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Emergency Dentistry 101 in Whittier, CA
Dental emergencies are alarming, sometimes painful, and can strike at any time.
Knowing what to do in the event of an emergency could be the difference between securing effective care quickly, or risking costly, long-term damage.
Teeth deserve every bit the same amount of care as the rest of the body, especially in the case of an emergency. Having a trusted, skilled dentist on-call can save your smile, we are here to help.
What is Emergency Dentistry?
Dental emergencies can happen suddenly, as a result of trauma – like sports injuries or car accidents – or something as simple as biting down too hard. Errant, unexpected bones or hard objects in foods can crack a tooth. Teeth grinding – even during sleep – can dislodge a crown.
Every dental emergency is different and requires a unique approach to treatment.
This is why the scope of emergency dentistry encompasses a wide variety of procedures, including crown and filling replacement, tooth extractions, and root canals.
Your chosen emergency dentist should have the skills required to diagnose, problem solve, and administer effective treatment tailored to fit your needs, all while working well under pressure.
While you may not be able to prevent dental emergencies, choosing the right emergency dentist is key to mitigating damage and expediting recovery.
Is My Condition an Emergency?
It’s not always easy to tell what does and does not constitute a “dental emergency.” There are basic guidelines to help gauge when a visit to an emergency dentist is necessary, but, as with all medical situations, when in doubt, don’t hesitate to call your care provider.
- Dislodged/Knocked-Out Tooth: The most obvious dental emergency is when a tooth is dislodged, either wholly or in part, and needs to be re-inserted or replaced.
- Dislodged Filling, Crown or Bridge: Fillings are used to replace portions of a tooth due to the removal of cavities or decay. Crowns are used to cap or encircle a tooth that is threatened by severe decay. Bridges are used to replace missing teeth with artificial ones. Damage or loss to any of these are considered an emergency.
- Chipped, Cracked, or Fractured Tooth: Chipped teeth usually do not cause severe pain – if any – and are typically cosmetic in nature, though they still need to be treated. Cracked or fractured teeth present a far more severe situation, and pose an immediate functional and health problem. Typically, there will be severe pain and sensitivity.
- Abscess: A tooth abscess is an extremely severe dental emergency that must be treated quickly. Decay from an untreated cavity causes an infection deep in the root of the tooth, resulting in jaw pain, tooth loss, fever, and more.
- Damage to Oral Tissue: Cuts, tears, or other damage to the cheeks, gums, and tongue can cause severe problems, and should be evaluated by your emergency dentist.
What Should I Do in a Dental Emergency?
For all the dental emergencies listed above, the first step should be to contact an experienced and trusted emergency dentist. However, there are some steps that can be taken out-of-office to help increase chances of a full recovery.
In the Event of a Lost Tooth…
Lost teeth must be treated by a dentist at least within 1-2 hours, and ideally within the first 30 minutes.
If the tooth can be found or recovered, it should be handled by the crown only, never the root end. Rinse the tooth in cold water – no cleansers or soaps – and gently replace into the socket. You can also keep the tooth in the side of your mouth or in a glass of milk until you can get to the clinic.
In the Event of a Dislodged, Filling, Crown or Bridge…
Since every filling, crown, and bridge are different, it’s important to speak to your dentist for the next steps. Sometimes a crown can be temporarily replaced with denture adhesive to protect the area until you can get to the clinic.
If the filling, crown, or bridge can be found or recovered, take it with you when you visit your dentist.
For Dental Emergencies, we are Here
Our friendly team is happy to assist you every step of the way through your dental emergency.
Whittier Dental Clinic provides top-notch emergency care, providing same-day appointments and treatments for patients. We are committed to getting our patients out of pain quickly, and restoring their oral health to keep them smiling!
If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, don’t wait – contact Saman Edalat D.D.S. of Whittier, CA today.