Emergency DentistTysons, VA
When dental injuries and damage occur and require immediate treatment, an emergency dentist is the professional that offers dental services outside the normal business hours. Patients also need to learn at-home measures to alleviate symptoms when a dental appointment is not immediately possible. This potentially increases the chances of a successful treatment outcome and lowers the risk of complications.
When to visit the emergency dentist
It is advisable to book an appointment with the general dentist when faced with minor ailments like tooth sensitivity, sore gums, or bad breath. Although prompt treatment is vital, these situations are not dental emergencies. Alternatively, the conditions described below do require urgent treatment from an emergency dentist who is essentially a general dentist with additional training. Continue reading to know when to visit the emergency dentist and how to handle the situation.
Experiencing toothache can cause significant distress. Patients may struggle with eating, sleeping, or going about their daily routine. Severe tooth pain can result from a dental abscess, infection, or a severe decay that has resulted in tooth nerve irritation. When the pain persists despite using over-the-counter pain-relievers, then the situation is a dental emergency. Contact the emergency dentist immediately.
The following tips might help while waiting for the appointment:
- Apply a cold compress over the area near the painful tooth
- Use saltwater to rinse the mouth to reduce bacteria and inflammation
- Dental floss can remove any food debris around the affected tooth
- Avoid applying pain relievers directly over the tooth or gums because it can lead to gum irritation or complications
- If possible, get an oral numbing gel from the nearby pharmacy and apply it to the tooth and nearby gums
The emergency dentist will check the tooth to ascertain the origin of the pain. A root canal treatment or extraction might be required to resolve the infection or pain. They may also recommend antibiotics.
Fractured or broken teeth
A dental visit is important if tooth chips or breaks, such as while eating or from an accident. The earlier the dentist checks, the higher the chances of successfully restoring the broken tooth. Patients can collect pieces of the damaged tooth if possible, rinse and carry them along to the dentist's office. If the chipped or cracked tooth causes severe pain, a pain reliever or cold compress can help. If there is bleeding, biting down on gauze can help control the bleeding.
A knocked-out tooth can be traumatizing, but it is important to stay calm and remember all is not lost. The earlier patients visit the dentist (preferably within the hour), the better the chances of saving the tooth by reinserting it. The knocked-out tooth should be held by the crown and never the root to avoid bacteria or pathogen introduction.
If the tooth is dirty, clean it properly under running water and put it back in its socket. Bite gently and get to the emergency dentist immediately. The tooth can also be saved in a milk container. The dentist will try to reinsert the tooth and use a splint or wire to support the tooth. Gradually, the bone will fuse with the tooth again to make it stable and usable.
Lost or damaged dental restoration
A lost or damaged tooth restoration is a dental emergency, but patients can wait until the general dentist is available to get treatment if there is no severe pain. Applying clove oil to the tooth can help with soreness. If a filling is completely detached, one can use sugar-free gum to cover the space. For a detached crown, denture glue might work to bond it; otherwise, save it in a plastic bag.
Although it might not be compulsory to see the emergency dentist the same night the restoration got damaged or lost, an appointment still needs to happen as soon as possible. In case of severe pain, there is no point in delaying the visit. Postponing treatment can cause more damage to the tooth.
A dental abscess is an infection that affects a tooth root. The condition can cause debilitating pain and can be severe since infection can spread into the jawbone and to the bloodstream. Patients need to visit an emergency dentist immediately if they are experiencing symptoms of an abscess to minimize the risk of infection spread. Severe pain or fever requires urgent dental care. If there is no fever and the pain is manageable with over-the-counter pain meds, patients can visit their general dentist the next morning.
To manage the pain, cold compresses, saltwater rinses, and a diet of soft foods are helpful. The dentist may recommend antibiotics to use before the appointment as this usually relieves pain and fights infections. The dentist may treat abscesses with root canal therapy. If the infection is severe, an extraction might be necessary.
When there is an oral injury that caused tissue damage and profuse bleeding, it is better to visit the emergency room immediately. The doctors on call can stop the bleeding from the cuts at first but patients will still need to visit a general or emergency dentist to correct damages to the teeth and oral tissues. Applying pressure over the wound with a cold compress can help. Rinsing with mouth with water can help manage bleeding from cuts and clean the injury.
Book an emergency appointment
Emergency dentists typically offer 24-hour services, meaning they are readily available to cater to patients who need emergency dental care. For first time visits, the dental team will require the patient's medical and dental history. It is advisable to call the dental office to know what measures to take before seeing the dentist. The primary goal is to stop any bleeding, alleviate pain, and swelling before diagnosing or treating the issue.
The dental issues listed above require immediate care to prevent complications down the line. The home care measures are only temporary solutions until a dental professional is available to examine the situation. The first thing is to be able to assess the situation and ascertain its urgency. Although a dental emergency can be scary, patients can rest assured that an emergency dentist is readily available to address their needs.
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