Hi! My name is Dr. Kyle Hornby and I'm an Dental Emergency Care Provider in Kitchener, Ontario. Each week, I sit down at my computer to draft oral health articles that empower people to improve their lives. Today, I'd like to give you some quick tips for managing your dental emergency and locating emergency dental care near you.
Generally speaking, a dental emergency is some change in the mouth that causes pain or swelling. Some of the most common emergencies include a dental abscess or infection, broken tooth or trauma injury to the oral tissues.
However, other things like blisters in the mouth or a broken denture can also be categorized as a dental emergency. For most patients, a dental emergency occurs when something in the mouth changes in a worrisome way.
Breaking a piece off of a filling or tooth is probably the most common emergency that we see in our office.
You can be seen at any Kitchener Dentist's office to have a dental emergency triaged, and treated (where necessary).
In some cases, however, you may need access to dental care urgently during an evening or on a weekend.
Although, more and more dental offices are open for dental emergency care on weekends, they are still the exception and not the rule.
So, you'll need some tips for quickly locating a KW Emergency Dentist when you need them most.
Here are a few super-helpful tips for getting the care you need...
More and more dental clinics are expanding their hours. The traditional 8am - 4pm model isn't keeping up with the demands of patients' busy schedules.
If you can locate 2-3 dental clinics online who offer weekend hours, you'll have a small list as a resource for when you need timely care.
You can simply search Google for "Kitchener-Waterloo Dentist open Saturday (or Sunday)". Google My Business will present you with a list of KW Dental Clinics that are open Saturday and you can use this info to make a short list of the ones that are closest to you.
Even if your Dentist is not open when you need them, they may offer a personal number for the Dentist or a number for an Emergency On-Call Dentist.
Many regions have an on-call service arranged through the local Dental Society. These services typically run on weekdays until 10 or 11pm and full-day during weekends.
It's also important to leave a message notifying your regular Kitchener Dentist of your dental emergency. Any On-Call or Emergency Dentist you see may provide treatment to stabilize things or to get you out of pain.
Oftentimes, more definitive treatment and follow-up is required by your Family Dentist.
I don't want people out there trying to treat their own dental emergencies at home. I've seen patients who have tried to re-bond crowns using Krazy Glue and others who have tried to pull their own teeth.
I wouldn't dare judge somebody in a difficult situation but I can say that oftentimes, home treatment doesn't work well.
There are, however, some tips I can give you to improve comfort and reduce risk with different dental emergency situations.
Toothaches can occur because of infection, a deep cavity, or a fracture. If you're safe (i.e. not allergic to) clove oil, try some on your achy tooth. It contains Eugenol which is a sedative for dental nerves.
If your toothache is due to abscess, rinsing with salt water can help - it works as a mild antibacterial and also makes mouth pH (acidity) less favorable to the "bugs" that might be causing your infection.
Gum sores or severely inflamed areas can also be quelled with salt water rinsing 2-3 times daily. Try a 15ml tablespoon of salt in 1 cup of water.
These home remedies can provide relief but I'd still recommend to call your Kitchener Emergency Dentist for an assessment.
Anybody who's had braces knows what it's like to have a detached arch wire scraping their cheek on a Saturday night.
To provide interim relief and avoid long-term cheek irritation, you can pick up some Orthodontic Wax at your local pharmacy and place it over the exposed wire end.
Both baby and adult teeth can be knocked out of their socket.
A baby tooth should not be replanted back in its socket. This may result in ankylosis, or your child's baby tooth becoming fused to bone. The problem with this is that it can prevent eventual eruption of your child's adult tooth.
If an adult tooth is knocked out of its socket, place it in Ringer's Sterile Saline or, alternately, Milk. Call your Kitchener Emergency Dentist to arrange an immediate appointment if possible.
If your tooth sustains impact and is loose in its socket, avoid chewing on the tooth. If you can bite together to enable moving the tooth back into position, it will help overall healing outcome.
Call your Kitchener-Waterloo Dentist immediately to arrange an Emergency Dental Appointment. Your Dentist will likely take x-rays to look for tooth fractures and then splint any loose teeth to more stable neighbouring teeth.
This splint will help to stabilize your loose tooth for 3-4 weeks so that it can heal.
You'll want to watch out for tooth discolouration and swelling of the gums over a few weeks, post-trauma. Drainage of pus from around the injured tooth will be a sign of infection. If you notice any irregularities during healing, contact your Kitchener Dentist.
It's really common to get a burnt palate from hot pizza, tea or soup. Commonly the gum tissue forms a yellowish ulcer that is very sore to the touch afterward.
Rest assured, these areas heal within 4-6 days. To improve healing, use 1-2 salt water rinses each day.
Here is the Canadian Dental Association's Guide to Dental Emergencies.
By Dr. Kyle Hornby, Kitchener Dentist
Our Dentist Office is located in Downtown Kitchener. We are a short drive away for families in Waterloo, Breslau & St. Jacobs. Our central location means we truly offer family dentistry near you!
This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Accordingly, always seek the advice of your Dentist or other healthcare providers regarding a dental condition or treatment.