Whether it’s your child who fell on the stairs and chipped a tooth or you are struggling with extreme tooth pain, dental emergencies are scary and there is often a real sense of urgency. But when these situations arise, the questions of what to do and who to call come pouring in, and the best answer isn’t always obvious.
At City Dental Care in Hawthorne, we offer emergency dental services and are here to help when you’re facing extreme pain, in addition to a variety of other urgent dental issues. When you’re in need of an emergency dentist, we understand the importance of acting quickly and will be there when you need us most. We offer compassionate service and can assure you that we’ll take the best care of your teeth, gums, and jaw.
The Dentist vs. the Emergency Room
In the event that you are dealing with severe pain that won’t subside or with bleeding that won’t stop, you most likely will want to visit the ER rather than trying to contact a dentist. This is especially true if it is the weekend or evening when dental offices are typically closed. If the pain is manageable and there isn’t any bleeding, try to contact your dentist as soon as the office opens.
What if a Tooth is Knocked Out?
If an entire tooth is knocked out of its socket, whether from an auto accident or sports injury, you will need urgent dental care. If you can find the tooth, it is important to follow these steps to increase the chances of saving the tooth.
- Hold the tooth only by the crown, which is the white part of the tooth that is used to chew.
- Rinse the tooth in warm water, but do not brush the tooth, scrub away any tissue, or use soap to clean it.
- If possible, place the tooth back in the socket and hold it there until you’re able to see a dentist.
- When you can’t hold the tooth in the socket, keep the tooth in a container of milk or your own saliva.
- Thoroughly rinse your mouth with water and hold a cold compress to your face near where the tooth is missing.
- Contact your dentist as soon as possible.
What if a Tooth is Chipped or Broken?
Depending on the size and severity of the chip or break, this circumstance is not considered urgent, but will require dental attention in order to repair the tooth. If a large piece of the tooth has chipped or broken and you are experiencing significant pain or the roots are exposed, schedule an emergency visit with your dentist.
Minor chips or breaks are often repaired with a tooth filling and can be made to look as it did before the accident. Your dentist may speak with you about the possibility of a dental crown or dental restoration.
Toothache or Abscess
If you’re struggling with pain when you consume hot or cold beverages, pain when you bite down, or swelling of the gums or face, it could be a sign of tooth decay or an abscess. Although these situations can be incredibly uncomfortable, they are often managed with over-the-counter pain medications or using salt water to rinse the mouth. However, when dealing with tooth pain, it’s important to schedule an emergency dentist appointment for as soon as possible. If there is tooth decay or an infection, there are several possible treatment options, including draining the abscess, performing a root canal, a tooth extraction, or simply treating it with antibiotics.
Preventing Dental Emergencies
While there’s no way to completely avoid accidents that cause a broken or chipped tooth or a tooth from getting knocked out, there are ways to mitigate the risks of other dental emergencies, such as pain from tooth decay or an infection.
- Practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing twice daily.
- Rinse your mouth or drink plenty of water after you consume food if you cannot immediately brush your teeth.
- Avoid candy and stay away from certain foods and beverages. Any drinks that are high in sugar or hard foods like crusty bread, jerky, or popcorn that could
- chip a tooth or get stuck in between teeth need to be avoided.
- Schedule regular visits with your dentist for a professional and thorough cleaning and checkup.
If you are facing a dental emergency, it’s important to stay calm and get in touch with a dentist as quickly as possible. If there has been a severe accident, don’t hesitate to go straight to the emergency room.
City Dental Care in Hawthorne is committed to providing exceptional service to all of our patients. Whatever issue you are struggling with, you can expect a welcoming environment and compassionate staff. We will always do our best to provide you with several options that will fit your needs and budget.
Visit our About Us page to view a video tour of our Hawthorne office, and schedule an appointment with us today for all of your dental needs.