March 19, 2017
Accidents can happen anytime, day or night. You could crack a tooth by biting on a piece of food that’s too hard or you could injure a tooth while playing sports. You could also just wake one morning and feel extreme pain in the area around one of your teeth.
Some oral injuries require emergency dental care, while others can wait until normal business hours. At the office of Dr. Thomas Feder in Belleville, IL, we make time to prioritize our emergency patients. That means we can generally see emergency patients on the same day they call.
If you think you might have a dental emergency, don’t hesitate to call us at 618-219-1412.
What Is A Dental Emergency?
Depending on the severity of the problem and where it’s located, a chipped tooth or a minor tooth fracture can likely wait for an appointment during regular business hours.
But if a crack is severe, or if a large piece of your tooth is missing or is knocked out completely, you should give us a call immediately.
The main risk with a chipped or missing tooth is the chance for infection setting in. If you don’t treat a wound, even for short period of time, it can become more complicated to fix and cause more pain than the original injury did!
What Can You Do While You Wait To See The Dentist?
If you have a fractured or broken tooth, try to collect every piece of the tooth that you can. As soon as you can, rinse your mouth with warm water. Then apply gauze to the tooth area. This will help stop bleeding. The gauze will also keep any sharp parts of the broken tooth from injuring another part of your mouth.
Next, apply a cold compress to the outside of your face where the injury is to reduce swelling and ease the pain.
Tooth Is Knocked Out
If your tooth is knocked out, it’s important to try to handle it as little as possible. You shouldn’t touch the root for any reason. You can rinse the tooth off for a few seconds in lukewarm water to remove any visible dirt, but be careful not to remove any attached tissue. Touch only the crown.
If possible, put the tooth back in its socket immediately, ideally within the first hour after the accident. Don’t try to force it. If it doesn’t go back into place easily, then just put the tooth in a cup of cow’s milk. Milk contains the right fluid balance to help the root survive longer. After you do this, call our office immediately.
If you have dislodged a tooth but it’s still in place in your mouth, you can apply a cold compress to reduce swelling and pain until you get to the office to see us. If you’re feeling pain with the injury, you can take some ibuprofen or acetaminophen per package directions.
Sometimes dental emergencies aren’t necessarily due to injury. For example, you could wake up one morning and have severe tooth pain due to an abscessed tooth. An abscess is a pocket of pus that happens due to a bacterial infection.
There’s no reason for you to suffer in pain on a weekend, just waiting for a Monday to call and make a time to see us. Because the bacteria from an abscess can spread to your jaw, neck, or even brain, it’s important that you get treatment as soon as the abscess develops. And abscesses won’t go away on their own.
Symptoms of an abscess include:
- Sensitivity to hot or cold
- A severe toothache
- Facial swelling
- Swollen lymph nodes
If you’re in doubt, just remember that any dental problem that needs treatment to save a tooth, to stop bleeding, or to alleviate severe pain is considered a dental emergency. We’re set up to deal with those, so give us a call.
Make An Appointment
If you are experiencing a dental emergency, you can call us at 618‑219‑1412 to schedule a visit. You can call us even if you’re not sure what you’re experiencing is an actual emergency or not. You can also use our online contact form to send us a message. Just fill it out and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as we can.