How to Cope with Dental Problems Abroad


Toothache is no fun at the best of times, but if have a dental problem whilst on vacation in a different country, it can be excruciating for many reasons. At home, if your tooth starts to throb in a debilitating manner, you would make an emergency appointment at your dental surgery. Away from home, it is a different story because you do not have the same support system. So what should you do? 

Good Dental Preventative Care 
Prevention is always better than cure. Regular trips to the dentist are rarely very entertaining, but at least they will be able to detect problems before they become outright emergencies. A minor cavity can be filled before it becomes a raging toothache and mild gingivitis treated before you end up with a loose tooth. 

Always schedule an appointment with your dentist before a prolonged trip abroad, particularly if you are heading to a less well-developed country where qualified dentists are few and far between. 

Coping with Toothache 
Nobody wants toothache, but if you do begin to suffer, take the recommended dose of over the counter painkillers and spend some time thoroughly flossing your teeth to remove any food debris that may be stuck and causing inflammation. Oil of cloves is a useful antiseptic treatment for toothache; you could also try using an antiseptic mouthwash. 

Broken Teeth 
If you have broken a tooth, rinse your mouth out with clean water and apply a cold compress to the area to keep the swelling down. You should try to make an appointment with a dentist to assess whether the remainder of the tooth can be saved. 

Losing a Filling 
When a tooth develops a cavity, your dentist will fill the hole with an amalgam, composite, ceramic or even gold inlay. Most of the time, once a filling is cemented in place, it stays there for years. Sometimes, however, it can come loose and fall out. 

If a filling falls out, the hole left behind can be quite sensitive to hot and cold. Fashioning a temporary filling will help to ease the pain until you are able to find a dentist. Some drug stores sell temporary dental fillings, but in an emergency, use a piece of chewing gum or small piece of wax. 

Dealing with a Knocked Out Tooth 
Hopefully, you don’t put yourself in a position where having a tooth knocked out is a possibility, but if an accident occurs and you do lose a tooth, this is classed as a dental emergency and requires treatment. Use clean water to clean the area and control the bleeding with a cold compress. If you have the tooth, place it on a cup of milk and take it with you to the dentist, as he may be able to save the tooth if the root is not damaged. If you do experience any dental problems abroad, check your travel insurance to see whether you are covered. If you are, call the helpline and organize emergency dental care. If not, try to wait until you get home and then book an appointment 

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