What To Do After A Traumatic Dental Injury – Your Step-By-Step Guide

Many people will suffer from a traumatic injury to the mouth at some point in their lives. Whether it’s damage to the lips and gums after a slip and fall, a tooth that is knocked out while playing sports, or damage to the teeth after a car accident, dental emergencies are painful and stressful.

Because of this, it’s important that you know what to do after experiencing serious dental trauma, and that you understand the steps you need to take to save your teeth. The team at the Center for Oral and Facial Surgery at Glen Allen put together a list of steps to take in the unfortunate event of a dental trauma:

1. Contact A Dentist And Oral Surgeon – And Know When To Call The ER

Getting immediate treatment for your oral trauma is absolutely essential for saving your teeth and minimizing bleeding, pain, and discomfort. Because of this, it’s critical that you schedule an emergency dentistry appointment right after your injury.

For the best prognosis, you should see your dentist within an hour for tooth avulsions (knocked-out teeth), and within 2-12 hours for other injuries, such as cracked or loose teeth. Sooner is always better!

In most cases, dental trauma will not require you to visit the emergency room. However, if you suspect serious trauma to your jaw, such as dislocation or a broken jaw, or you have experienced a concussion or another impact-related injury, you may want to visit the emergency room before seeing a dentist, to rule out any potentially life-threatening conditions.

2. Recover Your Knocked-Out Tooth (If Applicable)

If your tooth can be replaced within an hour, there is a good chance that it can be saved. After contacting Dr. Herrera for an emergency appointment, try to recover your tooth. Clean off any dirt or debris gently with warm water, and replace it in its socket. Never use soap while cleaning your tooth.

If you cannot replace your tooth in its socket, put it in a small baggie or container of cold milk, to keep it moist until your appointment.

3. Treat Pain, Swelling, And Bleeding

Significant pain is likely to occur after a dental injury. Over-the-counter medication like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be used to relieve some pain. Aspirin should not be used, as it is a blood thinner and prevents proper clotting.

Bleeding can be treated with clean cotton balls or gauze pads, and should begin to subside within an hour or two. Swelling and pain can also be treated by applying ice packs to the exterior of the mouth. Ice should never be placed inside the mouth, or contact the site of trauma directly.

4. Go To Your Appointment And Get Treatment For Your Dental Injury

Come to the Center for Oral and Facial Surgery at Glen Allen for your appointment, and get the treatment you need to restore your mouth, and minimize your pain and discomfort.

Whether you’re in Glen Allen, Shore Pump, or Insbrook, we always have emergency dental appointments and walk-in appointments available, to ensure you get the treatment you need from Dr. Herrera.

Know What To Do If You Experience Dental Trauma

The most important thing to do when you experience a dental injury is to contact us as soon as possible for an emergency appointment. The sooner you come in, the sooner you can get relief from the pain of a dental injury, and the more likely our team is to be able to save your natural tooth.

If you need emergency dental treatment in the area, please contact us right away at (804) 556-1233 to let us know that you’re coming in, or feel free to walk into our office at 4805 Lake Brook Drive, Suite #150, Glen Allen, Virginia 23060. We’ll fit you into our schedule as soon as possible.


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