Our office right now is only offering emergency care for serious oral health concerns, such a damaged teeth or pain due to cavities or infection. We’re doing this to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the more vulnerable members of our community. However, should you encounter a dental emergency, then we can see you and offer treatment. In today’s blog, your Richardson, TX, dentist takes a look at how we restore smiles and what you can do to protect your oral health from home.
What is a Dental Emergency?
Simply put: dental emergencies consist of any damage or injury to your teeth or gums. If the issue is potentially life threatening, of course call 911. Otherwise, contact our team. We will talk to you to gain a better understanding of your injury, and also schedule a time to see you. Our team schedules appointments so that there is never more than one person in the waiting room at a time, and we also regularly clean and disinfect surfaces and tools in between each patient visit. We take these precautions to help ensure the health and safety of our patients and team members. However, if you do begin to exhibit warning signs of the virus, such as cough, fever, shortness of breath, then please let us know. We will need to wait until your symptoms pass before we can treat you.
How Do I Respond?
Common dental emergencies include:
- Chipped, broken, or cracked teeth
- Loose or lost dental restorations
- Sudden pain in your teeth
- Objects caught between your teeth
- Knocked-out teeth
If you suffer from one of the issues above, contact our team. In the mean time, there are steps you can take to alleviate discomfort until we can see you. If you chip a tooth, try to recover any pieces and bring them with you in a small container or wrapped in tissue. If not, we can still repair your smile, so don’t worry. Use a washcloth or gauze to control the bleeding, and an ice pack or cold compress against the side of the face could reduce facial swelling.
If a filling or crown falls out, put it in a container or wrap it in a piece of tissue and bring it with you. Avoid sugary foods or drinks, or foods and drinks that are very hot or cold, as the exposed tooth is sensitive.
If you have pain or something stuck between your teeth, since with water and then floss on either side of the aching tooth. Is this fails to address the issue, let us know. Never use anything other than floss, as you could inadvertently damage your gums or teeth in the process. Sudden pain could be a sign of an injured tooth, such as a crack you couldn’t see, or possibly a cavity or infection.
If a tooth is avulsed, or knocked-out completely, then pick it up by the crown, never touch the root. Place it in a glass of milk or salt water, and bring it to the office with you. You can rinse your mouth and use a washcloth or gauze to control bleeding. Once again, a cold compress or ice pack is a great way to stop facial swelling.
Treatment for Damaged Teeth
If you have a chipped tooth, we may use dental bonding to repair the damage in one visit. The treatment will use the same composite resin material that makes up our tooth-colored fillings. A blend of glass and acrylic, this can be shaded to match the color of the tooth. We can also create and place a custom-made crown for more substantial damage or decay. In fact, we can often create and place them in a single visit. For loose or lost restorations, we can offer a lifelike an durable replacement . When you leave our office, you do so with a restored smile that looks and functions like a natural one. You avoid discomfort, as well as common complications.
Preventing Further Injury
To prevent injury, try to avoid chewing on hard objects like pens or pencils. Ice and popcorn kernels could also potentially damage your tooth. If you play sports, wear a mouthguard. That said, you shouldn’t be in situations with ten or more people, so maybe hold off on athletic activities in groups for the time being!
Homecare and More
Maintaining proper homecare is essential for safeguarding your teeth and gums, preventing the onset of common issues like tooth decay and gum disease, until you can see our team again for a checkup and cleaning. To start, make sure you’re caring for your smile each day as the dentist recommends. You should brush your teeth when you wake up and then again before bed for about two minutes each time. Make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride, as this strengthens outer tooth enamel. We also urge people to floss before bed, moving the floss tape up and down each side of every single tooth. You should dip below the gum line as well, which removes trapped food particles. This goes for kids as well as adults, so keep an eye on your little ones!
As people stock up on food, many are picking up comfort snacks, which tend to be high in sugar and starch. While we understand, we also know that these items encourage the onset of cavities and periodontal issues. Try to avoid candies and chips, and beverages like soda, energy drinks, sports drinks, and even fruit juices, many of which are high in sugar. Instead, try to pick up fruits and veggies, nuts and cheeses, low-fat yogurts, or even sugar-free gum. Drinking more water is also beneficial, as this not only hydrates you, but cleanses your smile. If you have any questions about homecare for you and your family, or if you think you’re experiencing a dental emergency, then please contact our team today.
Contact Our Team If You Have a Dental Emergency
Ignoring a dental emergency could allow a minor issue to become something much more serious. Which is why our team offers treatments to address these concerns and restore the health, function, and even the appearance of your injured tooth. For more information on addressing serious injuries or damaged teeth, then schedule a consultation by calling the Viva Dental Family Dentistry office nearest you at (214) 337-7800 (Dallas) or (972) 437-6000 (Richardson). We’re proud to serve residents of Dallas, Richardson, and surrounding communities!