Emergency Dental Care Services
Dental emergencies occur at the most inconvenient time. Dentists recognize the need for emergency care and work to accommodate their patients in a timely manner. However, the industry needs to continue improving its services in this area. Fortunately, some practices excel in this area, and we are proud to say our practice stands as one ready to assist individuals in any dental emergency.
Why is Emergency Dental Care Needed?
A person puts their health at risk if they don’t receive emergency dental care when a problem arises. A chipped tooth could harm other structures in the mouth, such as the tongue, or an infected tooth can lead to an abscess. The proximity to the brain means this situation needs immediate attention.
Certain practices see a patient during an emergency and provide temporary relief, requiring the patient to come back at a later time for the necessary treatment. They provide a pill to address any pain the patient is experiencing or make recommendations on treatment without actually providing any during the emergency dental visit. Our practice doesn’t operate this way.
Thanks to the array of dental services provided by our office, the team handles any dental emergency promptly regardless of the severity. This includes broken or chipped teeth, dental infections, swollen jaws, and more. Men and women must address a lost tooth immediately, and the team remains prepared to address this problem and all issues.
When a person loses a filling or crown, they need help immediately. A failure to do so could lead to the need for more invasive work to save the tooth. When a tooth breaks or chips, this could expose the nerve and lead to severe pain. Again, these problems never seem to arise at a convenient time when the dentist is open and has an appointment right away. For this reason, our practice works with patients to fix the problem quickly.
When Should You Seek Emergency Dental Care?
Patients often wonder if they need an appointment right away or if they can schedule one that fits into their schedule in the coming days and weeks. Certain situations require immediate attention. The following are only a few examples of when a person must see the dentist immediately.
Any tooth discomfort or pain means a visit to the dentist must occur as soon as possible. If a tooth chips, cracks, or breaks, immediately rinse the mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to the face in the area of the damaged tooth. If the portion of the tooth that broke or chipped can be located, wrap it in a wet towel or gauze and bring it to the dentist.
A loose tooth or one that has fallen out because of facial trauma needs prompt attention. When the tooth remains in the jaw but has come loose, contact the dentist for further directions. If the tooth has separated from the jawbone, place it back in the socket using a clean washcloth and holding the tooth by the crown to do so. Before reinserting the tooth, examine it for dirt or debris. If any debris is present, rinse the root, taking care not to scrub it or remove any tissues that remain attached. When the patient cannot put the tooth into the socket for any reason, place it under the tongue and go straight to the dentist.
A broken jaw requires prompt attention. Individuals need to apply a cold compress or ice to the jaw and head straight to the emergency room or a dentist.
Although biting one’s tongue or lip might not appear a major emergency, sometimes the bleeding becomes excessive or won’t stop. When this happens, use a wet cloth to clean the area before applying a cold compress to keep the swelling down. Visit the dentist to get the tongue or lip treated.
Severe pain could serve as a sign a tooth or gum has become infected. An emergency dental visit allows the dentist to determine the extent of the infection and determine what steps will correct the issue. The dentist might prescribe pain medication and antibiotics to treat the infection so the tooth can be fixed to prevent future issues.
Another sign of an infection would be the appearance of pus. This suggests the patient suffers from a periapical or periodontal abscess. Leaving this abscess untreated remains risky, as the infection could spread. The proximity of the infection to the brain must concern the individual who needs to seek prompt treatment to prevent complications.
Why the Emergency Room is Rarely the Answer
Although emergency room doctors can treat certain oral health issues, such as a broken jaw, patients should only use this option as a last resort. Contacting a dentist leaves the ER doctors free to treat major traumas, COVID-19 cases, heart attacks, and other conditions only they are qualified to handle.
Most emergency rooms lack the equipment needed to treat dental issues. The doctors cannot pull teeth, fix a filling that has cracked or come out, complete a root canal, repair dentures, and more. Only a dentist addresses these issues to restore the patient’s oral health.
Patients don’t want to visit the emergency room only to find they must see their dentist because the medical team can’t assist them. Additionally, they risk exposure to a range of germs while waiting for a doctor in the ER to see them. The added expense of the visit serves as a third reason to avoid this option. Fortunately, patients have somewhere to turn, as our team is ready to help at any time of the day or night when a dental emergency arises.
A person might discover they need emergency dental care at any time. Patients can call the office to receive treatment regardless of the time. Any situation that could bring about additional dental or medical problems qualifies as a dental emergency. Don’t hesitate to call. The team assesses the situation and determines whether the patient needs immediate care or a visit to the office during regular business hours will suffice. It never hurts to ask, as we are here to help you with all your oral health care needs.