Monday, September 15, 2008

No dentist? Oh, no!

By Gary F. Arnet, D.D.S.

Enjoying lunch while looking out over the gorgeous view from your backcountry home, you bite down hard on a nut, hear a loud crack, and immediately feel excruciating pain from a broken tooth. Rare? No, it occurs all the time.

Dental emergencies can occur at home or in the wilderness without warning and can incapacitate a person in an instant. “No problem, I’ll get right over to the dentist,” you think. Hopefully, that is possible, but not always. You may live some distance from a dentist, it may be a night or weekend when it is hard to find one, or there may not be any available.

One of the first things that stop during a disaster is dental care. Major natural disasters, such as earthquakes, fires, or floods, and human disasters, such as terrorism or riots, close dental offices in a second. Electrical shortages, as seen in California recently, or any disruption of the regional power grids and there is no help since dentists can’t operate without electricity. Hospitals rarely have any dental services, so you could be on your own for hours or days.

Since dental first aid is rarely taught in first aid classes, information presented here is intended to help you in an emergency situation when no professional dental help is available. It is not intended to be a substitute for proper dental care. Continue Reading >>

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