When you’re in severe pain or you’ve broken a bone, determining whether to seek emergency services right away is typically a no-brainer. However, oral injuries or pain can be much less obvious. Does a bad toothache or a chipped tooth qualify as a dental emergency? Our dentists and compassionate team at Texas Dentistry invite you to always give us a call in these situations for same-day emergency dentistry in Terrell. Not only can we get you scheduled as soon as possible, but we can also give you helpful guidance to handle your circumstances before you arrive to increase your chances of having a positive outcome.
If you think you have a dental emergency on your hands, give our Terrell dental office a call. We can schedule an appointment for you and provide more specific advice. However, here’s what our dentists generally recommend that you do in these common situations.
Try to floss around the affected tooth to remove any potentially trapped debris in between your teeth. Rinse your mouth out with warm water to keep the area clean. Avoid aspirin as this can cause a burning sensation in your gum tissue. Instead, take ibuprofen to reduce discomfort, and apply an ice pack in 10-minute intervals to reduce any swelling.
To make sure that no debris or germs are caught in the tooth, gently rinse your mouth with warm water. If you have facial or lip swelling, use a cold compress. If the crack or damage goes below the gum line, you’ll need to see us right away. If, however, the crack or damage is minimal and you feel no discomfort, you can wait until normal business hours to address it.
Locate the tooth, and pick it up by the crown or top portion only. Do not touch the root or remove any tissue still attached. Rinse the tooth with cold water to remove debris, but avoid scrubbing the tooth. Rinse your mouth with warm water, and then try to reposition the tooth back into the socket. Gently bite down so that you keep the tooth in place. If this isn’t possible, store the tooth in milk, salt water, or saliva. Come to our Terrell dental office within 30 minutes for the best odds of reimplantation.
Although a loose or lost restoration may not be as urgent as a broken or knocked-out tooth, daily functions like chewing can feel very uncomfortable. If you find the restoration, you can use either a dental cement, denture adhesive, or petroleum jelly to reposition it onto your damaged tooth. Otherwise, avoid using that side of your mouth to chew until you can get to our dental office.
Did you know that many dental emergencies can be prevented through daily oral care and coming for routine checkups and cleanings at our dental office? These basic habits help keep bacteria from causing harmful and painful decay and allow us to catch problems before they become more serious down the road. In addition, you should avoid chewing on extremely hard objects, including pens, packages, ice cubes, and hard candy. These things can cause cracks or chips in your teeth. Also, if you play contact sports, make sure you use a mouthguard.
The cost of your dental treatment depends on how severe your dental emergency is. For example, mild oral infections may only require a simple prescription for antibiotics. However, more extensive decay or damage may necessitate root canal therapy, which includes more time and resources to perform. No matter the cost of your treatment, the last thing you should do is postpone treatment that you need. Oral issues only get worse with time and will likely only result in higher costs down the road. Our caring team will work with you to create an affordable treatment plan for your needs.
Although many fear the very mention of the phrase “root canal,” the procedure itself is actually very beneficial, saving a natural tooth that otherwise would need to be extracted. When a tooth becomes decayed or damaged to the point where bacteria can access the pulp or the sensitive center of your tooth, the nerves housed in the pulp often send painful signals to your brain. Root canal therapy removes the infected or affected portions of your tooth, seals off the inner chamber from future infection, and restores your tooth with composite resin or a dental crown. In all, root canal therapy relieves pain and helps you keep natural tooth structure for longer.
Although our team at Texas Dentistry will do everything within our power to avoid removing a natural tooth, there are circumstances where extraction is the only option, including advanced gum disease, extensive tooth decay that could spread to other teeth, and overcrowded teeth that need orthodontic treatment. If one of these situations occurs, you can rest assured that we will walk you through every step of the extraction process and make sure that you’re completely comfortable the entire time.
Typically between the ages of 16 and 21, the final set of molars, commonly known as wisdom teeth, will emerge. Because we generally take better care of our teeth than our ancestors did, many people do not need these third molars. In fact, your mouth may not have the space for them. Wisdom teeth can also come in at an unsafe angle, a situation called impaction, which can set you up for overcrowding or developing infections. To avoid these negative outcomes, these teeth commonly need to be extracted. As with normal tooth extractions, we’ll do everything we can to make you feel at ease throughout the process and help you have a quick recovery.
Even after reading all the information above about dental emergencies, you might have some questions. The last thing you want during an urgent dental situation is more confusion. Fortunately, we have gathered some of the questions we get asked the most often about dental emergencies, and answered them down below for your convenience. If you have a question that is not answered here, feel free to contact us and ask away.
If you’re experiencing a dental emergency that is also life-threatening, like swelling that hinders your ability to breathe, then you should absolutely visit the emergency room of your local hospital. Jaw fractures, deep cuts, jaw dislocations, and serious infection may also require a hospital visit. For a dental emergency that is not life-threatening, call and schedule an appointment with your emergency dentist.
As with a dislodged permanent tooth, call us right away and we’ll get you in for an appointment as soon as possible. Whatever you do, do NOT try and replant the baby tooth back in the socket like you should for a knocked-out adult tooth. If you do, there is the possibility that you could damage the underlying permanent tooth and cause irreversible damage. Depending on how close your child was to losing the tooth naturally, we may have to use a space maintainer to prevent other teeth form drifting into the gap created by the lost tooth.
After calling us to schedule an emergency appointment, first rinse out the area with warm water. If you’re bleeding, hold a piece of gauze or cloth to the area for 10 minutes, or until the bleeding stops. Control potential swelling by applying a cold compress to your tongue or lip for up to 20 minutes at a time. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever as directed on the bottle. A saltwater rinse can also help with pain. Until your injury is healed, avoid hot, spicy, or acidic foods and beverages, as they can irritate the site and delay healing.
When you have a dental emergency, it’s crucial that you seek treatment as soon as humanly possible, even if you’re not certain whether it’s an emergency or not. It’s much better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to dental care. This is even truer for those with damaged or knocked-out teeth, as the sooner you can come see us, the higher chance we have of saving your tooth. In addition, most dental emergencies have some degree of pain associated with them, so you’ll want to come see us to alleviate your discomfort as soon as you can.