Dental pain can be extremely uncomfortable, and it's normal to want it diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. However, many dental dilemmas happen suddenly and often after regular business hours, and then you're left wondering how to manage your problem. What you may not know is there is a hierarchy associated with dental problems, meaning that there are certain injuries and other problems that can wait until the next day to be treated by your dentist in Helendale, CA, Dr. Samuel Kim at Apple Valley Dental.
What isn't a dental emergency?
First, let's discuss what doesn't usually qualify as a dental emergency. These mishaps are typically not associated with lasting damage or life-threatening complications and can be managed at home until your Helendale dentist is available.
- A chipped tooth. As long as the chip doesn't cause unrelenting pain, it's probably shallow enough to wait. If there is a sharp edge, it can be covered with a small piece of dental wax.
- A lost filling or crown. Again, as long as you do not have severe pain associated with this common dental problem, it's usually worth it to wait until your Helendale dentist's office opens up. In the meantime, there are materials that you can purchase at any drug store that will cover the affected tooth until you can be treated.
- Tooth sensitivity. This uncomfortable sensation is often due to an untreated cavity. Avoid chewing on the affected side and try to stay away from hot or cold beverages and foods to keep the sensitivity to a minimum.
When should I seek emergency dental treatment?
If you're experiencing one or or more of the following circumstances, and your Helendale dentist's office is not open, you should go to your local medical emergency room at once:
- Bleeding that doesn't stop within a few minutes
- Pain that does not respond to over-the-counter analgesics and interferes with normal activity
- Swelling around your jaw, especially if accompanied by a fever
- A tooth that has been pushed out of place or completely knocked out.
In the case of an avulsed, or knocked-out, tooth, it should be replaced gently into the empty socket if possible. If it doesn't go back into place easily, don't force it. There are tooth preservation kits available at drugstores that contains a solution with minerals and other ingredients to maintain the tooth's viability for several hours after avulsion. It's best to have one or more of these kits available at home for immediate use. In a pinch, a cup of milk can be used.
To schedule an appointment with your Helendale dentist, Dr. Samuel Kim, contact Apple Valley Dental in Helendale, CA, at (760) 247-6007 today.