Dental emergencies have a way of popping up at the worst time possible — like when you’re traveling and can’t get to your dentist right away. But that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. Knowing how to handle dental problems and when to seek immediate dental care will help you stay calm and prepared.
At Manhasset Dental Arts, our dentists Dr. Elizabeth Abrams and Dr. Michael Abrams know how critical good dental care is, no matter where you are. While we offer a range of family and emergency dentistry services at our office in Manhasset, New York, your dental health while traveling is important to us, too.
If you’re about to travel, here’s what you can do to ensure proper dental care in case of emergency.
What is a dental emergency?
Technically speaking, any problem that requires you to see a dentist as quickly as possible can be considered a dental emergency. That means anything from trauma that causes bleeding or a fractured or broken tooth, to pain from a cavity or infection. In general, you should get to a dentist as soon as possible if you experience any of the following problems while traveling:
- Moderate to severe pain
- Abscessed tooth
- Soft tissue lacerations
Of course, if you have severe bleeding or extensive trauma that could be life-threatening, seek emergency treatment right away.
How to prepare for a dental emergency while traveling
Accidents, by nature, can happen anywhere, at any time. You might not be able to prevent everything, but taking a few precautions while you travel can lower the risk of having a dental problem while you’re away from home.
For starters, make sure that you’ve had a dental check-up and cleaning within the last six months so that there are no surprises. Infections and inflammation from tooth decay or gum disease can flare up at any time, so make it a priority to stay on top of your oral health and make sure that your teeth and gums are healthy before you go on your trip.
Also, routines can fly out the window when you’re on vacation and away from home, so make it a point to continue practicing good oral hygiene while you’re traveling. Brush and floss as normal, and be conscious of what you eat and drink, as well as trying new or unfamiliar foods. One bite into a hard surface or a week or two of poor eating and oral hygiene can be all it takes to set you back and cause dental problems in the short and long term.
How to handle a dental emergency away from home
Depending on how far from home you are and the length of your trip, getting to a dentist right away can be difficult. First, stay calm and then follow these tips.
Call your dentist for guidance
Depending on where you’re traveling and your individual circumstances, getting dental care or advice where you are can be difficult, especially if there’s a language barrier. If you’re not sure what to do if you have a dental problem on vacation, call your dentist back home for guidance. At Manhasset Dental Arts, we provide emergency dentistry services and can conduct an initial consultation over the phone.
Getting guidance from a dentist you trust can help you to better navigate the dental system where you are, and in some cases, your home dentist can even make recommendations for a local service provider.
Contact your dental insurance provider
Different regions offer different levels of care and service. If possible, contact your insurance provider to find local dental coverage and services.
If you’re staying at a hotel or hostel, you can also ask the concierge or management for help in finding a reputable and experienced local dentist who can see you on short notice.
If you have swelling, apply ice or a cold compress until you can get to a dentist. If your tooth is knocked out, rinse with warm water and keep the tooth if you have it in case it can be reattached.
For more information about getting help for a dental emergency and tips for keeping your teeth and gums healthy while traveling, contact us today for an appointment at our office in Manhasset, New York.