If you’re on the beach and you see a tsunami on the horizon, try not to panic. Yeah right, good luck with that.
In a less dramatic situation, if you are ever faced with a dental emergency, do your best to remain calm. It’s ideal to develop a plan of action ahead of time, which will help you keep a cool head. If you find yourself dealing with a lost dental filling, for example, here are tips from your emergency dentist in Pacoima about what you should do.
Step 1: Contact Your Emergency Dentist
This is always the first step, since the sooner your dentist is aware of the situation, the quicker you will potentially be able to see them for tooth repair. Be sure to mention if you have any pain. If they cannot see you immediately, ask what you can do to protect the tooth in the meantime.
Step 2: Put the Filling in a Safe Place
Do not throw the filling away. Take it with you to the dentist so they can determine if it can be reused. If not, they will begin the process of making you a new one.
Step 3: Prep a Salt Water Solution for Gargling
After mixing a half teaspoon of salt with warm water, gargle to keep the damaged tooth clean and remove any debris that may be stuck on it. Gargling is also beneficial to help kill bacteria and stop it from damaging your vulnerable tooth.
Step 4: Brush Your Teeth Gently
You still need to include your damaged tooth as part of your oral care routine until you can see your dentist but be extra careful with it. Brush it gently so that you don’t cause further harm while it is vulnerable.
Step 5: Chew Food with the Opposite Side of Your Mouth
Minimize the risk for further damage to your compromised tooth by using it as little as possible. That will hopefully prevent discomfort and food potentially getting lodged in or beside the tooth.
Step 6: Provide the Damaged Tooth with Temporary Protection
A temporary filling material like dental wax is important to offer protection for your damaged tooth until you can receive treatment. When you call the dentist to report the lost filling, ask if they recommend something specific for you to use to protect the tooth.
Step 7: Manage Your Pain as Needed
If you are hurting after losing the filling, it is fine to use an over-the-counter pain reliever until you can see your dentist. Follow the dosage instructions so you don’t take it too often. If needed, you can also use an ice pack or cold compress for 15 minutes at a time to lessen the swelling. One more option to consider is an oral numbing gel with benzocaine.
Dental fillings are durable with an average lifespan of 15 years, but the wise move is to expect the unexpected. If you ever lose a filling, remember to call your emergency dentist in Pacoima first thing, and then implement these other steps to keep your tooth safe and minimize your pain level.
About the Practice
At A New Smile, our team of doctors consists of a general dentist, a periodontist, an endodontist, and an oral surgeon. Due to each staff member’s specialized experience and knowledge, we’re able to offer completely comprehensive dental care, including the most in-depth and advanced treatments. We hope you never have to deal with a lost filling or other dental distress, but if the time comes, we’ll be ready to help. Should you require an emergency dentist, we can perform an array of emergency procedures using the latest technology. Schedule an emergency appointment on our website or by calling (818) 897-5771.