Dental emergencies can happen to the best of us—and they can happen anytime, day or night. If you are facing a dental emergency, the first thing to try to remember is to stay calm.
If you call us during normal business hours, we’ll try to get you in as soon as possible. If it’s outside of regular office hours, our service will get in touch with a dentist who is on call. We’ll talk you through the situation—and get you help as soon as we can!
Reasons You Might Need to See an Emergency Dentist
One of the main reasons we see patients in an emergency situation is a toothache that has become excruciatingly painful. The reason for this is usually an infection in the pulp of the tooth that continues to grow worse. If an infection is the cause of the pain, Dr. Amaya will likely recommend a root canal. This will not only eliminate your pain, but it will also save your tooth.
For pain relief, until you can get into our office, an over-the-counter pain reliever can be helpful as can applying ice to your cheek above the painful area.
If you have suffered a blow or injury to the mouth and are experiencing pain, you might have a broken tooth. Again, ice and over-the-counter pain relievers can help until you get in to see us.
If a tooth has fallen out of its socket, you will need to see the dentist immediately if there is any chance of saving the tooth. If possible, put the tooth back into the socket. Or you can keep the tooth in your mouth between your cheek and gum until you can see the dentist.
If you think you might have broken your jaw, use cold compresses to help with swelling. Secure your jaw in place with a scarf tied around your jaw and over the top of your head so you cannot move it. Go to the emergency room immediately.
Reasons You Can Probably Wait to See the Dentist
Some situations might not be considered emergencies, and you can probably wait for the next available appointment. These include the following:
- Debris stuck between teeth that cannot be removed with dental floss or a toothbrush.
- A chipped or broken tooth – If you find pieces of the tooth, be sure to bring those along with you to the dentist. Put them into a small container and cover them with milk or saliva from the injured person.
- A filling or crown that has fallen out – If the tooth is irritated from air hitting it, tooth wax or cement (both available at your local pharmacy) can fill in the area to lessen sensitivity.
Preventing Dental Emergencies in the Future
Most people who find themselves facing a dental emergency are those who have not kept up with their preventive oral care. Making twice-annual trips to the dentist for examinations and cleanings is the best way for us to keep an eye on potential problems. In their early stages, dental issues can be addressed and fixed before they become big—and painful—problems.
If you think you might have a dental emergency or are in any pain, give us a call right away. If you need to be seen immediately, we will do our best to do so that same day.