Life happens–and so do unpredictable accidents or sudden infections. That’s why Cool Springs Laser Dentistry is one of the few dental offices in the area of Brentwood, TN with office hours on Friday.
Our team tries to be as available as possible, but sometimes emergencies happen after regular business hours and treatment can’t wait. When in doubt, Dr. Rice has put together a guide on dental emergencies to help you when immediate care isn’t available.
What’s a Dental Emergency?
A dental emergency can be any type of pain or damage caused to your teeth, gums, or tongue. Some emergencies require urgent care, but others can wait until your next dental visit.
If you’ve experienced a dental emergency, contact our Brentwood office at 615-373-4488 immediately so Dr. Rice can tackle the issue. If it can wait a day, schedule an appointment as soon as you can and follow these useful tips.
How to Treat a Dental Emergency
In the case of several dental emergencies, Dr. Rice explains what to do and how our Brentwood team can help.
It’s easy to brush off a toothache, but if you have a persistent ache it could be an indication of a more serious problem. If you’re experiencing pain, clean the area with a soft-bristled toothbrush and floss, then rinse with warm salt water.
Dr. Rice suggests taking an acetaminophen (pain reliever) and applying a cold compress to relieve any swelling. If the ache continues, call our office as soon as possible so we can determine the source of pain and appropriate course of action.
Fractured, chipped, or cracked teeth typically require immediate treatment to prevent additional damage and infection. If the inner pulp chamber isn’t exposed, tooth damage usually doesn’t require same-day dental care.
It’s important to keep the area clean. Rinse your mouth with warm water and come in for emergency care as soon as you can. Dr. Rice can assess the damage and determine the best option to restore your tooth.
Knocked Out Tooth
Knocked out teeth are a common dental injury that requires an emergency visit to the dentist. Dr. Rice may be able to save the tooth if you get to our office right away. Find the tooth and avoid touching it by the roots. Gently rinse it off to remove any dirt or debris, but make sure not to scrub the tooth.
If you can, try to place it back into the socket until you come in. Otherwise, put the tooth in a container with milk or your own saliva to preserve the tooth. Depending on the damage, we’ll try to reattach your tooth or discuss your tooth replacement options.
Soft Tissue Injury
If you’ve cut a part of your mouth, apply firm pressure with a gauze or clean cloth to stop the bleeding. Then, apply an ice compress to the bruised or swollen area to help relieve any pain. If it doesn’t stop within 15 minutes, we advise you to come in for emergency care. You may require sutures or stitches to repair the area.
Contact Dr. Rice for Emergency Care
If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, our Brentwood team will restore your smile and help you get back on track. Give us a call at 615-373-4488 or fill out an online form so we can get you in for an appointment with Dr. Rice.
Emergency Dental Care FAQs
Cool Springs Laser Dentistry
What qualifies as a dental emergency?
You may chip, crack, or break a tooth or crown by biting on a hard piece of food or during a fall. Whether you need this immediately addressed really depends on the severity of the injury. If a tooth is knocked out, it’s important to seek immediate care.
Other indications that you need emergency dental care include:
- Severe tooth cracks
- Large pieces of a tooth are missing
- The tooth has nerve damage
- Extreme pain
- Abscessed tooth
- Puncture wounds or lacerations inside the mouth
- Loose teeth resulting from a fall or blow to the face
What should I do if I knock out my tooth?
Do as little with the knocked out tooth as possible. Hold it in the socket, if you can. Don’t wash the tooth, as you may remove some of the tooth root that may help Dr. Rice put it back in, but do remove any visible dirt or grit. If you can’t hold it in the socket, place it in a container of milk or some of your own saliva until you get to the office. Apply pressure to the open socket to help with excessive bleeding. Call us right away!
What if I’m not sure it’s a true emergency?
It’s far better to call and come in for an emergency appointment than to let an infection fester or delay the repair of a serious injury. If you call, the staff can help you determine the best course of action and how to proceed. Usually, a visit to our office is best.
Is a chipped tooth a dental emergency?
A small chip is usually not a dental emergency and can wait until the next time you can get an appointment. Chipped teeth are usually filled using cosmetic dental procedures. Do take care not to chip it further before your appointment. Just don’t chew on it at all.
Cracked or fractured teeth indicate that you need to see a dentist right away. You’ve likely damaged the inside as well as the outside of the tooth. Avoid applying any oral numbing gel, as it may burn your damaged gums. A cold compress and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can help ease the pain until you get care. Above all, call us as soon as you can.