1950 Rockledge Boulevard, Suite 207, Rockledge, FL 32955
When you have a dental emergency, it seems like your world comes to a screeching halt. You’re likely in pain, you can’t eat or smile, and you’re unsure of the steps to take to get help. Dental emergencies can also be expensive, so you may have financial concerns added to the mix. Knowing what to do when an emergency arises, as well as the steps to take to prevent an urgent issue, can make you much more confident should you or a loved one face a dental emergency.
Although accidents happen, the most frequent cause of a dental emergency is improper oral hygiene, so one of the best preventions for dental emergencies is to adopt good oral hygiene practices. The CDC reports that emergency oral care occurrences account for more than 34 million lost educational hours and $45 billion of lost job productivity each year.
One of the main determining factors in classifying an injury is the level of pain involved. Since pain tolerance is unique to the individual, as is their willingness to tolerate it, you must decide the level of pain and discomfort that your dental issue is causing. If you have a dull, throbbing pain that doesn’t respond to over-the-counter pain medications and the pain interferes with your sleep, then you should seek immediate treatment. Cavities can be excruciatingly painful. The CDC estimates that 26 percent of adults in the U.S. and 66 percent of U.S. adolescents have cavities and they term it “one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood.” Left untreated, cavities can become abscesses, so if you have “just a cavity” don’t ignore it until it becomes a dental emergency.
Anytime you have an injury to the interior of your mouth, you should seek emergency services from a dentist in your area. Whether you have suffered a cut, a laceration, a tear or a puncture wound, you need to get immediate treatment. Your dentist will clean and treat the wound, as well as ensure that there’s been no damage to the surrounding area. Additional reasons that you might need dental emergency treatment include:
If you or one of your loved ones experiences any of the following, you have a dental emergency and should seek treatment right away.
An abscessed tooth is a serious condition that can damage the surrounding gum tissues, spread to the bloodstream and the bone marrow, as well as the vital organs. It can cause sepsis and mediastinitis, which is irritation and edema of the area between the lungs. It can also be fatal, so, yes, it is a very serious condition. When treated in a timely manner, the prognosis is good, but too many people think “it’s just a bad cavity” and don’t seek treatment until the abscess has caused serious damage. Up to 40 percent of those who develop mediastinitis die from it. The best prevention for an abscess is to practice good oral hygiene. The most common causes include:
An abscess is a bacterial infection and it’s extremely painful. When you visit an emergency dentist, they’ll drain the abscess and prescribe antibiotics, and then evaluate the tooth to determine whether it can be saved or if you’ll need a root canal.
A broken, chipped or cracked tooth is an emergency situation and you should get treatment without delay. You can break or crack a tooth by biting on ice or hard candy or other foods, or it can be the result of facial trauma. If you’re active in high-contact sports such as hockey, football or basketball, your dentist may recommend that you wear a custom-fitted mouthguard to protect your teeth. If you suffer from bruxism, then a mouthguard can protect your teeth from further erosion. If a custom-fitted mouthguard isn’t an option, you can buy a stock mouthguard or a boil-and-bite model, but be sure that your mouthguard carries the ADA seal of acceptance. This will ensure that the product is safe and will protect your teeth when used correctly.
The best method for preventing dental emergencies is to engage in good oral hygiene practices. However, when an accident happens or an unexpected crisis occurs, call our Dental Care Alliance office for an appointment or use our same-day, walk-in dental service. We adhere to the highest professional and ethical standards and provide the best possible treatment, so call us today or, if you prefer, you can schedule an appointment online. We look forward to working with you.