What Is Emergency Dentistry?
Did you know…
Tooth pain is the most common dental emergency. If your tooth hurts, you may have a tooth infection, which could destroy your tooth or even cause other life-threatening complications. Get help right away!
What To Do In A Dental Emergency
Call us right away
Recover your tooth/dental work
Treat pain and bleeding
Get same-day care
More About Emergency Dentistry
The Importance Of Emergency Dental Care
Same-Day And Weekend Emergency Care
Common Emergency Dental Procedures
Have questions about Emergency Dentistry? Find answers here.
What Are Common Dental Emergencies?
Damaged Tooth - Teeth are commonly damaged from oral injury, dental trauma, using your teeth as tools, teeth grinding, or biting into something too hard. This may result in a chipped, broken, or loose tooth. It’s important to assess the severity of the damage to determine if this is an emergency. Tiny chips and cracks may be able to wait for a regular appointment but severe chips, loose teeth, or a tooth that is broken in half requires urgent treatment to save the tooth.
Knocked-Out Tooth - When a tooth gets knocked out, that doesn’t mean the tooth is gone forever and needs to be replaced. If you act fast enough, it may be reattached or stabilized with a splint. However, you need to locate the missing tooth as soon as possible, keep it clean by rinsing off any dirt, and refrain from holding the tooth by the root. First, try to reinsert it carefully and gently into the socket. If this fails, you need to bring it to the office so we can attempt to reattach it to the roots with a tooth splint. Store the tooth in a container or bag filled with milk or saliva. This keeps the tooth alive until you get here.
Severe Toothache - Toothaches can be caused by many different things, but it’s never a good sign. Healthy teeth shouldn’t be aching or causing you discomfort. That being said, a dull ache isn’t an emergency in itself. However, if the pain is severe, debilitating, interfering with your daily life, accompanied by signs of an infection, or not responding to pain medication, you should come in for an emergency appointment. Your tooth may be infected, severely damaged, or require removal.
Signs of Infection - The giveaway sign that your tooth is infected is swelling and an abscess. An abscess is a fluid-filled sac of pus that indicates infection caused by bacteria that has entered your tooth either through an untreated cavity, dental trauma, a crack in the tooth, or an exposed nerve. If you notice swelling in the gums, face, and jaw as well as an abscess in the gums next to the affected tooth, you should contact us right away so we can perform a root canal and prevent the spread of the infection.
Should I Go to the ER for a Dental Emergency?
The only appropriate time to go to the emergency room is when the situation is life-threatening. While it’s natural to think that the ER will treat you fast and relieve your pain, they in all likelihood will turn you away and tell you to see a dentist.
Emergency rooms are not equipped to deal with dental emergencies in the same way they’re equipped to deal with medical emergencies. They often don’t have any dental staff and have very few oral surgeons on call for serious emergencies like a fractured jaw.
If you aren’t sure how serious the situation is, contact your dentist and explain your symptoms. They will inform you if this is a typical dental emergency or if you need more involved treatment from a hospital. Unless the emergency is interfering with your ability to breathe, speak, or eat, you likely need treatment from a qualified dentist.
How Soon Should I See the Dentist in a Dental Emergency?
You should see the dentist as soon as possible when you are experiencing a dental emergency. Don’t wait any longer than you have to. As soon as it happens, give us a call at (845) 628-3200 and explain what happened, what your symptoms are, and if you have any bleeding or sharp edges cutting your mouth.
We will be better prepared to accommodate you if you give us a heads-up to expect you before walking in. Dr. L will give you instructions on what to do before you get here and you should carefully follow these.
What Should I Do About a Severe Toothache?
Take anti-inflammatory pain medication to relieve your discomfort and rinse your mouth with a saltwater solution a few times a day. This will reduce swelling and kill bacteria. Continue practicing good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing. If you have tooth sensitivity, avoid foods and drinks at extreme temperatures. If pain is debilitating, contact the dentist right away for an emergency appointment.