Dental emergencies can take on many forms, from toothaches that prevent you from eating or sleeping to cracked teeth or loose fillings. Getting the help you need means you'll need the services of an emergency dentist and some self-care. Here are a few things you can do if you are experiencing a dental emergency.
Manage The Pain
While you are waiting to see your emergency dentist, take a few simple measures to manage pain. You can take an over-the counter pain medication as prescribed on the packaging to help reduce pain and swelling, and you can use an ice pack on your cheek or jaw to help numb the area. Over-the-counter topical ointments and gels designed for short-term oral pain relief can also help to numb the area, but remember that this is not a long-term solution to your dental problem. You'll still need to see the dentist to deal with the root cause of the problem. Resting on a pillow to keep your head elevated can also help you to feel more comfortable until you are able to visit the emergency dentist. This may help you to rest a bit easier if you have to wait until the next morning to see the dentist.
Arrange For Help
Depending on which treatment the emergency dentist chooses to use, you may need help getting home from the dentist's office. This is particularly important if the dentist will be using any types of anesthesia during the procedure. Call a close friend or family member and ask when he or she is available to help you. Use that information to schedule your emergency dentist appointment. If you drive yourself and find after the appointment that you are unable to drive, call a friend or a taxi to get you home safely.
Ask About Payment First
You may be lightheaded or disoriented after receiving your emergency dental treatment, so be sure to discuss payment options when you check in at the dentist's office. If you have dental coverage, be sure to bring your insurance card. You'll also want to ensure you have a way to pay any co-pays or deductibles that might be required. If you don't have insurance, ask about the cost of an emergency appointment and any possible financing options that might be available to you.
Keeping your mouth healthy and your teeth in great shape is important. If you have a dental emergency, don't delay in getting the care you need. Contact an emergency dentist so you can go back to having a pain-free smile.