If you’re prepared for a dental emergency it’s often no more than a minor inconvenience. But if you’re NOT prepared, you may end up spending more time, energy, and expense than needed to resolve it.
One important way to prepare for an emergency is to keep our phone number handy so you can reach us right away. Program 972-380-8105 into your family’s phones. Also keep it in a central spot in your house and on cards in your wallets, so you can find it in the rare instances when you don’t have your phones.
We’ll make our best effort to provide same-day emergency dental care. With hours as early as 7 a.m. and as late as 6 p.m., we can usually fit you into our schedule. Our office is even open on Saturdays! You’ll get the best results, though. if you take the proper steps before seeing us. Here we’ve shared tips for handing four of the most common dental emergencies we see in our office.
When in Doubt, Give Us a Call
If you’re in pain, don’t hesitate to call us. Some other situations where we recommend giving us a call ASAP:
- You’re bleeding from the mouth
- Your tooth feels loose
- You’ve been hit in the mouth
- Your mouth and/or face is swollen
- You’ve got unusual swelling or knots on your gums
We Need to See You ASAP for a Knocked-Out Tooth
It is sometimes possible for us to save a knocked-out tooth by reimplanting it into its socket. It’s important, though, that you get to us as quickly as you can. In addition, follow these steps to improve the odds of keeping your tooth:
- Don’t touch the roots. Handle it only by the crown (the white part).
- Gently rinse it, if possible, but don’t scrub or remove any tissue that’s attached. Be careful to prevent it from going down the drain! We suggest covering the drain with a washcloth or small towel to catch your tooth if you drop it.
- Try to place the tooth in its socket, and bite down gently.
- If you can’t get it into the socket, try to hold it elsewhere in your mouth or put it into a small container and cover it with saliva or milk.
Treat Your Broken Tooth With Care
One of the most common dental emergencies is a broken or cracked tooth. It’s serious because the inside of your tooth may also be damaged. Here’s what to do until you can see Dr. Barfield:
- Gently rinse your mouth with warm water.
- To reduce swelling, apply a cold compress.
- Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin) for pain relief. Avoid aspirin, as it may cause excessive bleeding if there is blood coming from the gums.
- Avoid touching the tooth.
We’ll examine you with our digital X-rays and intraoral camera to assess the damage. If the pulp inside your tooth is damaged, we may recommend a root canal procedure. If the pulp isn’t damaged, Dr. Barfield can likely use a dental crown to repair the tooth.
We’ll prepare the tooth for the restoration and make a dental impression to send to the lab where your crown will be made. Dr. Barfield will provide a temporary crown for you to wear in the meantime.
Pay Attention to the Signs of an Abscessed Tooth
An abscessed tooth is also among common dental emergencies. If you’ve got one, you may notice:
- Pain when applying pressure
- Swollen gums
- An aching tooth or jaw
- A discolored or darkened tooth
If the inside of your tooth is infected, you’ll need a root canal to save the tooth and prevent the infection from spreading elsewhere. Since Dr. Barfield has taken advanced training in endodontics, he can usually perform the procedure.
Damaged Dental Restoration Isn’t a Big Deal
If your dental crown cracks or breaks, it may feel pretty strange. Yet there is little risk to your tooth, as long as you treat it carefully. If your broken crown has a sharp edge, you’ll want to see Dr. Barfield as soon as you can so you don’t cut your tongue or the inside of your mouth on it.
Until you visit our office:
- Avoid biting down on the crown.
- Apply dental wax or dental cement to any sharp edges to prevent injury.
- If the crown feels very loose, try to gently remove it so you don’t swallow it.
- To relieve any discomfort, take a pain reliever, preferably acetaminophen (Tylenol).
You May Want Sedation for Common Dental Emergencies
Some common dental emergencies are painful. Whether or not you’re in pain, you may be feeling stressed. To ease discomfort, we numb your mouth with effective local anesthesia prior to your treatment. But we can also offer you one of three kinds of safe dental sedation:
- Laughing Gas – You breathe this mild sedative in through a small mask worn over your nose. It’s fast acting and wears off quickly too. Since there is no lingering grogginess, you can even drive yourself home.
- Oral Sedative – We can give you a prescription pill to put you into a more deeply relaxed state.
- IV Sedation – For more complex procedures, you can choose our deepest level of sedation, which is administered intravenously.
For fast assistance in an emergency, call us at 972-380-8105.