North River Dental Care

Do you know what to do in a dental emergency?

animated screaming fire extinguisher

At North River Dental Care in Fredericksburg, VA, Dr. Bailey and his staff offer comprehensive dental care for patients of all ages. If you suffer a dental emergency, we are here to help you find relief in a comfortable and timely manner. Dental emergencies seem to happen when we least expect them. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared! Below are our tips for what to do in a dental emergency. Whether you have a tumble on the playground, a mishap in your kickboxing class, or simply a troublesome toothache, we can help you feel prepared.

Stay Calm

stay calm during a dental emergency

In any emergency, it’s always hard to remember this advice. But if possible under the immediate circumstances, take ten seconds to focus on your breathing and lowering your heart rate. This will help you make the best possible decisions in your moment of dental crisis.

Be Prepared

When you have a dental emergency, time is often critical.  The last thing you want to do in an emergency is waste precious time finding a dentist, making sure they take your insurance, and then filling out paperwork.  Instead, the best thing to do is to establish a relationship with a dentist now. That way, small problems can be addressed before they become big problems, and when an emergency strikes, you can be seen immediately by a dentist you already know and trust.

Call Your Dentist, Dr. Bailey

Even if you haven’t planned ahead, we can still help. We set aside time in our schedule specifically for emergencies. The sooner you call, the sooner we can help you find relief.

Take Action Quickly

When it comes to dental emergencies where you knock out or loosen a tooth, getting treatment quickly is vital. Wasted time can make the difference between losing your tooth and being able to save it.  We want you to be safe, but acting swiftly might mean there’s a chance to save your tooth in some cases.

Check Your Insurance

You might consider taking a look at your dental insurance plan to see if your dentist is in-network, but only if you are not in severe pain. The great news is that Dr. Bailey at North River Dental Care accepts most major PPO plans, as well as offers flexible payment options like CareCredit, United Medical Credit, as well as some “in-house” financing options.

Don’t Touch!

If your tooth is knocked out, you should avoid handling it as much as possible. It is especially important to never touch the root of the tooth. Instead, it is safer to handle the tooth by the crown.

Transport Carefully

Do not place a knocked out tooth in alcohol, other cleaners, or even water. These substances can all damage your tooth.  Instead, if the tooth is intact, try and place it gently back in its socket. Do not attempt this if the tooth is in fragments.  If the tooth is dirty, gently brush the dirt off with clean hands first. You can also transport your tooth to the dentist in a glass of milk (yes, that old wives’ tale is true!), buffered saline solution, or even between your cheek and gums. The American Dental Association (ADA) gives their Seal of Acceptance to “Save-A-Tooth”, which is a container filled with solution aimed at preserving teeth for up to 24 hours.

When in Doubt, Don’t Drive Yourself

dental emergency driver

If you are in severe pain from a dental emergency, chances are you will be too distracted to safely drive yourself to the dentist. We recommend calling a friend or family member to drive you to North River Dental Care for your emergency dental appointment. If you can’t get in touch with someone, a cab is a good alternative.

How to Prevent a Dental Emergency

protection for dental emergencies

While there is no way to prepare for every possible dental emergency, there are still steps you can take. If you or your children play sports, always wear protective headgear and properly fitted mouth guards. This is especially true of contact sports like football. If you are a parent, keep a regular eye on play areas frequented by your kids. If a swing set looks rickety, it’s best to avoid it.

Also remember that your teeth are not indestructible! They should not be used to tear apart hard-to-open packaging. It’s always better to track down some scissors than risk permanently harming your teeth.

If you have additional questions, you can visit our Dental Emergency page on our website or send us a message. We sympathize if you have suffered a dental emergency, but we’re glad you have entrusted us with your dental wellbeing during a stressful time. Call (540) 684-5857 and we’ll work with you to make an appointment right away.

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