An emergency dentist has the training to respond quickly to the worst dental issues. They often offer around-the-clock care to patients in need, and their services can be essential if you’re in pain or dealing with a serious dental emergency.
Here’s a look at some common dental emergencies and what to do if they happen.
Severe Dental Pain
If you have a toothache or orofacial pain that does not respond to over-the-counter painkillers, you may want to contact an emergency dentist. “Toothache” refers to any pain that radiates out from your tooth. That’s often a sign that the pulp is decayed and that you need a root canal, dental fillings, or a tooth extraction. Orofacial pain, in contrast, refers to any pain in your mouth, jaw, or face around that area, and that may stem from a toothache, pulpitis, or an injury.
Until you can get into the office, try rotating through over-the-counter pain medicine but never exceed the recommended dosages of each. Also, consider putting an ice pack on the side of your face that hurts and alternating it with heat packs. It can help to rinse with salt water and some patients turn to clove oil for its germ-killing and mild anesthetic properties.
In a lot of cases when you’re dealing with a toothache, the issue has been there for a while, but it suddenly gets worse and you need help. Dental trauma, in contrast, generally relates to a specific injury, and this can include injuries to your teeth, gums, and tongue as well as your lips or cheeks. Contact a dentist who offers emergency dental care with a description of the trauma. They can give you instructions and let you know when and if you need to come into the clinic.
Slipping and falling, sports injuries, car accidents, and a variety of other situations may knock out a tooth. If this happens, find the tooth, rinse it off, and try to gently place it back in the socket. If you can’t put it into the socket, put it in a small container of saliva or milk, and contact the emergency dentist immediately. The sooner you get to the emergency dental clinic, the more likely it’s possible to save your tooth.
Rather than knocking out the tooth, some injuries just fracture it. You may see cracks in the enamel, through crowns, or even into the root system. An emergency dentist can ensure that the structure of the tooth is not damaged. Then, they can smooth out the edges and fill the crack. If the root is cracked, an extraction may be necessary, but if that happens, there are multiple ways to replace that tooth.
Inflammation of Soft Tissues
After an injury or when a tooth is erupting, the soft tissues may get inflamed. This can be very painful, and it’s often a sign of infection. Don’t ignore the pain. Dental infections are serious and can lead to severe health issues or even death in worst-case scenarios. Contact a dentist for dental emergency care as soon as possible. Sometimes the swelling may actually be infection or cellulitis which requires a heavy dose of antibiotics and hospital care. Do not hesitate to visit an emergency room if you feel feverish, the swelling is affecting your ability to swallow or breathe, or if there are any changes to your vision.
If you are dealing with a dental emergency, it’s critical that you reach out and get the care you need. At Buckhead Cosmetic and Family Dentistry, we offer after-hours and weekend emergency lines to connect you to trained staff members to assess the situation. Contact us today.