At Lifetime Dental, we take dental emergencies very seriously. One of the most significant parts of our practice is same-day dentistry. In the event that you need to have a toothache alleviated or you’ve sustained an injury to your tooth, our office will do everything possible to get you seen the same day. The last thing you should do is put off your treatment, so give our practice a call if you’re experiencing a dental emergency!
When a dental emergency occurs, you should make a call to our office or have a friend or family member call so you can set up an emergency appointment. The sooner you call, the more likely we can get you seen on the same day. One of our team members will inform you on the next best steps to take depending on your condition. Until then, here’s what you should do next in the following situations.
Use floss to remove food debris from around the tooth as this can easily cause aches and discomfort. If the pain does not go away or it comes back, take ibuprofen and use an ice pack to reduce any potential swelling. At our office, we’ll confirm the issues and determine whether decay removal and a dental filling, root canal therapy, or another treatment is needed.
Keep any pieces of the tooth that you can and bring them with you to our office. Use a cold compress to reduce swelling, especially if the tooth broke from physical injury. Take ibuprofen and avoid chewing on that side of your mouth until you get to our office. A crown will likely be needed to restore the tooth’s function and appearance.
Locate the tooth and pick it up by the top (crown) portion. Do not touch the root nor remove any tissue still attached. After gently rinsing your mouth out with warm water as well as the tooth itself, place it back into your socket. If the tooth does not stay in properly or you’re not comfortable placing the tooth, keep it contained in milk, saltwater or saliva to keep it preserved. The sooner you get to our office, the sooner we can reimplant the tooth, ideally within the hour.
If you still have the restoration, start by rinsing your mouth out with water as well as rinsing the restoration. Then, place dental cement, denture adhesive, or sugar-free chewing gum to the tooth if nothing else is available. This can work as a temporary solution until you get to our office. Avoid chewing on that side of your mouth until then. We’ll likely need to replace the restoration, especially if it’s old.
Most dental emergencies are avoided when you take the necessary steps towards preventive care. This includes committing to daily brushing and flossing as well as routine dental checkups and cleanings at our office. You should also wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports or a nightguard if you grind your teeth. Do not use your teeth to perform tasks better suited for scissors or other tools. Use caution when chewing hard or crunchy foods.
It can be difficult to know how much treatment will cost until you’ve actually had a thorough examination. For example, if your emergency only requires minor treatment, like removing decay and placing a filling, it won’t cost as much as having a dental crown placed or root canal therapy. Some of our office’s most productive days include dental emergencies, so we’re used to helping patients figure out the best way to finance their treatment.