It’s essential that you always prepare, as best as you can, for every possible situation when travelling. It can be a bit challenging when you have to deal with a toothache abroad, that is why you need to have a full understanding of how dental emergency works to better address any issue while you are away from home.
What exactly count as a dental emergency? When is the right time to call a dentist, and which office you should visit? This article will help you with all you need to do in case of a dental emergency while travelling.
What Should Be Your First Response to A Dental Emergency Abroad?
Regardless of how prepared you might have been as a traveller, no one actually plan for dental emergencies. The best you can do is to research ahead of your trip to know how to appropriately respond to an emergency. Besides finding a local dentist that can help, you should take the following actions to address an immediate emergency.
If you are travelling by air, chances are that you will experience tooth pain because of the imbalance in air pressure. This usually happens when air enters your tooth through a cavity, crack, or space in your filling which then expands due to the pressure changes while flying. This is a common type of toothache and should go away when you land. Also, it only affects pre-existing problems.
However, if your toothache refuses to go away after arriving, dislodge anything that might be stuck in the teeth by rinsing your mouth and using floss. Painkiller can also help with the pain. So, you can take some. But if the pain persists and you can’t to return home for a fix, you may need to visit a dentist.
Cracked or broken tooth
A cracked or broken tooth is a dental emergency that needs to be addressed immediately. Rinse your mouth and put a cold compress on the outside of the cheek to treat swelling. Then locate an emergency dentist in the area for immediate attention.
If your tooth is entirely knocked out by an emergency, these are the steps you should follow:
• Hold the tooth by the crown
• If the root is dirty, rinse it but don’t touch the tissue fragment
• If possible, hold the tooth in the socket, or transport the tooth in a cup of milk to go see a dentist right away. Remember that after about 30 minutes, the chances of saving the tooth decreases. So, act fast and make sure you are seeing an emergency dentist.
Finding A Dentist Abroad
It doesn’t matter where you are travelling to; you can always rest assured that there is a certified dentist nearby who can help you with dental issues when they arise unexpectedly.
If you got travel insurance, then you should first call your provider to ask for a referral to a nearby dentist who will accept your coverage. You can also call your country’s embassy, speak with your hotel concierge or research the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers to help recommend the closest dentist that can treat your emergency.
Tips for Travelling Prepared
Preparation is the best way to avoid a dental emergency, especially if you have been fighting some tooth pain before you leave. Here are some few precautions to practice before embarking on your trip:
#1: Go in for a checkup
Do you have a history of cavities or gum disease? Check-in for cleaning and tell your dentist you will soon be leaving for a trip. He or she can check for signs of problems that need monitoring while you are on your trip and will also give you tips on how you can care for your teeth and respond to an emergency.
#2: Get some dental insurance
The truth is that most insurance policies do not cover you when you are overseas. You may need to get an additional temporary dental plan for your travel.
#3: Be well prepared
Good oral health is essential to avoiding emergencies, so travel with all you need to practice one. If you have been experiencing pain, apart from seeing your dentist before taking off, you should also travel with some over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
#4: Keep a close eye on your diet
Mind your oral habits overseas. Avoid chewing hard candies or similar foods which could cause a chip or crack. If you are the type that has been battling with sensitivity, stay away from tea, coffee, and other acidic beverages to avoid the need to see a dentist abroad.
While a dental emergency can be scary, it can even be more when travelling. But with proper planning and some initiative, you can care for your teeth before leaving and also know how best to respond to emergencies. Schedule an appointment with your dentist before you travel and ask about some other oral health tips that can help you abroad.