When a dental emergency happens, what is the first thing you think to do? Do you call your general practitioner or 911? The fact is dental emergencies require personalized care from a dentist to treat, not necessarily an emergency room. If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, give the dentists at Carefree Smiles Dentistry a call. We’ll do everything we can to see you the same-day for emergency dental services, whether you’re currently a patient at our dental office or not.
How to Handle A Common Tooth Emergency
Most dental emergencies fall into two different categories. This includes long-term emergencies, which involve either tooth decay or an oral infection, and short-term emergencies, which involve sudden trauma from a bad fall or sports accident. Both should trigger an immediate call to our dental office so you can schedule an appointment for emergency dental services. Until you arrive, take a moment to review the next steps to take to make your situation more manageable.
If you have a toothache, use floss to remove any potential food debris. If the pain persists, take a painkiller and apply a cold compress to your face in 10-minute intervals if swelling is present. Avoid aspirin as this can cause a burning sensation on your tooth. Until you get to our dental office, it’s difficult to know if either tooth decay or an oral infection is present. Typically, decay removal and a dental filling or antibiotics can solve your discomfort.
Collect any pieces of teeth that you can find and bring them to our dental office. Avoid chewing on that side of your mouth and apply a cold compress to reduce any swelling. If your tooth is sharp or jagged, use wax paraffin or sugarless gum to cover the tooth temporarily. This will protect your lips, cheeks, and tongue until you get to our dental office. Direct bonding or a dental crown are the best options for restoring chipped or broken teeth, but an extraction may be needed if the break is too severe.
Stay calm and look for the knocked-out tooth. Once found, pick it up only by the crown. Do not remove any tissue still attached. Gently rinse the tooth of any dirt or debris, then place the tooth back into your socket. If not possible, keep the tooth in a container of milk, saltwater or saliva if neither are available to keep it preserved. Get to our dental office within the hour to improve your chances of reimplantation. If we cannot save the tooth, we’ll go over your tooth replacement options.
Lost Filling/Lost Dental Crown
If you do not have the restoration, avoid chewing on that side of your mouth until getting to our dental office. If you still have the crown, gently rinse it as well as your mouth out with warm water. To reduce any discomfort, apply clove oil to the damaged tooth, then reseat the crown with either dental cement or denture adhesive. This is not a permanent solution but will reduce sensitivity until your restoration is replaced. We offer CEREC crowns, which means you can get your tooth restored the same day you arrive.
How to Prevent Dental Emergencies
Overall, dental emergencies can be prevented when you practice daily oral care and visit our dental office once every six months. Oral care helps you avoid decay-induced pain by removing plaque, while routine visits give us a chance to catch early signs of disease before they develop. Of course, those who pose a higher risk to dental emergencies, such as participants in contact sports, will need to wear mouthguards for additional protection. Furthermore, you should never use your teeth when a tool would be better suited.
The Cost of Treating Dental Emergencies
The best way to determine how much your dental emergency will cost is to pay an actual visit to our dental office for an exam. Cost is largely determined by the complexity of your case. For example, an oral infection may only need antibiotics to resolve, but it may also require root canal therapy if it’s more serious. Regardless, we’ll carefully evaluate your case and go over all your options before prescribing treatment.