Dental Emergencies and Toothaches
Dental emergencies and toothaches are stressful and unpredictable. They can arise anytime and you never know when it might happen. Whether you’re injured playing a sport or you have an excruciating tooth abscess, it’s always a good idea to call your dentist as soon as you can to arrange for an emergency visit.
Basically, any dental problem that requires immediate treatment in order to save a tooth, stop ongoing tissue bleeding or alleviate severe pain is a dental emergency. A severe infection, swelling or abscess in the mouth can be life threatening and should be dealt with immediately. We may prescribe an antibiotic and schedule an appointment at the next available date in office.
Often times, pain can be the result of an underlying condition. To avoid any dental emergencies, we strongly encourage everyone to have routine visits and checkups. However, sometimes accidents cannot be avoided, and we are here to provide emergency dental care.
Our friendly and knowledgeable administration team is available to help find an appointment for you in your time of need. If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, don’t hesitate to call us!
Our number one priority is to relieve your pain and get you on the road to a healthy smile. We will take the necessary x-rays and discuss your prognosis in detail before we begin any treatment on you.
Many patients may be unsure whether a dental concern even counts as a dental emergency. We understand it may be difficult to know. A simple call to the office and we can help answer any of your questions.
An aching tooth is a very common dental emergency. A toothache is often a sign of infection in or around a tooth. At the first hint of discomfort, you should call us to schedule an appointment to stop any future damage to the tooth.
Teeth That are Chipped, Cracked or Broken
If a tooth is chipped and doesn’t hurt, this usually does not constitute a dental emergency and you can wait a few days to see a dentist. However, it is important to be careful while chewing so as not to chip it more. We may simply be able to smooth the chip out or add some filling material to repair the tooth. A cracked or fractured tooth is a serious issue constituting a dental emergency. Fractured or cracked teeth usually suggest that damage has occurred to the inside of the tooth as well as to the outside. Severe fractures can be so extreme that sometimes the tooth cannot be saved. If you suffer a fractured tooth, call immediately for an emergency appointment and follow these steps:
- Clean your mouth out by gently rinsing thoroughly with warm water.
- If the fracture is caused by facial trauma, apply a cold compress to the area to minimize any swelling.
- Take acetaminophen (not aspirin) according to the package directions to alleviate pain.
- Never apply a painkiller to the gum because it can burn the gum tissue. An x-ray will be necessary in order for our dentist to properly diagnose the condition of your tooth. If the soft tissue inside of the tooth (the tooth pulp) is damaged, your tooth may need a root canal. If the pulp is not damaged, the tooth might only require a crown.
Tissue Injury and Facial Pain
Injury inside the mouth, such as puncture wounds, lacerations and tears to the lips, cheeks, mouth and tongue, are considered tissue injuries and a dental emergency. If you experience any type of tissue injury, it is important to rinse the area immediately with warm water.
If the bleeding is coming from the tongue, gently pull the tongue forward and place pressure on the wound using gauze. You should get to a nearby hospital emergency room as quickly as possible. To alleviate any type of facial pain associated with tissue injury, you can take acetaminophen as directed on the package label. Never take aspirin or ibuprofen for a dental emergency because they are anticoagulants, which could cause excessive bleeding.
A knocked-out tooth is a dental emergency that requires urgent attention. If the appropriate emergency steps are followed immediately after the tooth has been knocked out, the chances are very good that the tooth can be reinserted and preserved.
Pick up the tooth by the top (crown) of the tooth. Do not touch the root(s) of the tooth.
Rinse the tooth off very gently to ensure that it’s clean. Do not scrub the tooth or remove any tissue attached to it. Be sure to place a towel or washcloth in the sink so that the tooth does not go down the drain.
If you can, gently place the tooth back into the socket. Hold it gently in place while trying to bite down.
If you can’t place the tooth back in the socket, put the tooth in a small container or in a cup of milk. Note that the latter is preferable.
Call us immediately, since getting to the dentist quickly with your tooth – in addition to following the steps above – it is important for saving the knocked-out tooth. The longer you wait to re-implant the tooth in its socket, the less chance you have of the tooth “taking” and remaining viable.