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Patient Newsletter Dental Emergencies Abroad

Plan to Travel? Learn How to Handle and Treat Dental Emergencies!

Traveling around the country or the world can be one of the most exciting ways to spend your time. That’s why Denton Dental Center hopes that all patients who plan to travel in the near future have a safe and relaxing trip filled with new memories and lasting relationships!

Of course, when all you can think about is packing your favorite outfits and planning your itinerary, it’s understandable that accounting for your oral health is likely not the highest on your list of priorities. But the last thing you want to disturb your trip (or even cut it short) is a dental emergency.

It’s events like these that prove that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In our newest monthly newsletter, we’ll be discussing common dental emergencies people run into while traveling, how to handle them, and what you can do to protect yourself in the future.

Couple outdoors

The Most Common Dental
Emergencies Abroad

Technically there are two types of dental emergencies Dr. Balington sees. These emergencies are caused by either long-term plaque development or by forced trauma. The latter is far more likely to be the cause of your emergency if you’re already committed to daily at-home care and routine visits to our office. The most common individual emergencies include:

  • Tooth pain
  • Broken/chipped teeth or restorations
  • Slightly or fully dislodged teeth

Whether you’re biting into a tough piece of food you aren’t used to eating or you’re biking outside and don’t see the curb, trauma-based dental emergencies happen when you least expect them.

woman holding cheek

How to Handle Your Emergency

If you’re still in the plane, tooth pain can easily occur if you have cracks, cavities, or spaces in your filling because of the increased air pressure inside the cabin. By the time you land, any discomfort should subside. However, if the pain does not go away, rinse your mouth out and use dental floss to clean around the tooth and dislodge food debris. If that doesn’t help, take over-the-counter painkillers and find a dentist in the area.

If you break a tooth or restoration, such as a dental crown or filling, rinse your mouth out and apply a cold compress to the outside of your cheek. This will reduce swelling until you get to a dentist. Don’t wait to see a dentist or emergency room in the area.

If the tooth becomes partially dislodged, apply a cold compress to your cheek and avoid chewing on that side of your mouth until you get to a dentist. If the tooth is fully dislodged, locate the tooth and pick it up by the crown. Rinse the crown and root if covered with dirt or other debris, but avoid touching tissue fragments still attached. Once you’ve cleaned the tooth and rinsed out your mouth, attempt to place the tooth back into your socket. You can also keep the tooth in milk, saltwater, or saline solution until you get to a dentist.

Woman using ice pack on face

Best Prevention Practices for
Dental Emergencies

It helps to have a temporary dental plan if you want insurance in the event of a dental emergency. However, most dental emergencies can be avoided if you receive a dental checkup prior to your trip. If any issues are present, Dr. Balington can help you address them and give you confidence before you leave the area. If you have any serious treatments awaiting completion, have them performed prior to your trip.

Furthermore, it’s best to bring everything you need to practice daily oral care during your trip, including the basic necessities like a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss. However, it’s also worth bringing acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief or dental cement to reattach restorations or prevent vulnerable areas from bacteria exposure. If you want to reduce your risk of a dental emergency, avoid hard candies or similar food if your teeth are at higher risk of getting damaged.

The last thing you want to do is be calling an emergency dentist in a state or country you’re unfamiliar with, especially if you don’t have the insurance to cover said treatment. Instead, it’s worth it to schedule a visit for yourself and other family members if they plan on traveling with you. Feel free to contact our office in the future and make sure you’re fully prepared for your next vacation!

woman holding toothbrush and toothpaste
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