If you experience a dental emergency, be sure to call our practice as soon as possible. If you need immediate attention after hours, call our emergency phone number and our on-call staff member will help you. If you are unable to reach our office during an emergency, dial 911.
We are here to help you, any time, any day. When your dental health is at risk, we will do everything we can to make sure that you're treated as soon as possible. While dental emergencies are rare, they can happen, and it's important to know how to take care of your teeth no matter what. Common dental emergencies include:
- Broken or cracked tooth/teeth
- Broken jaw
- Permanent tooth knocked out
- Object caught between teeth
- Severe toothache
Simple toothaches can be relieved with at-home care. Start by rinsing your mouth to clear it of debris and other matter that might be irritating your tooth. However, avoid placing an aspirin between your tooth and gum to relieve pain. In doing so, the dissolving aspirin can harm your gum tissue. If you are unsure of what to do when you experience a toothache, contact your dentist for further information and tips.
A Broken Tooth
When a tooth is broken or displaced, don’t worry too much. If quick action is taken to care for your broken tooth, it should be easy to heal. If the tooth is knocked out, try to place the tooth back in its socket while waiting to see your dentist.
Next, rinse your mouth of any blood or other debris that might be in your mouth. It is also important to place a cold compress on the cheek near the injury for further relief from swelling and irritation. If you cannot place the tooth back in its socket, hold the dislocated tooth by the crown and place it in a container of warm milk, saline, or the person’s own saliva. Make sure to keep it in the solution until you arrive at the emergency room or dentist’s office.
A Fractured Tooth
When a tooth is fractured, rinse with warm water and apply a cold pack or compress to the cheek to prevent swelling and irritation. You may also use ibuprofen to help control the swelling as well. If it is a minor fracture, the tooth can be sanded or restored by our dentist if the pulp is not severely damaged. A fractured tooth needs prompt attention, so don’t wait before coming into our office for toothache care.
A chipped tooth can really ruin someone’s day! Whether a tooth was broken from trauma to the face, or from biting into a hard candy – it is very often necessary to call your Emergency Dentist in the Midlothian area to treat. Here is what you should do:
What to do with a chipped tooth:
- First, ensure you treat any other injuries related to the chip. A chipped tooth may be more likely to occur on a tooth where dental work previously was done, or where there is dental decay. If the injury was due to trauma, first ensure there is no injury that requires other medical attention. For serious injuries, call 911 or go immediately to the local emergency room.
- Second, stop any bleeding with a gauze. You can rinse out your mouth with warm water or warm salt water. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may want to take some over-the-counter medication to reduce swelling and relieve pain.
- Third, recover any loose tooth fragments and store in milk or water. Dr. booth may need to use the fragments while repairing the tooth, or use it as a reference for shape or color while restoring your smile.
- Finally, contact Penterson & Booth Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. As an emergency dentist, we will be available to treat your injury and advise on how to proceed with treatment.
Types of chipped teeth:
- Loose or moved teeth – This is the most severe type of fracture, and it occurs where the tooth sits inside the jaw bone. A dentist will be able to diagnose this accurately with an x-ray and is more common among severe trauma.
- Crown Fracture – This occurs in the part of the tooth above the gum line. A piece may chip off entirely, or there might be a fracture in the tooth.
- Root Fracture – This occurs when the tooth is broken below the gum line. The tooth may become dislodged or removed entirely and the dentist must recover any fragments that are still below the gum line.
Cavities are the number one cause of tooth loss, so it is important to know how to identify them, prevent them and ultimately, treat them. Known as “tooth decay” in medical terms, cavities are the most common dental malady and the second most common health condition, after the common cold (according to the National Institute of Health). Fortunately, they can be discovered in early stages and treated, so as not to cause any problems in the future.
Causes of cavities
- Improper dental hygiene
- A diet high in sugar and starch
- Lack of fluoride
- Chronic diseases or medication which inhibits saliva production
- Drug use
Symptoms of cavities
Incipient cavities have little to no symptoms. You may feel a slight sensitivity to cold and a mild discoloration on the tooth surface in the initial stages of the cavity when the enamel is worn out. When the cavity advances on the dentin, a dark spot appears, and the tooth sensitivity increases. Lastly, when the tooth’s pulp is affected, it becomes painful and you can often time feel holes in the tooth. You may even experience a bad taste in your mouth and bad breath in the morning. During this last stage, the pain becomes extremely acute, and the nerve eventually dies, leaving the tooth exposed to an abscess (tooth infection).
Depending on the cavity’s advancement, there are different types of dental procedures you can undergo. Fillings, crowns, and root canals are the alternatives for treating a cavity:
- Fillings – Usable for small cavities, that left intact most of the tooth, fillings require removing the affected portion of the tooth and replacing it with a material that is resistant, comfortable and can perfectly be molded in the remaining space. The most popular fillings are porcelain and composite resins, as they can perfectly mimic the color of natural teeth. Silver alloy (amalgam) and gold are much more resistant. Because of their color, they are reserved for back teeth or replaced with one of the tooth-colored materials.
- Crowns (or caps) – Suitable for treating extended cavities, crowns require removing the decayed tooth and reshaping the remaining tooth to provide a good base for the cap. The crown is attached to the reshaped tooth and sealed with special cement. Crowns are available in gold, porcelain, porcelain fused to metal and composite. The material choice should be discussed with the dentist.
- Root canals– You qualify for a root canal treatment when the cavities affect the tooth’s pulp. The treatment involves removing the tooth’s pulp and nerve, thoroughly cleaning the canals and sealing them to prevent food and saliva from entering on the canals. The root canal treatment is followed by a filling or a crown, depending on how much tooth remains after removing the decayed portions.
- Brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day
- Minimize the intake of products high in sugar and starch
- Visit the dentist every six months for a complete check-up
- Ask for a professional cleaning at least once a year if you do not smoke (sooner if the tartar build-up is high) or twice a year if you smoke or chew tobacco.
Cavities are common, but they should not affect your busy life! Visit our Midlothian office today for cost-effective and reliable cavities treatment.