Dental Emergencies often happen outside of regular office hours. We've listed some of the more common dental emergencies and how you can handle the situation if the need arises. Of course, there is always an emergency contact available when you call the office outside regular hours.
Here are some tips to help you decide whether or not you need emergency care:
Swelling in the mouth is probably the most serious condition that requires attention as an emergency, especially if it is accompanied by a fever and or trouble swallowing or breathing. Swelling can be caused by an infection, a cyst, an injury or blocked salivary gland ducts. Cold compresses can often help you to feel more comfortable until you can get to our office or emergency room. Any swelling should not be ignored.
- Toothache pain
Toothache pain is a sign that something is wrong and requires evaluation and possibly emergency care. It is important to see us as soon as your schedule allows. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water and taking an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Ibuprofen (Advil) or Tylenol can help relieve the pain until you arrive at our office.
- Loss of a tooth
When an adult tooth is knocked out, emergency dental care is absolutely necessary.
Step one: Clean the tooth as best you can and try to place it back in the socket.
Step two: Call the office! If a tooth is replaced within 30 minutes the chances that it can be saved are very high. If the tooth can't be reset into the socket (or if you are uncomfortable doing that) it should be kept in a cup of milk until you can get to our office, or covering doctor in the case of us being out of the office.
- Loss of a Filling, Bridge, or Broken Crown
Although this kind of problem may not always require emergency dental care, it is important that you make an appointment to come in to the office as soon as possible. Not only is it uncomfortable, it can also be embarassing to walk around with a broken tooth. In the meantime, if you are experiencing discomfort, cover the broken area with soft sugar-free gum until your office visit.
- Broken Dentures
Broken dentures do not usually require emergency attention, but they can cause significant cosmetic problems and make it very difficult to function. Call the office to make a convenient appointment. Some repairs can be done in our office, but often have to be sent to a dental laboratory and can usually be returned to you that same day if we get it to them early. So be sure to call us first thing in the morning, or leave a message for us and we will call you.
We always reserve space in our daily schedule to accommodate emergencies. When you call our office, please give the staff as much detail as possible about your problem. This will help us anticipate what treatment you may require so that we can allow necessary time for you.
Emergenies do happen, so do not hesitate to call us if you need us!