Emergency Care for Your Urgent Dental Needs
Emergency Dental Care
At Gardner Dentists, we know that dental emergencies don't schedule appointments. That's why we maintain a doctor monitored 24/7 emergency line for patients who find themselves in a situation where they have an immediate need for dental care.
This said, time is also critical when it comes to saving your natural teeth from an accident or other cause of trauma. Whether you have lost or fractured a tooth or have a severe toothache, a call to our Dental Emergency Hotline should be your first step. During regular practice hours, we will answer your call immediately, answer your questions and develop a plan of action that usually starts with a same-day visit to our practice.
For dental emergencies that happen when we are not open, a call to our Hotline is still the first step. You will be provided a number to our on-call dentist who will either answer your call or ask you to leave a short message. In either case, we will assess the situation as quickly as possible and do what is right to help you get out of pain and / or save your natural teeth.
The goal of this call is to understand your situation and to triage it. Some dental emergencies require an immediate trip to our office. Others can be handled remotely while we schedule an appointment for the next business day.
While nothing is more valuable than talking directly with either Dr. Haworth or Dr. Markway, we are happy to provide some helpful tips that might help in the meantime. Below is a list of some of the most common emergencies along with the steps you can take to minimize any issues.
Knocked Out Tooth
For patients who have had a tooth completely knocked from their mouth, the first goal should be to try to hold the tooth in its natural socket. If this is not possible, storing it in milk or water can help preserve it. In these cases, the sooner we can see you, the better chance we have to save your tooth.
Broken or Fractured Tooth
If your tooth is broken or fractured, rinse it gently with warm water. Then, try to apply a cold compress to prevent or reduce swelling. If possible, it can be helpful to place soft wax on the fractured area of the natural tooth. While waiting to see one of our doctors, eat soft foods and avoid hot or cold liquids.
Generally, toothaches are a result of not taking care of your teeth. The most common causes are decay and infection. However, there can be other causes. Before calling us, try flossing around the tooth to see if you can remove any food that might be wedged between your teeth. If this does not help, please call. Taking a pain reliever will help ease your discomfort, but do not put aspirin (or aspirin powder) directly on your tooth as this can damage your sensitive gum tissue.
If you have a canker sore, there are a number of over-the-counter options. Orajel and camphophenique are the most popular. Rinsing twice a day with Periogard will also make a big difference. This is one situation where over the counter remedies from your nearest pharmacy will offer the most relief.
Extended Bleeding After an Extraction
When a tooth is extracted, it is reasonable to expect some bleeding for up to an hour. If the bleeding continues, apply direct pressure with a piece of gauze for about 10 minutes. If there is still bleeding at this point, try one more trick before giving us a call: soak a tea bag in room temperature water and wrap it in gauze. Apply the gauze (with tea bag inside) to the extraction site for an hour. If this does not stop the bleeding, give us a call.
Cut or Bitten Lip/Tongue
Clean the area carefully and apply pressure with a towel or piece of gauze. A cold compress is also helpful in controlling the bleeding and reducing the chance of swelling. If the bleeding does not stop, please visit the nearest emergency room.
If there is a chance you might have broken your jaw, visit your nearest emergency room as soon as possible. They are best-equipped to evaluate the situation, and x-rays will likely be required. If you have also lost a tooth, follow the procedures outlined above and give us a call at your earliest convenience.
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