Have you or a family member experienced a dental emergency at some point in your life, but you weren’t sure what to do? Did you visit the emergency room, only to be told to go to a dentist? Dental emergencies don’t happen often, but when they do, it’s incredibly important to have a dentist you can rely on for your visit. If you’re experiencing a cracked tooth, an oral infection, or simply dental pain, don’t wait to visit Dr. Johnson and his team!
Dental emergencies typically appear in the form of a decayed or infected tooth (long-term emergency) or sudden trauma (short-term emergency.) Both require their own needs for treatment, which is why you should always call our dental office the moment they appear. Not only can we get you scheduled for an emergency appointment, but we can provide additional guidance to manage your symptoms beforehand. Take a moment to look over our recommendations for treating certain emergencies below.
If you’ve already tried flossing in between your teeth for food debris, take an over-the-counter painkiller like ibuprofen to reduce discomfort. If your face begins to swell, which is typical for infections, apply an ice pack to your mouth in 20-minute intervals. At our dental office, we’ll confirm the presence of decay or an infection, then remove that decay or prescribe antibiotics to get you treated.
Keep any pieces of teeth that you can find and bring them to our dental office. Use a cold compress to reduce facial swelling and take painkillers as needed, making sure to avoid aspirin as it can cause a burning sensation if it contacts the inner tooth. Use wax paraffin or sugarless gum to cover any jagged areas which can easily cut your mouth. Dental bonding, dental fillings or a crown may be needed to restore your tooth’s function and appearance.
Locate the tooth and gently pick it up by the crown portion only. The root portion may still have tissue attached. If so, do not try to remove this tissue. After gently rinsing the tooth of any debris and rinsing your mouth out with warm water, place the tooth back into your socket to keep it preserved. You can also place it in milk to preserve it until you get to our dental office. A dental implant or bridge can fill the gap if reimplantation is unsuccessful.
If your restoration is loose or unseated, rinse the restoration off and wash your mouth out with warm water. Use either dental cement or denture adhesive to reseat the crown over your natural tooth. This will help reduce sensitivity as a damaged and exposed tooth can feel uncomfortable. If the restoration cannot be used, a replacement will be made.
In most cases, you can prevent a dental emergency by practicing proper prevention at home and at our dental office. Daily brushing and flossing prevent plaque buildup, which is the main cause of cavities and oral infections. Visiting our dental office once every six months helps us catch problems before they become emergencies. Furthermore, wearing a mouthguard protects your teeth while playing contact sports and not using your teeth as a tool prevents most serious problems.
You won’t know exactly how much your dental emergency will cost to treat until you arrive at our dental office for closer examination. However, simple emergencies generally do cost less than more complex ones. For example, oral infections may only require a prescription to treat, but they may also require root canal therapy if your tooth is at risk of failing. Once we’ve taken x-rays and built an accurate diagnosis, we can start talking about your dental care costs.