Our family practice provides emergency dental services to individuals of all ages. Regardless of if you’ve never been to our Forest Hills dentist office before, we are happy to accept new patients (even if it is during such unfortunate circumstances!)
Don’t go to the emergency room for your dental emergency unless there’s severe bleeding, facial swelling, or you suspect a broken jaw. Most medical providers aren’t set up to address dental pain; they can only provide temporary relief. You need a trusted Forest Hills dentist to treat the underlying cause so that discomfort doesn’t keep coming back.
How to Tell if it’s a True Dental Emergency
Sometimes people experience dental issues or problems that aren’t painful but may still require urgent attention. If you’re unsure whether or not you need to seek out immediate care, ask yourself the following questions:
Am I able to eat normally?
Can I go to work (or school) like this?
Is there swelling involved?
Is the situation causing embarrassment?
If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, then you need to see a dentist. A broken or cracked tooth may not hurt, but if you’re unable to go about your normal daily activities (or even talk in front of other people) then it’s not something that should be overlooked. You may not need to be seen immediately (as in, within the hour,) but it’s best to call our office to get scheduled at your earliest convenience and possible even the same day.
What to do During a Dental Emergency
First, control any bleeding. Since our mouths are full of blood vessels, they tend to bleed easily when we’re injured. Use a clean cloth or tissue to apply pressure to the area to stop the bleeding. If it doesn’t improve and is severe, head to the nearest emergency room.
For broken or knocked out teeth, locate the missing fragment. Time is of the essence, as an avulsed (knocked out) tooth needs to be re-implanted within the next two hours.
Take care to only handle the tooth by the crown, never touching the root. If there’s visible debris, gently run it under a light stream of water; never scrub or rub the root with your hand or anything else (as it can prevent the small fibers from reattaching in your tooth socket.)
Next, store your tooth or broken fragment in a sealed container, completely submerged in liquid. The best options are milk or saline/contact solution. If neither of these are available, use tap water with a small pinch of salt. If you have enough saliva, that can be used as well. Bring it to our Forest Hills emergency dentist immediately.
Some people do prefer to try to reinsert the tooth their own. This is ideal, but never force it into place, as there could be broken bone getting in the way. If you’re able to put the tooth back into its socket, it’s still imperative that you see a dentist within the next hour.
Address pain and swelling. As long as your doctor hasn’t indicated that you should avoid anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen, this is the best over-the-counter drug to take. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories lower the swelling around your injury, which is typically the main cause of tooth pain.