A significant number of people lose their teeth by failing to seek emergency dental services early. Some also avoid dental emergencies because of the notion that the services are expensive and thus they neglect necessary treatments. However, ignoring any dental issue can cause further damages. Therefore, you need to seek urgent attention from a professional for dental problems such as knocked-out teeth, loose teeth, and broken or fractured teeth. Washington Dental offers friendly, caring, and urgent emergency care to all these issues throughout Carson, CA.
Preparing for a Dental Emergency
At some point in your life, you may find yourself or a loved one in a situation that requires an emergency dentist. Such conditions may arise from accidents or even oral related diseases. In any case, you are expected to be prepared and perhaps be able to offer some first aid before seeing your dentist. It is wise to always have a prepared emergency kit. The dental kit should contain a clean handkerchief or a washcloth; a small empty container that has a lid, gauze, and some painkillers preferably acetaminophen. The kit is vital in situations where you may not be able to quickly access a dentist and first aid is paramount.
It is equally essential to not panic whenever you are in an emergency situation and perform any first aid to avoid excessive loss of blood caused by accidents. Also, pick up and try to place back a fallen tooth from where it was knocked-out before visiting the dentist. You can also place the tooth in milk if it will not fit back into the socket and seek immediate attention. Either way, ensure that the sensitive parts of your mouth such as the tooth’s root is not damaged. Also, keep your emergency dentist contact where you can access the number easily, especially when you are traveling.
What Should I Do in case of a Dental Emergency Abroad?
Traveling can bring several dental complications, for example, toothaches commonly occur during air travel because of air pressure imbalances. If you are experiencing a sudden dental problem that persists after landing, rinse and floss your teeth to remove particles that might have been stuck in the teeth. You can also try to temporarily replace a dislodged tooth by putting it right back in the socket, but you should see a local emergency dentist within 30 minutes – the chances of saving a tooth is reduced after about half an hour. Using painkillers or applying a cold compress can also help to reduce the pain. However, you still have to see a local emergency dentist even if the pain is reduced.
Even though finding an emergency dentist abroad can be challenging, researching information on the local dentists of the area before traveling is helpful. Your regular dentist may give you recommendations or suggestions for the best dental emergency services in the area you are traveling to. Notwithstanding, you can contact your travel insurance provider to give a recommendation for a nearby emergency dental clinic. Additionally, your country’s consulate or embassy can help you to get the best dental clinic in the area. Online resources such as medical forums can also help you to get the nearest dentist for your emergency.
Examples of Dental Problems that Require an Emergency Dentist
Not all dental related problems require an emergency dentist. Some may be mild and you can wait a while before you visit a dentist. It is essential to be aware of some conditions that require an emergency dentist to avoid further complications and save yourself and loved ones from unnecessary tooth loss or damages. Some of the dental issues that should be dealt with urgency include:
Unsteady and misaligned tooth
A tooth can be loosely attached to the jaw or even misaligned. This is a serious dental issue that requires immediate dental attention. But before visiting your dentist, try repositioning the tooth in its socket by using your fingers; avoid exerting excessive pressure. You can avoid excessive pressure by biting down gently so that the loose tooth cannot move. After repositioning your tooth, visit an emergency dentist, who will examine your condition and determine the next course of action.
Fragmented, cracked, or fractured tooth
Depending on the extent of the fracture, your chipped or cracked tooth may or may not hurt. The condition might not require emergency dental attention if the chipped part is minimal does not hurt. However, be cautious while munching and chewing on food to prevent further chipping of the tooth. Nevertheless, you still want to visit the dentist to smoothen the chipped area and prevent further damages or pain.
Unlike a chipped tooth, a fractured, broken, or cracked tooth is often a severe condition and requires emergency dental attention. A fracture or a crack on a tooth signals that the tooth has both internal and external damages. Mostly, tooth fractures are so severe that it may become impossible to restore the tooth. You can minimize secondary pains or infections to adjacent teeth by using clean, warm water to rinse your mouth or apply cold compression to the affected areas to minimize swelling. You can also take painkillers such as acetaminophen. Don’t apply the analgesic on the gum since the tooth’s tissues can burn. If the pain persists, it is advisable to seek immediate dental attention.
