantly and very unexpectedly, it’s vital for you (and your friends or family who may be with you) to take a few moments to assess the scene of the injury.

If you have a knocked-out tooth, do everything you can to locate the tooth and gently pick it up by the crown only. If your tooth broke into pieces or you chipped part of it off, or if a dental restoration popped out, do a similar visual sweep of the area and delicately retrieve any bits and pieces you can find. 

#2 Take an Over-the-Counter Painkiller

Most dental emergencies are very painful. It’s possible, however, that the adrenaline and the stress of the moment will cause you to feel no pain temporarily or not to notice your pain until it escalates. 

Immediately after your dental emergency, once you are safe and your mouth is stable, you’ll want to take ibuprofen or similar over-the-counter pain medication. Dental pain can cause you not to think straight and to make rash decisions, so it’s best to get the meds in your system as soon as you can. Once you come in for your emergency dental appointment, we can administer and prescribe a more potent painkiller if necessary.

#3 Contact Your Wilmington Emergency Dentist 

Every tooth emergency needs evaluation by a knowledgeable dentist. Even if you don’t think your dental injury looks “bad enough” to visit our dental office, you should always call us anyway. Sometimes, it’s impossible to know the extent of the damage to your smile without dental x-rays or a thorough exam. 

After you have 1) collected any missing teeth or tooth parts and 2) gotten your dental pain under control, it’s time to 3) contact Dr. Bruce Matthews and our clinical team right away. Give us a call at (302) 475-9220 at any time of day if you have a dental emergency!

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