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When You Should Seek Out Emergency Dentistry

While 5 million Americans knock out a tooth every year, that’s not the only type of dental emergency. Much like other injuries and painful health problems, no one expects to spend their day dealing with severe dental pain and getting emergency treatment. 

Here at Nobel Dental, our team of experienced and gentle dentist provides emergency dentistry to patients of all ages. In our experience, when our patients know how to handle a dental problem before they reach the office, it can make a world of difference to their outcome. 

While our knowledgeable front office team provides personalized over-the-phone advice, you need to implement some care, too. Here’s what constitutes a dental emergency and what you should do if you or a family member needs help.  

Types of dental emergencies 

We treat a wide range of dental emergencies here at Nobel Dental. Some of the most common issues include:

To put it simply, dental emergencies include any acute oral injury or pain that you can’t effectively treat or relieve on your own. 

Pain isn’t the only dental emergency warning sign

Dental pain is the most common sign of an urgent dental problem. However, there are a few other warning signs that indicate various dental emergencies, including:

Knowing these symptoms helps you recognize when you have a dental emergency, know what to do, and when to get help. 

What you can do in a dental emergency

Knowing how to take care of yourself or a family member during a dental emergency can improve your treatment outcome, especially if you’re dealing with a time-sensitive problem like a knocked-out adult tooth.

Knocked-out tooth

A knocked out (avulsed) tooth might seem like a disaster, but if you take prompt action, we might be able to save your tooth and help you avoid needing a dental implant replacement.  

The best way to protect your tooth is only to handle the crown (the part that’s visible when the tooth is in your mouth, rinse it gently, and keep it moist. Keeping your tooth moist is key to keeping it alive. Then, head directly to our office so we can either re-implant your tooth or provide alternative treatments. 

Chipped or cracked teeth 

If you have a chipped or cracked tooth, soothe the area with a gentle warm-water rinse and apply a cold compress to your cheek or mouth. You can also take a dose of ibuprofen (not aspirin) to relieve significant pain. 

Prevent further damage by avoiding chewing on that side of your mouth and sticking to soft foods or liquids until we repair your tooth. Depending on the severity of your injury, we may be able to reattach a broken piece to your tooth.   

Loose or lost dental work

If you lose a crown, filling, or dental bonding, or notice that your dental work is loose, call our office. In many cases, these issues don’t require same-day care, but we should see you and complete repairs promptly to keep food, bacteria, and germs out of the exposed area. 

Intense dental pain

An unrelenting toothache is usually the product of long-standing dental decay or infection (abscess) in the root of a tooth, either of which requires immediate treatment.  

As with chipped or broken teeth, after you call our office for a same-day appointment, you should gently rinse your mouth, use a cold compress, and ibuprofen to relieve your pain.  

If you decide to take an over-the-counter pain reliever, opt for ibuprofen over aspirin. Aspirin can increase the rate and degree of bleeding and should be avoided in case you need an extraction, root canal, or other oral surgery.  

Reducing your risk of needing emergency dentistry

Taking good care of your oral health is critical to avoiding dental emergencies. Make sure to brush twice a day, floss thoroughly, and have regular dental exams. Routine care can go a long way toward preventing the severe decay and infection that increase your risk of many dental emergencies. Additionally, if you play sports, make sure to wear the appropriate helmets and mouthguards. 

Despite your best efforts, dental emergencies do happen. If you need immediate emergency dentistry, call our office or book a same-day appointment online. Our team is standing by to protect your smile. 

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