Urgent Care Q & A
What is a dental emergency?
The reasons many people see a dentist for urgent care include:
- Cracked tooth
- Filling or crown falls out
- Mouth injury (i.e. knocked out tooth, bleeding, etc.)
- Tooth abscess or infection
However, if you have uncontrolled bleeding or severe pain from a mouth injury, you should go straight to your local emergency room.
What should I do until I get to the dental clinic?
Rinse your mouth with warm salt water and remove any food debris. You can try using cold compresses and over-the-counter pain medication to lessen the pain until you’re able to see Dr. Berry.
Knocked out tooth
Lightly rinse any dirt off the tooth and press it back into the empty socket right away. Hold it in place by biting down on a moistened piece of gauze, tea bag, or clean cloth.
If you place your knocked out tooth back in the socket, and see Dr. Berry within an hour, you have the best chances of saving the tooth. However, if it doesn’t fit back in the socket, place the tooth in a glass of milk and bring it along to the dentist.
Chipped or broken tooth
Save any pieces that you can find. Rinse those pieces off and rinse the inside of your mouth. If you’re bleeding or in pain, use a piece of gauze to help the bleeding stop and apply an ice compress to help relieve the pain. If a filling falls out, hold a piece of sugar-free chewing gum inside the hole until you reach the dentist’s office. Try not to eat or bite down with the affected tooth.
Should I just wait until the office opens?
Some issues may be able to wait until normal operating hours. If a small filling falls out, you have a slight toothache, or you chip a tooth, you may be able to wait until morning.
Other issues do require immediate emergency care. Dr. Berry may be able to save teeth that have been knocked out and have become infected. The sooner you seek care, the better you can prevent more permanent, extensive damage. Ignoring an infected tooth could, for example, lead to the infection spreading or having the tooth extracted, when a root canal could have saved the tooth.
Landmark Dental Arts offers same-day care for urgent dental issues and emergency on-call service for emergencies. Call the office right away for immediate care.