What Is a Dental Emergency?
A minor toothache or some sensitivity in your teeth might be frustrating to deal with, but they probably don’t require you to visit a dentist for emergency care. However, if your toothache is excruciating, it might be time to seek some immediate care.
In general, a dental problem that needs immediate attention is one where you’re in severe pain or if there is heavy bleeding in the mouth. This might be due to very severe tooth decay or trauma to the tooth. Sometimes, severe infections might also cause severe pain and discomfort that needs emergency care.
Most emergency dental procedures are done within a dentist’s office or an oral surgeon’s office. However, if a dental emergency happens at an off-hour when these offices are closed, you should seek help from an emergency room. This is especially true if there is bleeding in the mouth that is uncontrollable.
With that said, you will probably need to take a visit to your dentist anyway to get the help you need.
Emergency Dental Procedures
If you go to an emergency dentist, there are a variety of different procedures that they might perform.
Here’s what to expect:
Cavities are one of the most common dental problems in the country, and most of them can be fixed with a simple tooth filling. However, if a cavity is left untreated for a long period of time, it can progress into a more severe infection that leads to excruciating pain and discomfort. In these instances, you'll need a root canal.
During a root canal, your doctor will numb the infected area so that you don’t feel any pain during the procedure. Additionally, you might be given some anesthesia to fall asleep during the surgery. Regardless, a doctor will then place a dental dam around your teeth to isolate the tooth and keep it dry.
Next, they’ll make a small opening at the top (crown) of the tooth to access the pulp, which is the inner portion of a tooth. The infected pulp is then removed, and the chamber inside the tooth is cleaned and disinfected. Finally, a dental filling seals the tooth and prevents bacteria from entering.
Root canals are a common procedure. While they might seem scary, they are highly effective at alleviating toothaches and preventing further damage to the teeth and gums.
If a cavity becomes so severe that the infected tooth is unsalvageable, even with a root canal, then you may need to have the tooth removed entirely from the gumline. Tooth extractions are often a last resort, but if you are in immense pain and discomfort, this might be necessary. Not to mention, these might be necessary if a tooth experiences severe trauma.
Local anesthesia is used to numb the area, and then specialized instruments are used to loosen the tooth and lift it from the socket. Sometimes, bone grafts are placed over the socket to prevent bone loss in the jaw.
After a tooth extraction, you can still restore the appearance and function of your smile with dental implants or bridges.
Crowns are caps placed on a tooth, often after a root canal. While they are long-lasting, they do not last forever and will need to be replaced at some point. Certain actions can cause a crown to fall off, which can cause immediate pain and sensitivity.
The good news is that crowns can be replaced. It’s a good idea to try to get a new crown as soon as possible to prevent damage to the tooth. Sometimes, the old crown can even be re-attached, so if possible, try to put it in a safe place until you’re able to get the care you need.
Lost Tooth Implant
If you lose a tooth due to trauma, you might actually be able to salvage it. While the damaged nerves and blood vessels cannot be saved, the bone and tissues of the tooth can be reattached. You can take quick action if you ever lose a tooth to increase your chances of a restored smile during your emergency dental service.
If you lose a permanent tooth, retrieve the tooth by grabbing it by the crown part only (the white part). Then, clean it off by running it under cold, running water for about ten seconds. Don’t dry the tooth or wipe it on any surfaces.
If you’re able to place the tooth safely back in the socket, do so. If that isn’t possible, the next best option is to place the tooth in a glass of milk. You can also preserve it in your mouth between the teeth and gums until a dentist can replace it.
Later on, a dentist might be able to successfully reinsert the tooth after cleaning the tooth and the affected area. Often, a soft wire needs to be placed on the tooth to keep it in place.
How To Afford Emergency Dental Services
Emergency dental services can come in clutch to improve your smile while also alleviating pain and discomfort. The only problem is that they often come at a hefty price.
Only about half of adults in the United States with private health insurance also have dental coverage. That means that there are millions of people every year without access to the necessary care that they need.
Without insurance, services like root canals and crowns cost an average of $1,366 and $1,403, respectively. And even with insurance, annual fees or monthly premiums can make it feel redundant.
That’s where Flossy comes in to save the day. Flossy is a pay-as-you-go service that lets you save up to 50% on dental treatments. With our service, you’ll pay much cheaper for root canals and crowns.
You only pay for the procedures that you receive, and there’s no waiting period. That means you can start seeing a professional right after signing up. Our dentists are vetted against rigorous criteria, so you can have faith that you’re getting top-quality procedures from start to finish.
Find a dentist in the Phoenix area today to work towards a healthier, happier smile instantly.
No one really wants to get emergency dental care, but there might be times when you need it. If your tooth becomes chipped or dislodged due to trauma, or if you experience severe pain and bleeding from tooth decay, you might need to visit an oral surgeon as soon as possible.
An emergency dentist can help bring you relief through a number of different means. Root canals, tooth implants, and extractions, as well as crowns, are just a few of the ways that oral surgeons can bring you relief and restore your smile.
Emergency dental care can be expensive, especially if you do not have insurance. But Flossy is a pay-as-you-go service that can save you up to 50% on common procedures.
Contact a dentist in the Phoenix area, and don’t let cost be a barrier between you and your health.
Root Canal: What Is It, Diagnosis, Treatment, Side Effects & Recovery | Cleveland Clinic.
Knocked Out Teeth | American Association of Endodontists
Monday's medical myth: knocked-out teeth are history | The Conversation