Dental emergencies can happen when you least expect them to—and they have a knack for often happening when it’s least convenient! But if there’s ever any sort of urgent problem with your smile, you need to seek prompt treatment from an emergency dentist. That said, being prepared and knowing exactly where to go can save you a lot of time and stress during those intense situations. Here are some tips for how to find an emergency dentist when you need one quickly so you can get your pearly whites the care they need.
What are Dental Emergencies?
Simply put, dental emergencies typically involve painful, sudden, and/or traumatic situations that necessitate immediate treatment. Some common examples include chipped or fractured teeth, damaged or lost dental restorations, displaced teeth, severe toothaches, hypersensitivity, and more; virtually, anything that endangers your smile’s well-being!
It’s important to note that dental emergencies are often circumstantial; sometimes these emergencies can result in only minor pain and discomfort and might not need to be treated immediately. Other times, they can lead to potentially life-threatening situations if left unaddressed. In any case, seeking treatment urgently is your best move if you suffer a dental emergency.
Steps for Finding an Emergency Dentist ASAP
Here are some helpful steps to follow if you need to find an emergency dentist quickly:
- Contact your primary dentist and let them know what’s happened. If it’s during business hours and they offer emergency dentistry, they will let you know when to come in (depending on the nature of your emergency). If it’s after-hours and you get their voicemail machine, they might provide additional instructions or direct you elsewhere.
- If you’re out of town or your dentist doesn’t offer emergency dentistry, you will need to check online for local practitioners. Most dentists have their services listed on their website—and dentists that do offer emergency dentistry typically leave time built into their schedules to handle emergencies.
- For serious and life-threatening situations or instances when you’re unable to contact an emergency dentist, your best option might be to visit an emergency room. But you should keep in mind that most ERs lack the equipment or staff to properly treat dental emergencies; although they might be able to provide you with pain relief.
Tips for Easing Your Discomfort in the Meantime
There are often things you can do to manage any discomfort you’re experiencing while you’re waiting to visit your dentist. Depending on the nature of your emergency, consider the following:
- For cracked or broken teeth: Use warm water to rinse out your mouth and apply a cold compress for swelling.
- For displaced teeth: Don’t touch the root; only the crown of the tooth. If you can’t place the tooth back in its socket, store it in a container of milk and apply a cold compress for bleeding.
- For tooth or jaw pain: Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can be used to manage minor discomfort.
- For bleeding or aching gums: Often an indicator of periodontal disease (advanced gum disease), treatment will vary based on the severity.
- For soft tissue injuries: Clean the area gently with water and apply a cold compress for bleeding. See a medical professional for severe injuries that require stitches.
The world can come to a screeching halt when you suffer a dental emergency—but with a little quick thinking and knowing who to contact, you can ensure that your smile receives the urgent care it needs to remain healthy and beautiful.
About the Practice
The team at Texas Dentistry is honored to serve patients and families in the Terrell, TX area under the leadership of Dr. Thanh Tran, Dr. Anne Lindley, Dr. Victoria DeLeon, Dr. Eugene Han, and Dr. Samantha Anyanwu. Their practice is proud to offer many available services including emergency dentistry. If you or a loved one is suffering from a dental emergency, don’t hesitate to call to schedule a visit: (972) 563-9444.