Most of the time, the dentist will recommend taking an X-ray of your tooth to ascertain the severity of the fracture or crack. If the diagnosis reveals that the soft tissues located inside your tooth are affected, a root canal can be appropriate. A dental implant can be performed to replace the original tooth root. Dental implants are metal screws inserted into the jawbone, and acts as the roots to a prosthetic device – mostly, an artificial crown.
Only a crown replacement would be appropriate in replacing the fractured or cracked tooth if the damage only affects the enamel. In some cases, bonding would be necessary whereby the dentist applies a plastic resin on the crack.
Tissue damage and facial aching
Your mouth is made up of several tissues. It is an emergency if you have wounds, tears, or laceration on some parts such as the tongue, lips, and the cheeks. Use warm water to clean the mouth, and if your tongue is bleeding, try pulling it forward. Use gauze to apply some pressure on the bleeding wound and visit an emergency dentist as soon as possible after visiting the hospital. Any injury in the mouth can affect the teeth and gums. Therefore, it is vital that you consult with a dentist as well. Tissue injury may result in severe pain, but painkillers such as acetaminophen help to reduce the pain. It is advisable to not use aspirin or ibuprofen because they have an anticoagulant effect, which can lead to more bleeding.
Banged or knocked-out tooth
This dental issue may result in the total loss of the tooth if not checked immediately. They frequently occur during accidents, fights, or when teeth are used for the wrong purpose such as opening metal bottle tops or munching on ice. Young children and adolescents are more susceptible to significant risks of knocked out teeth, especially if they are involved in sports. If your tooth is knocked out, observe the following steps before visiting your dentist:
- Pick up the fallen tooth by the crown but not the sensitive roots;
- Flush clean water over the tooth. Avoid scrubbing or removing fleshy tissues on the surface of the tooth. If you are washing the tooth in a sink or flowing water, use a washcloth or a handkerchief to prevent the tooth from being carried away;
- Try to reinsert your tooth into its socket – put the tooth gently in place and attempt to bite down gently to hold it in place;
- If you have difficulties reinserting the tooth, place it in a clean container. Alternatively, use a cup with milk to keep the tooth fresh;
- Visit or call your dentist immediately – a delay in seeing the dentist will minimize the chances of performing a successful implant. Precisely, the chance of success of regaining the tooth decreases dramatically after 30 minutes. Therefore, it is imperative that you get to an emergency dentist as soon as possible.
A gum abscess is a form of pus that develops in any part inside your mouth including the gum and around the teeth. Also referred to as periodontal abscess, gum abscess is characterized by severe pain and further complications. It is typically caused by infectious bacteria which attack the spaces between gums and teeth. If you don’t observe routine dental hygiene, you are also likely to suffer from an abscess caused by periodontitis diseases as the result of an accumulation of plaque beneath the gums. Similarly, some gum abscesses can develop from severe periodontal pockets which form near a tooth due to gum related infections. The spaces inside the pockets can harbor bacteria that grow and thrive upon the accumulation of plaque. If you have a weaker immune system, you are also likely to suffer from gum abscess.
Unlike other oral and dental infections which are not easily noticed, gum abscess is severe and can easily be noticed. Besides the swelling and redness of the affected area, other symptoms that signals gum abscess include discharge of pus from the affected area, pain when chewing, teeth becoming loose, when the mouth becomes sensitive to either cold or hot substances and a bad taste resulting from pus in the mouth. In some cases, you may experience a fever. This condition is so severe that it can possibly even result in death since the bacteria can spread to the brain.
Physical examination of your teeth by the dentist is critical in determining if you have any gum abscess symptoms. Alternatively, the dentist can perform x-rays to determine whether you are also suffering from periodontitis or have lost bone from the infections. If diagnosed with gum abscess, your dentist can offer treatments which may involve draining the abscess. The treatment may also include removal of any dirt or unwanted substances that might have accumulated in the periodontal pockets. Thorough cleaning procedures such as scaling and root planning help to remove solid substances or plaque below the gum.
Getting a New Crown for a Crown Replacement – Temporary vs Permanent Crowns
Most dental problems can be fixed by replacing the crown, specifically when the damage is not so severe to affect the tooth’s root. These crowns can be supplied by a dental lab. However, most emergency dentists have crowns in their clinics to instantly fix your tooth. Temporary crowns can be applied in cases where the dentists need to acquire permanent crowns from dental labs.
