At Arlington Dental Center, dental emergencies are treated immediately. Just walk in. No appointment is necessary. After hours, of course, no dentist is available, in which case, if the injury to your tooth or mouth is severe, you should go to a hospital emergency room. If it can wait, come into the dental office the next day. Over the counter pain relievers can help alleviate the pain in the mean time.
After experiencing any trauma to the mouth, you should see your dentist as soon as possible for an examination and X-rays so that the severity of the injury and necessary treatment can be determined.
If a tooth is completely knocked out of your mouth, place the tooth in a cup of milk or warm water and take it to your dentist as quickly as possible. Time is of the essence. The dentist may be able to place the tooth back in your mouth if attended to soon enough. This procedure is called “reimplantation.”
If you are not sure if a dental problem is an emergency, dentists offer this advice: If it hurts, it’s an emergency. That’s because even small injuries to a tooth can affect the living tissues inside the tooth. Quick treatment improves the odds that the tooth can be saved.
Treatment your dentist can provide:
Chipped tooth — If there is no pain and the chip is small, it is up to you to decide if, when and how the tooth should be repaired. Depending on the size of the chip, the tooth can be smoothed or cosmetically corrected. Other options include veneers, crowns and fillings. The dentist will explain these options to you. If a filling or artificial tooth becomes chipped, it should be replaced.
Cracked or broken tooth — Cracked and broken teeth should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Root canal treatment or tooth extractions may be necessary. If a crack affects the enamel and dentin of the tooth, a crown is frequently the best treatment. Keep in mind that cracks are not always visible, even on X-rays. Symptoms may involve pain while chewing and Sensitivity to cold and possibly hot foods and liquids, as well as air, which may over time become more pronounced.
Tooth knocked out — The key to successfully reimplanting a tooth in the socket which has been knocked out it time. With each minute that passes, more of the cells on the root of the tooth die. If possible, rinse the tooth with milk or water only, then reimplant the tooth at the site and hurry to the dentist as quickly as possible. The tooth should be picked up by the crown only and must not be allowed to dry. The best chance for success is reimplantation within the first 30 minutes, with chances still good for up to two hours. It may be necessary for the dentist to do a Root canal treatment one to two weeks after the tooth has been stabilized.
Permanently lost teeth, whether they’ve been removed by a dentist or accidentally knocked out, should be replaced with either implants, bridges or dentures. This is to avoid problems such as difficulty chewing and speaking, a shifting of position among remaining teeth, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders caused by chewing on the side with more teeth, and a weakening of the jawbone.