Whether it’s a broken tooth or injured gums, a dental emergency can interfere with eating, speaking, or other day-to-day activities. Even if you take excellent care of your mouth, unexpected dental problems can catch you off guard. Accidents happen, and knowing what to do when one occurs can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth. Often people are unsure what constitutes a dental emergency, who to call, and what they can do at home until they can see our dentist.
Below are just some examples of common emergencies and how to handle them for the best outcome.
If you have food lodged between your teeth causing pain, remove it with dental floss. Rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water. Use a cold compress on the outside of the cheek if there is swelling and take a pain reliever. Schedule an appointment to see us as soon as possible.
An infection or abscess around a tooth:
An abscess is an infection at the root of a tooth, usually caused by severe tooth decay. It typically looks like a bump around a tooth’s root and is accompanied by severe tooth pain. To reduce your discomfort, you can take over-the-counter pain medication and use a cold compress to control any swelling. To treat this and save the tooth, we will likely need to perform a root canal to remove infected tissue. If left untreated it could lead to damaged gum tissue and possibly needing to have the tooth extracted.
Broken or Chipped Tooth:
If you’re able, save any pieces of the tooth. Wash the broken pieces if any and rinse your mouth with warm water. Since this is a problem that only emergency dentists can fix, schedule an emergency dental appointment as quickly as you can.
A broken tooth might have exposed nerves, especially if the inner pulp of the tooth is exposed. The searing pain you will experience will have you seeking an emergency dentist appointment right away.Emergency dentists suggest that you can chew a piece of sugarless gum and then use it to cover the exposed nerve to give you the temporary relief you need until you can get to the dentist for treatment.
A knocked out tooth:
If you’re able to retrieve the tooth, gently rinse it with warm water, being careful to not remove any tissue fragment. Try to put the tooth back in it’s socket if possible, but don’t force it in. If you’re unable to reinsert the tooth, put it in a small container of milk or a cup of water that contains a pinch of table salt. If the tooth is partially dislodged, leave it in its socket, even if it feels like it’s about to come out. In either situation, the highest chance of saving your tooth is seeing us within 1 hour of it being knocked out.
Lost Crown or Filling:
If you’re unable to see us immediately, place the crown back over the tooth and hold it in place using an over the counter dental cement or denture adhesive. If you’re experiencing pain, you can apply clove oil to the area with a cotton swab and take over-the-counter pain medication.
The team at Spring Complete Care Dentistry is available on weekends, when most local dentist offices are closed, to assess and resolve your individual situation. When an injury or infection tries to wreak havoc on your smile, we can put you at ease, give you the best possible care and provide the gentle, skilled treatment necessary to help you return quickly to your regular routine.
If you ignore a dental issue and hope it will go away or resolve on its own, it could become more serious and more expensive to treat. Dental problems only get worse with time. Putting off a filling, crown, or root canal, puts you at-risk for unexpected pain down the road.
If you suffer a dental emergency, you may be wondering what you can do in the future to prevent another one from occurring. The best way to protect yourself from a dental emergency is to see your Spring, TX dentist twice a year for a comprehensive exam.
Here are some simple precautions you can take:
Complete whatever treatment that has been recommended for you during the advised treatment plan.
Wear a mouthguard when participating in sports or recreational activities.
Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels and hard candy, all of which can crack a tooth.
Use scissors, NEVER your teeth, to cut things.
Here are a few items you should always have on hand for dental emergencies. These items help relieve pain and create a temporary solution until you can get in to see our dentist. They include:
Floss or floss sticks
Tweezers (to get items floss can’t grab, like a stuck popcorn kernel)
Tylenol or ibuprofen
Temporary filling material
When you visit your Spring Texas dentist for a dental emergency, the last thing you want to worry about is how you’re going to pay for the dental treatment you need. If you're in immediate need of urgent dental care, but don’t have insurance, there are ways you can save money on the treatment you need. In addition to upfront pricing, we have several financing options to help you maintain a healthy smile without overreaching your budget
If you experience a dental emergency in Spring, give our office a call. We reserve time in our daily schedules for emergency patients.