Emergencies. They happen at the worst times and are always an undesirable surprise. When an accident harms your teeth or mouth, who do you call? Who can help?
In today’s blog, you’ll learn what to do during dental emergencies and when to see an emergency dentist. We’ll also cover mouthguards, which when worn properly can reduce the risk of experiencing oral trauma when playing or practicing sports. About a third of dental injuries are related to sports activities, and the American Dental Association claims that an athlete is 60 times more likely to incur oral injury when not wearing a mouthguard.
Other emergencies we’ll review include toothaches, chipped or broken teeth, and knocked-out teeth. You’ll learn first-response protocol and the
first-aid supplies to keep on hand so that you can handle dental emergencies correctly. The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be.
What are the most common dental emergencies?
Chipped, cracked, and knocked-out teeth are common dental emergencies. If you experience any of these, you need to schedule a dental visit. However, acute oral pain or a knocked-out tooth warrant a visit to your emergency dentist in Johns Creek.
Do I need to see an emergency dentist for a toothache?
Reasons to call Lifetime Smiles in Johns Creek, GA, for emergency dental care include:
If your toothache keeps you from working or sleeping through the night
If your toothache is accompanied by a fever of 102 or higher
If your toothache is accompanied by severe bleeding
Should I go to the emergency room for a dental emergency?
A dental emergency can be defined as an oral health issue that keeps you from performing normal daily activities, like going to work and school or sleeping through the night OR a traumatic injury to any feature of the mouth (teeth, gums, tongue, inner cheek).
An emergency room doctor can prescribe pain medication and suture open wounds. However, he can’t perform dentistry. So if you experience a dental emergency and don’t need stitches, it’s best to seek an emergency dentist, rather than an emergency physician. A dentist can treat toothaches, tooth damage, oral infections, and other oral health issues.
What should I do if my child chips or fractures a tooth?
First, address pain. If the injury results in pain and your child is not allergic, administer Tylenol or Motrin according to the instructions on the packaging. Next, call Lifetime Smiles in Johns Creek to speak with an emergency dentist.
Whether your child needs immediate attention, a next-day appointment, or just needs to be seen by a dentist within the next few weeks will depend upon the severity of the injury and the pain level. If your child has interrupted sleep or is ineffective at school/daycare, a prompt dental visit is the best medicine.
For a chipped tooth, the dentist may prescribe no treatment, cosmetic bonding, or a dental crown. Cracked (fractured) teeth require a crown to restore structural integrity and comfortable function.
What’s the best way to handle a knocked-out tooth?
A tooth that is entirely dislodged from the mouth due to injury or accident should be addressed by an emergency dentist unless the tooth is a primary tooth and no pain is present. In some cases, a knocked-out tooth can be reinserted into its socket. Though rare, there’s potential for the tooth to reattach and survive. In most cases, a knocked out tooth won’t survive. Either way, it’s important to see an emergency dentist.
First, place a clean cloth or bandage over the tooth socket and have the patient bite down to apply pressure. This will help a blood clot form, to stop bleeding.
Next, find the damaged tooth. If it’s dirty, run it under a gentle stream of clean water, but do not touch the nerve.
Then place the tooth in a small container and submerge it in the patient’s saliva or milk.
Take the paitent and tooth to your emergency dentist at Lifetime Smiles in Johns Creek. Call us at (770) 232-1830 so we can prepare for your arrival.
If the knocked-out tooth is accompanied by a laceration or broken jaw, go to the ER or urgent care center instead of our office. Call us after you’re treated, and we’ll advise on whether to come in on the same day or at another time.
Why follow up with the dentist? In some cases, a bit of tooth root may remain in the jaw. This can lead to infection and pain if not removed. We can also check surrounding teeth and address any additional damage.
Who qualifies as an emergency dentist?
In dental school, dentists are trained in emergency dentistry. All dentists can see emergency cases, but not all offer emergency dental care. Dr. Forester at Lifetime Smiles in Johns Creek, GA, is an emergency dentist offering full-service emergency care to patients of all ages.
Do emergency dentists charge more than general dentists?
We don’t. Whether you visit Lifetime Smiles with an emergency or for routine dental care, our rates don’t fluctuate. We always do our very best to keep fees reasonable for our patients.
Can an emergency dentist give stitches for mouth lacerations?
If your mouth has a cut or gash that won’t stop bleeding after applying pressure for 10 minutes, go to your local emergency room or urgent care facility. You may need stitches and an MRI to evaluate for head injury.
How long will a toothache last?
The duration of a toothache depends on its cause. Toothaches can occur when a piece of food is wedged between two teeth, in which case flossing alleviates the pain. Or a toothache can indicate more serious issues, like fractures or infection. You can take over-the-counter NSAIDs (Tylenol, Motrin, Advil, aspirin) for pain relief. A visit to your general dentist should be priority. Only a dentist can determine the cause of your toothache and treatment to stop your pain.
How can I know if I have a dental infection?
An infection anywhere in the body usually causes a fever. If you experience a fever greater than 102 degrees, accompanied by pain, pus, or foul mouth odor, you might have a dental infection. Call Lifetime Smiles now to schedule an appointment with Dr. Forester. He’ll examine your mouth, head, and neck, and determine whether you have an infection. Then, he will talk with you about treatment options.
Can I finance my emergency dentistry bill?
Yes. CareCredit is a third-party financial institution that offers low- and no-interest loans to qualified applicants.
I had dental surgery last week, and now my mouth hurts. Do I need to call the dentist?