Ask a Dentist

April 23, 2021

Q: I Have A Dental Emergency, What Should I Do?

Experiencing a dental emergency is never pleasant. 

There’s constant pain, discomfort and possible trauma potentially causing bleeding and lacerations to gums or fractured teeth. 

In this Ask A Dentist blog post, we’ll talk about different dental emergencies and how to give yourself first aid treatment, when to visit your dentist, and when to go to the nearest Winnipeg emergency room. 

What Are Considered Dental Emergencies And How Do You Treat Them?

According to the Canadian Dental Association, a dental emergency can be one of the following:

  • Toothache: Call your dentist immediately, explain your symptoms and book the earliest available appointment. You can take over the counter painkillers to help ease pain - do not place the pill on top of the sore tooth. And to further help with pain management, hold a cold compress against your cheek. Do not use anything hot as it will only make the pain worse.
  • Chipped or broken teeth: These teeth can be saved most of the time, and all you may need is a dental filling. If the crack is deeper, your dentist may recommend a root canal. After a root canal, a crown is recommended to protect the tooth. 
  • Knocked out tooth: Call your dentist immediately. It’s possible for the dentist to put it back if placed within 10 minutes of getting it knocked out. You can place the tooth back on its socket if it’s clean, but place it in a container of cold milk if there’s a chance of you swallowing it before you head out to see the dentist. Placing your tooth in milk will help preserve the cells in the tooth surface. Placing it in water will make these cells burst. Note that the chances of it taking root again is low after two hours. 
  • Badly bitten lip or tongue: Gently press on the bleeding area with a clean cloth. You can apply an ice pack if the area is swollen. 
  • Something stuck between your teeth: Remove it using dental floss. Never use a sharp, pointy object to try and dislodge it - doing so may cut your gums and scratch your teeth. If you can’t remove the object with dental floss, book an appointment with your dentist to have it cleaned. 
  • Lost filling: The best treatment is to see your dentist as soon as possible in order to relieve any discomfort and fill in the space.  Keep the area clean in the meantime. Gentle brushing, flossing, and rinsing will remove any food that can become lodged in the opening.   

Here’s What We Recommend You Do Next

When you experience any of the emergencies above, time is of the essence. Depending on pain or bleeding severity, it’s important to seek professional help immediately. 

Call your dentist right away. Your dentist will advise you on the best course of action. Based on your symptoms and current condition, they will schedule you for an emergency appointment at their dental clinic. 

If your dental emergency happens during dental clinic off hours and you need treatment right away, go to the nearest urgent care facility. If the pain is extremely unbearable or if you are bleeding profusely, you don’t have to wait until the dental clinic opens. This is also essential if you administered the first aid treatments mentioned above, but continue to feel pain and discomfort.  

Improve your dental health through proper oral care. With proper dental practices, you can help prevent many dental emergencies. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once daily. Consider sports mouthguards to protect your teeth from getting injured or get a night guard if you grind your teeth while sleeping. We offer custom-fitted mouthguards at our dental clinic!

Emergency Dentistry In Winnipeg

In need of a dental emergency appointment? Book your appointment with one of our dentists today. 

Dental Image Therapy Centres is conveniently located in St. Vital Centre and Garden City Shopping Centre.