How to Handle Common Dental Emergencies
Dental emergencies can happen very suddenly and should be addressed right away. Whether it’s a toothache caused by decay or physical trauma due to a bad fall, we can provide you with the assistance necessary. After you’ve called our dental office and scheduled an appointment, take note of the following steps to address your emergency before you arrive.
Floss any potential food debris out from in between your teeth. If pain continues, take an over-the-counter painkiller like ibuprofen or acetaminophen (speak to your medical doctor first if you are unsure if you can take either of these medications), and come to our dental office. If any swelling occurs, apply an ice pack to your cheek in 15-minute intervals. Swelling means that you need to be seen by one of our dentists as soon as possible!
If pain is present, take an OTC painkiller and avoid chewing on that side of your mouth. If the tooth is jagged or sharp, cover it with wax paraffin or sugar-free gum to avoid accidentally cutting your lips or cheeks. Apply a cold compress to your face as needed.
Locate the tooth as soon as possible. Pick it up by the crown and do not touch the root portion. Do not remove any tissue still attached to the root. Keep it in milk or saltwater and get to our dental office within 24 hours to ensure the best and most successful outcome.
Locate the restoration and use either dental cement, which can be found at most drug stores, or denture adhesive (such as Fixodent) to re-seat it temporarily. This is not a permanent solution, and you will likely require a new restoration to cover your damaged tooth. While loose restorations are not always an emergency, they can cause discomfort to your tooth if left uncovered. Avoid sticky and chewy foods until you have a replacement permanent restoration.
How to Prevent Dental Emergencies
Most dental emergencies happen completely by accident, but there are some precautions that patients can take to protect themselves. These include:
- Don't chew on the ice in your drink.
- Exercise caution when eating foods that are significantly hard and/or sticky.
- Always use scissors instead of your teeth to open tricky packaging.
- When participating in a sporting event where contact with a hard surface or another person is possible, be sure to wear a mouthguard.
The Cost of Treating Dental Emergencies
Treating a dental emergency can largely vary in cost depending on the extent of the damage present. In some cases, we may only need to remove some minor decay and prescribe antibiotics. However, if an oral infection is more extensive and root canal therapy is needed, this will inevitably cost more. Regardless of what your treatment costs, we’ll do everything possible to locate the cause of your emergency and get you out of discomfort. We offer multiple payment options to make this type of care affordable.
Schedule an Appointment Immediately
Contact us today to schedule an emergency appointment or if you have any concerns that you'd like our team's help with. We’re located in Plano, and patients are also welcomed from all over the DFW area.