At Blackwell Dentistry, we do everything in our power to never leave patients with dental emergencies waiting. Serious oral pain or a badly injured tooth can throw a big wrench into your busy routine, causing panic and worry for families. What’s worse is when you call a dentist in need and are told that you’ll have to wait for days or even weeks to be seen. Dr. Neale does whatever it takes to make time for these dire cases on the SAME DAY as the initial call, providing fast relief that will help you get your day back on the right track. We want you and your loved ones to be able to rely on us! Contact our Blackwell, OK location today.
How Can I Prevent Dental Emergencies?
While there will never be a way to avoid emergency situations with 100% certainty, families can reduce their overall risk by following some simple tips:
Cost of Dental Emergencies
Depending on your type of injury, the treatment you will receive will vary. Because of this, it is impossible to determine how much a particular dental emergency will cost before scheduling an appointment. It is during this visit that your dentist will examine the problem area and determine the best course of action. Maybe you only require antibiotics? Or maybe you need root canal therapy to address a severely infected tooth? No matter the type of care you receive, it’s best to start by letting a qualified professional look at your smile and recommend an appropriate form of treatment.
How to Handle Common Dental Emergencies
If you find yourself in a dental emergency situation, it’s important to act quickly. Stay calm, and contact our team right away so that we can get you scheduled as soon as possible. However, there are steps you may need to take on your own until you get to our office. Here are tips for certain scenarios you may face and how you can increase the chances of successful treatment.
Consistent tooth pain is often a sign of deep decay. You can reduce your discomfort by taking over-the-counter pain relievers, but do not place any directly on the tooth. You can also use an ice pack to control swelling and numb the area. Just be sure to apply it for 20 minutes and go at least 20 minutes before applying it again. Keep in mind that a root canal may be required to remove the source of the pain.
If you can, find and bring all the pieces of the tooth with you to the appointment. Cover any sharp edges or points with dental wax if necessary. We will strive to salvage the natural tooth, but if the damage reaches below the gumline, the tooth may need to be extracted.
Quickly locate the tooth and pick it up by the crown. Do not touch the root structure of the tooth or any tissue attached. Gently rinse it off with clean, warm water, and try to reseat it in your gums. Otherwise, you can store it in milk. Be sure you come directly to our practice because the odds of successfully re-implanting the tooth drop an hour after the tooth comes out.
Broken or Lost Filling or Crown
Restorations don’t last forever, unfortunately. If possible, find the filling or crown and rinse it off. Make sure you also rinse out your mouth. Then, apply a dab of toothpaste to the restoration and reattach it. Remember this is only a short-term fix—you still need to visit us as soon as possible to get a new restoration placed.
Something Stuck Between The Teeth
An object stuck between your teeth can be more than just annoying. It can cause serious pain and actually move your teeth out of alignment. Try to work the object out by gently flossing between your teeth. If these attempts don’t work, contact us for an emergency visit. Do not use sharp instruments, such as a knife, to remove the object yourself.
Partially Dislodged Tooth
Similar to a knocked-out tooth, treating a partially dislodged tooth is time sensitive. It’s important to arrive at our office as soon as possible so that we can reset the tooth in its proper place.
Gum/Soft Tissue Injury
The soft tissues in your mouth will likely bleed if injured. Hold clean gauze up to the area and apply gentle pressure, and the bleeding should subside shortly. If the bleeding doesn’t stop after 10 minutes, go to an emergency room immediately. Otherwise, we strongly encourage you to come into our office so that we can check the area to ensure that no serious damage has been done.
Emergency Dentistry FAQs
Emergencies such as losing a tooth or severe oral pain are frightening enough on their own, but they can become even more nerve-wracking if you’re unprepared to deal with them. On this page, you’ll find some of the questions that patients often find themselves asking when it comes to dental emergencies; make sure you’re familiar with the answers so that you can act quickly when you need to. And of course, you can call us if you have any other concerns about the emergency care we provide.
WILL I EVER NEED TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL INSTEAD OF THE DENTIST?
You should always call the hospital for health issues that put your life in danger, and issues involving the mouth are now exception. If you experience uncontrollable swelling that gets in the way of breathing or swallowing, a severe injury that fractures or dislocates your jaw, or a deep cut accompanied by bleeding that you can’t control, get to the nearest emergency room as quickly as you can.
Other dental emergencies are less dire but still require immediate attention; this includes broken teeth or any infection that has yet to interfere with your breathing. In these cases, an expert dentist like Dr. Neale will be better equipped to help you than the doctors at an emergency room.
WILL A ROOT CANAL BE REQUIRED?
Toothaches are commonly caused by an infection that has taken hold of the soft tissue (also known as pulp) in the middle of the tooth. This tissue contains many nerve endings, so naturally you’ll experience quite a bit of discomfort when it’s under attack from bacteria. Root canal therapy is a very common solution for treating these infections before they cause you to lose the tooth altogether. There is no need to be afraid of this procedure; we will numb your mouth and take every step to make sure it’s as straightforward and painless as possible.
WHAT HAPPENS IF A DENTAL EMERGENCY IS IGNORED?
Virtually all dental emergencies become worse over time. A broken tooth will not repair itself and will instead suffer from further damage. Oral infections will gradually become more severe and start to spread to other areas of the mouth and body. A lost tooth will become virtually possible to replant if the attempt to do so isn’t made within the hour. To avoid long-term pain and more complex health problems, it’s always best to call Dr. Neale for help as soon as you can.
DOES MY INSURANCE PLAN COVER MY EMERGENCY CARE?
Unfortunately, this question is a little more difficult to answer than you might think. Not all dental plans are the same, and the coverage you’re entitled to is likely to vary. Your plan might help pay for certain parts of your emergency care without covering others. For instance, most insurance companies are more than willing to pay for a crown or filling, but they won’t necessarily cover implants for missing teeth. Our team will help you understand your benefits and find a way to keep your personal costs as low as possible.