Seeking Emergency Dental Care
One of the most vital, but commonly overlooked parts of the body is the mouth. From consumption to communication, we rely on our mouth to perform a variety of daily tasks, which is why when an emergency dental care situation occurs, it must be addressed as soon as possible.
There are times, however, when even the most diligent individuals encounter dental issues. For instance, unforeseen injury or undetected disease could require emergency dental care.
Most of us don't expect to suffer dental problems-let alone problems that require immediate attention-making many of us ill-equipped to handle a situation where emergency dental care is needed. Becoming knowledgeable about your oral health will allow you to better communicate problems to your dentist upon your visit to an emergency dental care practice.
Visiting an Emergency Dental Care Practice
The need to visit an emergency dental care practice is based upon the symptoms that you are experiencing. A variety of situations could arise that warrant a visit with a dental professional.
Common scenarios in which emergency dental care may be necessary are:
- Sports Injuries
Many adults and children alike take part in sports. Although safety equipment is worn in most cases, it is still possible to sustain oral injuries. Players often make contact with hard surfaces-or with each other-risking the possibility of injury and resulting in a need for emergency dental care.
- Oral Disease
Many oral diseases are invisible to the naked eye, or possess subtle symptoms, making it difficult to detect a problem. Left untreated, an oral disease can cause pain, infection, and even loss of tooth and bone structure. If you believe you are experiencing symptoms of an oral disease, you should visit an emergency dental care practice.
- Cracked Tooth
A cracked tooth can range from minor to severe, based on the depth to which the crack extends. When a crack in the tooth reaches the root, it can become extremely painful for the individual. If your cracked tooth becomes a source of pain, you should visit your dentist to prevent further pain and discomfort.
If your cracked tooth is not painful, it is still suggested that a dentist examine your teeth to conclude what actions should be taken to correct the problem, although emergency dental care may not be required.
Experiencing trauma to the body and face as one might in a car accident, can cause an injury that must be treated by a dentist or oral surgeon. Disorders such as Temporomandibular Joint Disease (TMJ) may occur as a result of injury and, left untreated, can cause pain during chewing or even speaking. In some cases, TMJ affects individuals' lives so much that they must elect to have surgery. If you are experiencing painful symptoms of TMJ, visit an emergency dental care practice.
- Lost Filling
Fillings can be lost due to a variety of factors. Whether cracked or worn, a damaged filling should be addressed right away. Seeking emergency dental care will help prevent pain and infection that can come as a result. Patients now have a number of options to replace lost fillings, including low-cost amalgam (silver) fillings or the more costly materials, such as porcelain.
- Weakened Enamel
Consumption of acidic food and drinks, or the practice of using your teeth for purposes other than what they are intended, can attribute to weakened enamel. Even some of the healthiest foods are known to be culprits in wearing away tooth enamel. These habits in excess could create a need for emergency dental care.
- Orthodontic Issues
If you have received orthodontic care, the first few weeks can be a bit uncomfortable as you adjust to the fit of braces or a retainer. As time passes, you will become accustomed to the fit and your discomfort should subside. However, if you begin to feel pain as a result of issues such as broken brackets or wires, you should set an appointment for emergency dental care.
While Waiting for Emergency Dental Care
Because dental emergencies don't typically occur when it is convenient, you may have to wait until an appointment is available at your dentist's office. There are, however, steps that you can take toward caring for your teeth in the meantime.
Here a few helpful tips:
- When you lose a tooth, one of the first plans of action is to preserve the tooth until you are able to see a dentist. You can do this by placing the loose tooth into a saline solution that will keep it moist until it is put in place.
Did you know that milk, in addition to saline solution, can be used to preserve your loose tooth, as you seek dental care?
- If you don't have milk or a saline solution, try soaking the tooth in a mixture of salt and water. Washing your mouth with this mixture can also help to soothe open cavities or sores.
- When holding your loose tooth, avoid touching the base. Try to keep the root of the tooth intact, so that there is a better chance that the dentist can fully restore your tooth.
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Tylenol or Aleve to relieve discomfort. Although aspirin relieves pain, it is important to know that it is also an anticoagulant, a drug that thins blood. Anticoagulants function to prevent blood from clotting, which could become problematic during oral surgery.
Emergency Dental Care Prevention
In order to prevent the need for emergency dental care in the future, it is important that you begin to take proper steps to maintain your oral health. Begin a healthy routine by brushing at least twice a day, flossing and using mouthwash. Routine dentist visits should be made twice a year on average, in order to treat and prevent further dental problems.
Knowing where to go to receive high-quality dental emergency care is just as important as identifying when it is time to seek the help of a dental professional. Searching for an emergency dental care practice operated by a knowledgeable staff of specialists? For more information or to schedule an appointment for emergency dental care, visit our McDonough, GA practice at McDonough Center for Family Dentistry. Contact us online or call us at (678) 671-5659!
We look forward to getting to know you and your family!
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