Emergency Dental Care
At Distinctive Dentistry, we provide a comprehensive range of emergency dental care services. Our staff understands that some issues just can’t wait a few days before receiving treatment.
We offer same-day appointments for both children and adults that require emergency dental care. Oral trauma can significantly impact your ability to perform basic daily activities like talking and eating while also creating stress over the state of your appearance. Our team can help take the stress out of your dental emergency by providing the attention and care you deserve.
Examples of Dental Emergencies
You need immediate dental care to protect your long-term oral health if you have
- Bleeding that won’t stop
- A loose or knocked-out permanent tooth
- An injured jaw
- Painful swelling
- Painful toothache (dental abscess)
Cracked or Dislodged Tooth. Any trauma to the mouth can cause teeth to crack, break, or be knocked out or dislodged. There may also be some bleeding and lacerations to the gums. It is important to see a dentist for emergency dental care because if left untreated, such an injury can lead to serious complications. In an emergency situation, Dr. Noelle will extract a tooth if it is due to severe tooth pain that worsens with chewing, swollen gums, or jaw pain.
Dental Abscess. Symptoms of an abscessed tooth include pain, swelling, redness in the gums, bad taste in the mouth, and fever. An abscessed tooth is an infection caused by tooth decay, periodontal disease, or a cracked tooth. If an abscess is not treated, it can lead to a serious infection in the jaw bone, teeth, and surrounding tissues.
Jaw Pain. Symptoms of chronic jaw and facial pain include pain in or around the ear, tenderness of the jaw, pain when biting, or headaches. Your dentist will conduct a thorough exam, which may include x-rays, to determine the cause of the pain. Possible causes of jaw pain may include sinus problems, toothache, infections, arthritis, injury, tooth grinding, periodontal disease, problems with your jaw, or the temporomandibular joint.
Examples of Non-Urgent Dental Issues
The following are considered non-urgent dental issues that can wait a day or two until you can schedule an appointment with your dentist:
- Lost Filling, Crown, or Bridge
- Broken or Cracked Tooth (unless the tooth is causing you severe pain)
- Broken or Damaged Retainer or Night Guard
- Food Lodged Between Teeth
- Dull Toothache
- TMJ Pain (unless it is causing you severe pain)
Broken or Loose Fillings. Broken or loose dental fillings are rarely considered an emergency, but because they can be painful we treat it as an emergency dental visit. The pain you experience is often due to exposed tooth tissue that is sensitive to pressure, air, or hot and cold temperatures. Learn More
Broken or Loose Crown. If you lose a crown, save it and bring it in with you to your next dental appointment. You don’t want to wait too long to take care of this, as your teeth may move into space where the crown once was, and your crown may no longer fit.
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Pain. Facial pain may be related to the joint located in the front of your ear called the temporomandibular joint or TMJ. TMJ pain can occur in the form of headaches, tenderness around the jaw, and clicking and popping noises when your mouth is open. Your dentist will conduct a thorough exam that may include x-rays to determine the cause of the pain. TMJ pain affects 15% of Americans.
Steps Can You Take At Home Before Getting Emergency Care
Mouth Healthy, brought to you by the American Dental Association, recommends tackling a dental emergency immediately, as it can mean the difference between saving and losing an adult tooth or a child’s deciduous or permanent tooth.
In case of a dental emergency, take the following measures:
- If you trip or fall and knock out a tooth, try to salvage the tooth by keeping it moist in some milk. If you can, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. If that is not doable, place it in between your cheek and gum.
- In the case of a cracked tooth, rinse your mouth with lukewarm or warm water to clean the area. Cold compresses can help minimize any swelling.
- If you bite your tongue or lip, clean the area gently and apply a cold compress.
- If you have something stuck between the teeth, remove it gently with floss. Waxed floss is preferable as it is smoother and will glide easily through the crevices of the teeth. Do not use sharp objects like a knife or anything else pointed, as this could injure your mouth, and your gums could start bleeding.
- In case of a toothache, rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between the teeth. Do not put aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues. Direct application of aspirin on gums or cheeks can cause an aspirin burn.