How to Handle Common Dental Emergencies this Holiday Season


We all make plans over the holidays - but no one plans for a dental emergency! So, let's look at how to handle the most common dental emergencies, just in case!

‘Twas the Week Before Christmas with plans winding down. Not a dentist was working, it seemed in our town.”

And most dentists in Kamloops, myself included, will be closed at some point during the holidays – possibly for several weeks. December is also a very busy month, as we try to get the most out of patients’ yearly benefits before they renew in January.

So if you run into any trouble, here’s my advice for handling 5 Common Dental Emergencies:

1) Missing Fillings –  might be sensitive or sharp to the tongue but most teeth will be okay. Best way to cope is grab some orthodontic wax from the drugstore and use that to fill the hole. It will insulate the tooth from cold and keep food from getting stuck.

2) Missing Crown – just don’t swallow it and everything will be fine! Gently clean and dry the tooth and crown as best you can, stick toothpaste in the crown and gently replace it over the tooth. Your dentist can usually put it back permanently later.

3) Chipped or Broken Tooth – if the nerve isn’t exposed, refer to #1. If there is cheek swelling or pain, use ice. If the nerve IS exposed (and this will really hurt) then it’s time to call your dentist and get some help.

4) Knocked-Out Tooth – only a problem if it’s an adult tooth. In this case, you need to see a dentist within 4 hours to save it. In the meantime, try to put the tooth back in the socket to keep it alive. If you can’t, hold it gently in the cheek or, if all else fails, a glass of milk is better than nothing.

5) Infection – always a big deal, but can need antibiotics before the offending tooth can be treated. This is because swelling can make it hard to open your mouth or for the local anesthetic to work properly. Call your dentist’s emergency line – he/she can usually prescribe an antibiotic or will arrange to take a look.

Hope you all enjoy your holiday festivities, and always know that if you really need me, I’m here for you!

And if you’re looking for a dentist in Kamloops, we are happily accepting new patients! You can contact us by clicking here!

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