Emergency Appointment
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Dental emergency

Regardless of the reason it is possible that an emergency may occur and you could be in need of a dentist immediately. In cases like that we all know that it is not fast enough if the appointment was set for the next thirty minutes. However, there a few things that you can do yourself in order to help us do a better job for you before coming in.

Reason for the emergency: A permanent tooth that has been knocked out

If you pick up the knocked out tooth avoid touching the roots, rinse it gently to clean it up, put it in a small container or a cup of milk (preferable) and call us for an immediate session; then it is most probable that your tooth can be put back in its place and remain viable. It is of the utmost importance that you do not scrub the tooth or try to remove any tissue attached. If it is at all possible try to put it back in its socket and hold it gently while biting down.

Prevent a tooth from being knocked entirely by being mindful that it is out of alignment in the first place. In such cases you can try to re-align it by using your fingers.  Use very light pressure on the tooth or keep the tooth in place by biting down until you receive our help.

Reason for the emergency: A cracked, fractured or chipped tooth

If a tooth is simply chipped it usually does not hurt and you can wait for a while to see a dentist as long as you pay attention not to chip it any further while chewing. If that is the case, all that we will need to do for you is either smooth out the tooth or repair it with some composite filling.

A broken or cracked tooth however is a completely different case. Both situations mean that the tooth was damaged on the inside as well as the outside and it could be possible that this damage is so severe that the tooth may not be salvageable. What you need to do is:

  • Clean your mouth gently and thoroughly with warm water
  • If the problem occurred as a result of external trauma, use a cold compress to minimize any swelling of the affected area.
  • If the pain is great do not take aspirin or ibuprofen. Take acetaminophen instead.
  • Do not use any painkillers that are applicable directly to the gum even if the label says that they are meant to be used in this fashion.

Reason for the emergency: Facial pain with tissue injury

It does not have to pertain to the teeth themselves that a dental emergency may be declared. Any tears to the tongue, cheeks, lips or mouth, any puncture wounds and any lacerations are also considered emergencies, even more so if there is bleeding involved. In such a case the first thing to do is clean the affected area with warm water and apply pressure with a gauze to stop the bleeding. It would be best if you did not use aspirin or ibuprofen to relieve the pain but acetaminophen.

How do you determine if a case refers to a dental emergency?

Any dental problems that require smoothing, composite fillings or bonding are not emergencies and can be performed at our regular office hours unless:

  • There is bleeding from the mouth
  • There is severe pain
  • There has been a hit in the face or mouth
  • There is swelling in the facial area or mouth
  • There is swelling or knots or bulges in the gums

The important issue to remember is that when you call for an emergency appointment you need to describe what exactly has happened and what exactly you are feeling.

Some other emergencies are involved if there is no immediate pain, but it does hurt if you breathe in through your mouth or if you eat something hot or cold. The same stands true if there is pain when you are trying to bite down which may indicate an abscess. Give us a call and we will schedule a regular appointment.

Reducing the chance of a dental emergency

First of all, a routine checkup is set to determine if there is a decay capable of producing a dental emergency and the issue is addressed accordingly. These checkups are even more mandatory if you plan to go on a trip or travel somewhere that you will not have access to dental care.

If you are in sports always use a mouth guard. Most emergencies actually occur during such activities and are due to carelessness. Furthermore, it is advisable to abstain from the habit of chewing on ice or hard foods. All of the above are the most usual reasons for dental emergencies.

Dental first aid kit

All homes should have a box that they use as a first aid kit. It would be a great help to your own teeth if you created a side small box containing a small container with a lid, some acetaminophen, gauze and a handkerchief. This small box could be labeled as “dental first aid kit” and be kept somewhere that is easily accessible.

The last thing that should go into the first aid kit, but your first source for total solution, is our telephone number. You can call us day or night and our staff will see to it that your emergency is addressed immediately. After hours calls will be handled with the highest of priorities the next morning.

We are here to help you and take care of all your dental problems. Especially if your dental health is not at its best. Following the above guidelines will let us do more, faster and with a greater chance that everything will be as good as new.

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