A summer vacation sounds great, but one thing that could derail it is some sort of medical emergency. What if you got a debilitating toothache while hundreds, or even thousands, of miles away from your regular dentist? You don’t want the throbbing pain to ruin the rest of your trip. Keep reading as your emergency dentist in Chesterfield offers advice in case you have a dental emergency while traveling.
Locate a Dentist at Your Vacation Destination in Advance
Instead of scrambling to respond to a dental emergency when pain could impede your ability to function, plan ahead. While you are sifting through all the other details of your trip, take a moment to locate a dentist in the city that you are traveling to. If you are heading to Europe or perhaps Canada, they have similar dental standards and capabilities to practices in the U.S., so you should have no problem finding a viable emergency dentist.
To-Do List Before You Travel
Here are some precautions for your trip, especially if your tooth is already hurting:
- Go in for a checkup. Schedule a cleaning and let your dentist know you are leaving soon. They can look for signs of developing problems and offer advice on both dental care and emergency response.
- Get dental insurance. Many insurance policies don’t provide coverage overseas, so you may need an additional temporary plan.
- Travel prepared. Collect items for a travel kit like over-the-counter painkillers, toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, and mouthwash.
- Make smart dietary choices. Avoid hard foods that could cause a crack or chip. To avoid sensitivity, steer clear of acidic beverages.
What If You’ve Just Suffered a Dental Emergency on Vacation?
Even if adversity strikes and you haven’t planned for emergency care, you can still respond appropriately if you heed this advice from your emergency dentist in Chesterfield. If you have picked up travel insurance, your first step should be to call your provider and ask for a referral to a nearby dentist who will accept your coverage. You can also speak with your hotel concierge, call your country’s Embassy or Consulate, or research the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers for recommendations on the closest dentist who can treat your emergency.
Common Dental Emergencies for Travelers
- Toothache – This could arise when flying due to air pressure imbalances. This type of toothache is common and should go away when you land. If it doesn’t, before seeing a dentist, you can seek relief via rinsing your mouth, flossing, or taking painkillers.
- Broken or Cracked Tooth – You need to take urgent action. Rinse your mouth, apply a cold compress on the outside of your check, and seek an emergency dentist.
- Dislodged Tooth – This requires an immediate emergency dentist visit. Grasp the tooth by the crown, and rinse the root if it’s dirty, but don’t touch the tissue or place it in a cloth. Hold the tooth in the socket if possible or transport it in a cup of milk. You only have 30 minutes before the likelihood of saving the tooth begins to decline.
There’s never a good time – or location – for a dental emergency but facing one while traveling can bring additional complications. Fortunately, proper planning can reduce your chances of having trouble and make you better equipped to respond to adversity if it arises.
About the Author
Dr. Jeff Yenzer earned his dental doctorate from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The St. Louis native has advanced training in endodontics, cosmetic dentistry, and dental implants. He opened Yenzer Family Dental of Chesterfield in 2014. Hopefully, the tips above help you stay safe during your travels. If you ever suffer a dental emergency in Chesterfield, he offers same-day appointments. Schedule an appointment on his website, but if it’s an emergency, call (636) 778-3019.