Temporary crowns should be removed for cleaning, and you can also put them back in place if they detach by using adhesives such as dental cement. However, these crowns are prone to several complications. For instance, falling off regularly can be a challenge even though you can fix them yourself. Even though this condition might not require an immediate visit to the dentist, you still want to inquire from the dentist whether a permanent crown would be the best fit for you.
On the other hand, permanent crowns are better for a replacement since they act as natural teeth and are cleaned in a similar way you would clean your natural teeth. With permanent crowns, you don’t have to worry about crown falling out while flossing or cleaning your teeth. Additionally, these crowns are customized by a dental lab to resemble your teeth so they look natural when you smile.
If your tooth is irreplaceable, the dentist may recommend oral surgery to remove your tooth by using restoration means aided by plants and bridges. An implant is usually the best technique to ensure your crown is long-lasting. This is because the implantation would employ the use of titanium metal posts, which are fixed deep in the jawbone to offer proper support to an artificial crown. Notwithstanding, factors like cancer and smoking can hinder the healing process. Thus, you need to discuss with your emergency dentist the best tooth restoration or replacement method that would be best for you.
What Can I Do to Avoid Sudden Dental Problems?
Most of the dental problems people experience are caused by poor dental hygiene. Although some may result from accidents, sudden complications can be avoided in the following ways:
- Having frequent dental inspections – Make it a routine to visit your dentist. Some problems start as minor issues but advance into severe conditions. It is possible to diagnose the problems early to avoid secondary risks. Despite diagnosing your condition, the dentist will advise on some countermeasures for any dental problem. It is easier to observe proper oral hygiene by being accountable to the dentist.
- Wear mouth guards – Teeth loss through accidents can be minimized by wearing a protective gear known as a mouth guard. These devices are also vital in preventing excessive grinding or clenching of teeth while sleeping. Mouth guards are barriers between the lower and upper teeth, hence, they prevent adverse consequences caused by accidents and habitual grinding of teeth.
- Avoid eating, chewing, or munching on sugary foods – Sugary foods are known to accelerate dental problems. Sugary substances are likely to harbor bacteria that eventually ruin your teeth. Equally, don’t use your teeth for the wrong purpose; avoid opening bottle tops using your teeth as this may lead to fractures, cracking, or even teeth falling out.
- Visit the dentist before any lengthy vacation – Before embarking on any vacation especially outside the country, consider seeking dental services to avoid complications that may arise during your vacation. The dentist will examine if you have any tooth which is loose, check for worn out crowns, or any other issues that may affect your dental health. In any case, your dentist can help fix them or provide you with tips on what to expect and how to respond to a sudden complication. Your dentist might help you to identify a reputable dentist clinic in your vacation area. It is also prudent to keep your dentist contact as you travel.
Can I lose my Tooth/Teeth if I Fail to Seek Emergency Dental Services? What will Happen if Lose my Tooth/Teeth?
Losing your tooth or teeth is the most significant effect of failing to seek immediate dental attention. This will affect your facial alignment, speech, and chewing. Below is a comprehensive look at the various aspects of tooth/teeth loss.
Teeth stimulate and activate the jaw bone that acts as a support to the teeth. Therefore, losing your tooth makes your jaw bone less stimulated, inactive, and may accelerate aging. Eventually, this can lead to the deterioration of the jawbone. Also, lost teeth make the other remaining teeth shift towards the gap because of the free space between them, thus, weakening the remaining ones. Consequently, the mouth and face lose symmetry, which makes you appear older.
Teeth are generally arranged in such a way that while biting or chewing, they lock at a particular angle. Hence, failing to find a replacement may subject you to biting abnormalities. Additionally, you may not be able to enjoy your favorite foods as usual since it may be harder to chew certain types of food. But in the long run, your internal digestive system will be negatively affected by the poorly chewed food.
Furthermore, your speech may change after failing to seek an urgent replacement for the lost tooth. You may not be able to correctly pronounce some letters or words. For instance, the loss may slur your speech when you try to pronounce certain words. Emergency dental attention seeks to ensure that your teeth are replaced whenever it is necessary, and maintain the crucial functions and roles played by your teeth.
Find Dental Emergency Services Near Me
Many people have ended up losing their teeth by downplaying the need for emergency dental care. Washington Dental believes in proper dental health, and our emergency dentists are at your service. If you have any emergency dental issue in Carson, CA, reach our Carson dentist now at 310-217-1507. We are available for any consultation regarding your regular dental health as well.