Emergency Dental Care

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Emergency Dental Care

Accidents, dental injuries, and tooth damage can happen at any time, day or night, and they often demand immediate attention. If you have mild tooth sensitivity, bad breath, sore gums, or other relatively minor dental ailments, make an appointment with your regular dentist for a checkup. While it is important to treat these conditions promptly, they are not dental emergencies.

The conditions below do require emergency care and here is how to handle each one.

  • Toothaches

Toothache pain can be overwhelming, making it impossible to eat, sleep, and carry out your daily obligations. Serious tooth pain is often caused by a dental abscess or infection, or by serious decay that has irritated the nerves in and around your tooth. When tooth pain does not respond to over-the-counter pain relievers, you can consider it a dental emergency. Call an dentist, and follow these tips until they are able to see you:

  • Hold a cold compress against the outside of your mouth near the sore tooth.
  • Rinse your mouth with salt water to diminish inflammation
  • Use dental floss to remove any food that is lodged near the sore tooth.
  • Apply an oral numbing gel, sold at most drugstores, to the sore tooth and the gums around it.

Never apply aspirin or another pain reliever directly to your tooth or gums, as this can irritate the gum tissue and make matters a lot worse.

Your emergency dentist will examine the tooth and take x-rays to determine the cause of the pain. You may need a root canal or extraction to treat the abscess and associated pain; antibiotics may also be prescribed.

  • Broken or Cracked Teeth

If you chip or break a tooth, it's important to see the dentist as soon as possible.

If your chipped or cracked tooth is painful, you can ease the pain by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen. Hold a cold compress against the outside of your cheek, and if you are bleeding, bite down on a piece of gauze to slow the bleeding.

  • Knocked-Out Tooth

Having a tooth knocked out of your mouth can be traumatic, but take a deep breath and remember that emergency dentists treat this kind of situation often. If you are able to see a dentist within an hour, there is a pretty good chance the dentist will be able to re-insert the tooth into its socket and save it.

If there is any debris or dirt on the tooth, run it under some clean, cold water, but do not dry it on anything. Push it back into its socket, making sure that it is facing the right way, and bite down slowly to keep it in place until you reach the emergency dentist. If you cannot easily get the tooth back into its socket, store it in a container of milk.

The emergency treatment process for a lost tooth involves cleaning the socket to remove any debris, and then re-inserting the tooth in its socket. Your dentist may use wire or a special splint to hold the tooth in place. Over the next few weeks, the bone will fuse to the teeth.

  • Dental Abscess

A dental abscess is an infection that occurs in or around a tooth root. Abscesses can cause serious dental pain, and they can be dangerous as they might spread into the jaw bone, nearby teeth, or even your blood. It's important to seek treatment for a suspected dental abscess as soon as possible to reduce the chance of the infection spreading. If you have a fever or severe pain, call an emergency dentist for immediate care. If you do not have a fever and are able to manage your pain with over-the-counter pain relievers, you can call your general dentist in the morning; they will probably want to see you the same day or the next day.

As with any toothache, you can keep abscess pain under control with cold compresses, salt water rinses, and sticking to soft foods. Abscesses are often treated with a root canal procedure. If the tooth is badly infected, an extraction is an affordable treatment option.

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We are here to answer all your dental questions whether or not they pertain to general dentistry, oral surgery, periodontics, restorative dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics, invisible braces, emergency dental care, dental insurance, payment plans, scheduling or any other subject. Please contact us today at 913-782-1420.