Emergency Dental Care
If you have a toothache, swollen face, broken tooth, or have lost a filling or a crown, it is important you seek dental attention as soon as possible.
We understand your need for emergency treatment and pain relief. If you’re in pain, don’t wait any longer. In many cases, we are able to provide our patients with an immediate emergency dental appointment.
Types of Dental Emergencies:
A dental emergency can happen at any time and anywhere. Types of dental emergencies can be caused by an impact to the mouth and include chipped, knocked-out or loose teeth. In the event of a dental emergency, it is vital you see a dentist as soon as possible.
- Toothaches:Tooth pain can be generally attributed to a broken tooth, as well as a new cavity or decay under an old filling. It may also be caused by damage to the tooth as a result of excessive grinding or clenching. Generally, there is not a lot you can do about tooth pain other than to see a dentist immediately. You can also take temporary pain relievers such as ibuprofen or Tylenol, if needed.
- Sore, Swollen, and Bleeding Gums: In many cases, swollen and bleeding gums are signs of gum disease. If you are experiencing discomfort, gently brush and floss your teeth or rinse the area with warm salt water to alleviate the pain. Be sure to see a dentist as soon as possible.
- Broken Tooth:A broken tooth can occur as a result of the following: accidental falls, sports-related injuries, fighting, car accidents, or accidentally biting down on a hard object. They can also occur as a result of cavities that weaken the tooth which may cause chipping or fractures. Teeth with large portions broken off can often become very painful due to exposed nerves and internal damage. Teeth with smaller cracks or fractures may or may not be painful and may be more difficult to detect.
- Lost Crown: If your crown falls off, be sure to make an appointment to see your dentist immediately. If you still have the crown, make sure to bring it to your dental appointment. In the meantime, you can apply a cotton swab with some clove oil to the sensitive area if the tooth is causing pain. If at all possible, you want to replace the crown back over the tooth, but before doing that you will want to coat the inside with an over-the-counter dental cement or toothpaste, never use superglue.
What to Do in the Event of a Knocked Out or Broken Tooth
Teeth are extraordinarily strong, but they can chip, fracture, or break. In rare cases, teeth can even be knocked out. Fortunately for you, there are things that can be done to save the tooth, but the one thing that is required is an immediate visit to the dentist. In the event of a dental emergency, even half an hour can make a difference in having the ability to save a tooth.
When Your Tooth is Knocked Out
If a tooth is knocked out, or “avulsed,” it can oftentimes be re-implanted by your emergency dentist as long as the following measures are taken:
- Handle the tooth only by the crown (chewing edge) and do not touch the roots.
- Do not try to brush or clean the tooth, only lightly rinse it.
- Try to replace the tooth in its socket but be careful not to lose or swallow the tooth.
- If the tooth cannot be replaced, store it in a small container filled with whole milk or saliva.
- Seek dental emergency service as soon as possible.
Knocked-out teeth have the highest chances of being saved when they are treated by the dentist and returned to their socket within one hour of being knocked out, so be sure to make an appointment with Appearance Implants right away.
When Your Tooth is Broken
If a tooth is broken, see your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist will be able to figure out if there were any cavities involved in the breaking of your tooth and if the tooth’s nerve is in danger. Before you get to the dentist’s office, there are several measures you should take in order to try and save your tooth.
- First, it is important to find and save all the pieces of the broken tooth.
- Next, rinse your mouth out well with warm water.
- Keep a cold icepack on your cheek or lips, covering the area with the broken tooth. This will help reduce swelling and relieve pain.
- If you can’t visit a dentist right away, cover the broken part of the tooth with dental cement that can be found at any drugstore.
- Take an over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen or Tylenol to relieve your pain.
If the break was clean, the emergency dentist may be able to re-cement the tooth back together. The emergency dentist may also need to perform a root canal in order to save the tooth in the event that the tooth nerve is injured.
When Your Tooth is Cracked or Fractured
Cracked teeth can often be difficult to detect as they do not show up in X-rays and may require several appointments to diagnose. Not all cracked or fractured teeth will cause pain. The level of pain experienced when one cracks a tooth depends on the severity of the fracture and the response of the pulp to outside irritants allowed to enter into the tooth. Sometimes the tooth may look fine but causes pain when you eat something hot or cold. If the tooth simply hurts all the time, this could be a warning sign of nerve damage.
Types of Fractures:
- Cuspal Fracture: This occurs when the cusp or pointed part of a tooth’s chewing surface becomes weakened. Part of the cusp can completely break off or may need to be removed by your dentist. Depending on the severity of the fracture, the pulp may also be damaged.
- Cracked Tooth: This fracture extends from the chewing surface down into the tooth, sometimes below the gum line. The pieces remain in place, but the crack can gradually spread, due to the biting forces of chewing. If caught early enough, the tooth can be simply crowned or repaired with a filling. If nerve damage has occurred, you will need endodontic therapy or a root canal.
- Split Tooth:A split tooth is a cracked tooth where the crack has progressed to the point that there are two distinct pieces of the tooth that can be separated from each other. A split tooth can never be fully saved. Most of the tooth will have to be extracted. In rare cases, endodontic treatment, gum surgery, or a crown can be used to save a portion of the tooth.
How to Prevent Teeth from Cracking
Cracked teeth are not fully preventable, but there are steps you can take to make your teeth less likely to crack.
- Do not clench or grind your teeth.
- Do not chew on hard objects such as popcorn kernels, pens, and especially ice.
- If you clench or grind your teeth in your sleep, talk to your dentist about wearing a mouth guard to protect your teeth.
- Wear a mouth guard any time you play contact sports.
In the event of a dental emergency, it is important not to panic or lose control, but rather keep calm and seek a dental emergency service as soon as possible. Like most medical situations, prevention is always much easier and more effective than any cure. To prevent injury, one should always wear a mouth guard when playing contact sports and avoid hard foods such as bones, stale bread, and hard bagels. Also, brush and floss regularly and see your dentist on a regular basis.