Much like any medical emergency, a dental disaster can strike at any time and often when we least expect it. It can be easy to become overwhelmed and to panic, particularly if you or your loved one is in pain. Fortunately, emergency dental services can ensure that your issue is dealt with properly so that you aren’t left in agony and that your dental health isn’t permanently affected.
One of the most difficult things patients face is determining whether their problem is a dental emergency or whether it can wait for a routine appointment. We offer a telephone triage system. If a dental emergency arises, our experienced staff can advise you over the phone whether you need immediate treatment as well as if there is anything you can or should do until you get seen.
Nevertheless, some dental emergencies are more common than others. Below are some of the most common reasons why patients visit us for an emergency appointment.
In most instances, a tooth that has come out will have been knocked out due to a trauma, such as a sudden blunt force injury to the face. The intensity of the trauma can be enough to break the tooth so that it comes loose, or that it breaks the root and wrenches the tooth from the socket. Either way, it can be painful and cause you to panic. Expect there to be blood but remember that this often looks worse than it is due to it mixing with saliva. Hold a clean compress such as a tissue or towel over the wound to stem the blood. If you can retrieve the knocked-out tooth, there is a chance that we may be able to replace it.
When you find the tooth, handle it carefully and avoid touching the root. If it is dirty, rinse it with clean water but don’t pull off any hanging tissues or scrub at it. The less touched it is, the more likely that we can replace it. If you can, pop your tooth back into the socket (the correct way around) until you get to our offices. If it doesn’t go back, don’t panic. Pop it into a clean container of water or milk until you can get to us. The more quickly you are seen, the greater the likelihood that we can successfully replace it.
Whether a full break or just a chip, part of your tooth coming away means emergency dental treatment. If you can save the broken pieces, preserve these in the same way as you would a knocked-out tooth and bring them into our offices. If not, you should still come in as you will need to either has the rest of the tooth removed, or a temporary crown fitted I the first instance before a permanent solution is reached.
Cavity fillings and dental crowns are two of the most common type of dental restoration. While they are secured in place, they aren’t completely infallible. Over time, they can become damaged and even come out completely. If this happens, you may have the inner part of your tooth exposed. This is where there are many more nerves and you will almost certainly experience some dental pain. As such, you should contact our offices to check how quickly you need to come in. If you have managed to retain your crown, bring this with you and we may be able to reattach it. However, if it is lost, you will be fitted with a temporary crown until a new, permanent one can be made. Cavities can usually be filled there and then.
Toothache will affect most of us at some point during our life and its severity can vary widely. If your toothache is fairly mild it may be manageable until you can attend a regular appointment. However, if you are in agony you may feel that you can’t eat, drink or even think about anything else. If you are in severe dental pain and over the counter medications aren’t helping, it may be classed as an emergency. Our dental team can determine the root cause of your discomfort as well as give you stronger pain relief.
In addition to the most common scenarios listed above, the following are also often considered to be a form of dental emergency.
Broken orthodontic appliances (braces or Invisalign)
Root canal treatment
Partially dislodged teeth
If you aren’t sure if you need emergency dental treatment, don’t hesitate in speaking to our experienced dental team to obtain expert advice.
If you are looking for a reliable emergency dentist who can offer you and your family the dental care you need when you need it most, look no further than our experienced team. To register with our practice, please contact our dental offices in Corpus Christi, TX today by calling (316) 883-3993.