It's often said that nobody likes going to the dentist. It's not much fun to have someone poking and prodding inside your mouth with sharp metal instruments, especially when you've got to pay a hefty sum to have any dental issues taken care of. However, if you're stuck with a major dental issue like a broken or abscessed tooth, a skilled dentist is suddenly your best friend in the world. It's nearly impossible to go about your daily routine in excruciating, mind-numbing pain, and the dentist can quickly alleviate your suffering.

Like it or not, regular dental visits keep your pearly whites pearly and white.

Like it or not, regular dental visits keep your pearly whites clean and healthy.

In a SHTF emergency situation, it may not always be possible to simply go to the dentist. There may no longer be any dentists available, or those who are may be so busy they can't possibly help you. So, it's wise to have a basic level of knowledge about dental care and emergency treatment. This may make you squeamish, but it might be necessary to pull your own tooth or fill your own cavity to survive.

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An illustration from “Where There Is No Dentist” by Murray Dickson.

There's an excellent book available that can teach you almost everything you need to know about emergency dentistry. It's called “Where There Is No Dentist”, and it was written by Murray Dickson in collaboration with Hesperian Health Guides, a non-profit medical organization. This 200-page book is available for free through Hesperian's web site, so you can start reading it today without spending a cent. It's even filled with simple instructions and illustrations, since it's targeted at readers with no medical background.

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Here's a glossary of links to each chapter of the book, in free PDF format:

If you're so inclined, you can buy a hard copy of the book on for $16. For more medical tips and tricks, check out our previous medical articles.

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