When a dental emergency occurs, you may not be aware of whether you should go to the emergency room or to a dentist. Dr. Lippard understands how important it is to treat a dental emergency right after it happens, whether it’s caused by long-term decay from unremoved plaque or from a physical injury while eating or playing contact sports. If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, don’t wait; call our office today, stop discomfort and save your tooth!
Regardless of the dental emergency you’re having, call our office as soon as you can so you can schedule an appointment the same day it happens. After all, the sooner you call, the more likely you can get seen. Before you arrive, you’ll want to consider the most effective steps to take next to manage your situation. When you call, one of our team members would be happy to provide advice over the phone.
Use dental floss to remove potential food debris from in between your teeth, then wash your mouth out with warm water. If discomfort persists, take an over-the-counter painkiller and apply a cold compress to your tooth to reduce any swelling. We will perform a detailed exam to confirm the cause of your toothache and go from there.
Keep any pieces of the tooth that you can. Take a painkiller to alleviate discomfort and put dental cement to cover your tooth if it appears jagged or sharp. This ensures that you don’t accidentally cut your tongue or oral tissue before you arrive. We will likely need to cover the tooth using a dental crown.
Do your best to locate the tooth and bring it to our office. After picking it up by the crown portion only (never the root), gently rinse it of any dirt or debris, making sure to leave any tissue still attached. After rinsing your mouth out with warm water, place the tooth back into your open socket. If not possible, keep it contained in milk and get to our office right away so we can re-implant it.
If you still have the restoration, use either dental cement, denture adhesive, or sugar-free chewing gum to temporarily reseat it. If this does not keep the restoration secure or you’ve lost it, avoid chewing on that side of your mouth until you can get it replaced at our office.
The good news is most dental emergencies can be avoided when you have the right preventive steps. For example, make sure to brush twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste, floss at least once a day, and visit our office every six months for a routine checkup and cleaning. You should also be wearing an athletic mouthguard if you play contact sports or a nightguard if you suffer from teeth grinding and clenching while you sleep. Avoid chewing on inedible objects (i.e. pens, pencils, fingernails) and never use your teeth as a tool.
Every dental emergency is unique, which means that your dental emergency may not cost as much as you might think it does. While an oral infection may only require antibiotics to treat, it could also require root canal therapy if your condition is more complex. Regardless of the situation, you should never skip treatment because of cost alone. Doing so will only allow your condition to worsen, which then leads to higher dental costs anyway. We’ll do everything we can to make your care affordable and work with you to create a treatment plan that’s within your means and gets you out of pain.