Family & Cosmetic Care in a Comfortable, Relaxed Environment.

Serving Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada since 1999.

dental emergency can arise at any time and place. These emergencies can be a loose crown, fractured tooth, or even atoothache. Many homes and even cars have emergency first aid kits in case of a medical emergency. Most do not even think twice about dental emergencies until they happen. Are you prepared for a dental emergency?

Items To Include in a Dental First Aid Kit

-Pain Medication. This can include Motrin or Aleve. Just something to relieve the pain until you can see your dentist for better pain relief. Do not use aspirin as this will inhibit clotting.

-Cotton or Gauze pads. These come in handy if there is any bleeding from an injury or even to have the patient bite down on to relieve some of the pressure. It also comes in handy if you have irritation from your braces or a denture. You can place the cotton or gauze in between the appliance and the sore to relive some of the discomfort.

-Wax. Another handy item to cover up areas of irritation like orthodontic brackets or wires.

-Floss. This can come in handy to remove food debris that gets lodged between teeth and beneath the gums that cause pain and discomfort.

-“Save A Tooth” System. This is for transporting teeth that have fallen out so that you have a better chance for long term survival once re implanted.

-Teabags. These are great for stopping bleeding following oral surgery or even a trauma in the mouth. Research suggests that bags containing tea from the plant camellia sinensis is better than herbal tea for this purpose. Tea bags may also be soothing if you bite your lip, cheek, or tongue.

-Denture Adhesive Paste. This can be used even if you do not have dentures. In addition to using it to secure dentures, it can also be used to temporarily secure a crown or bridge that has fallen out. A good example of this is Fixodent.

-Temporary filling material. This material tends to work better than wax for temporary replacement of a missing filling.

-Dental Mirror and Spatula. The mirror can come in handy if the emergency is back in the mouth and the spatula is necessary for using any temporary filling material in the mouth.

-Instant Ice Packs. These packs can come in handy if there is any trauma to the mouth or face.

-Topical Anesthetic. This can give temporary relief for denture sores, gum irritation, cold sores, canker sores, or sores from simply biting your lip, tongue, or cheek.

-Packets of Salt. These can be helpful if rinsing is necessary, as salt water helps clean and irrigate out wounds.

-Package of Colgate Wisps. This handy dental hygiene tool acts as toothbrush as well as a toothpick. These can help remove foreign objects lodged between your teeth.

-Orabase. A paste used for healing canker sores or sore mouths.

-Dentist Contact Information. Most dentists can be reached after hours via an emergency telephone line.

Dental First Aid Conclusion

All of the items listed above are readily available in most homes as well as drug stores. You can make a kit for at home and in your car for on the road. You never know when a dental emergency might arise and this kit can be a life saver or should I say tooth saver! As always visit your dentist regularly for dental examinations and professional cleanings as well as for follow up to any at home dental emergency.

We have all heard the rules about dental care including having regular dental cleanings every 6 months. Many people neglect this advice and go far longer between visits. This can be quite dangerous to our teeth as well as our overall health. Below you will find some of the top reasons to see your dental hygienist regularly.

Top 8 Reasons To See Your Dental Hygienist

1. To Diagnose Oral Cancer Early - Statistics show that someone dies from oral cancer every hour of every day in the United States alone. The best way to stop oral cancer in its tracks is to catch it early. Regular dental visits will include an oral cancer screening. These screenings will include manually feeling around the head and neck, examination of the oral tissues for changes, and the use of a special light (Velscope) to see beyond what our eyes can see. The difference truly is life and death. Choose life.

2. To Prevent Periodontal Disease – Periodontal disease is an infection in the gum and bone tissues surrounding your teeth. Periodontal disease is very treatable and manageable in its earliest stages. This early stage is known as gingivitis. Gingivitis is reversible but once it progresses past this stage (into periodontitis) it is not reversible and becomes much more difficult to treat. Regular dental checkups, dental cleanings, along with proper brushing and flossing can keep periodontal disease at bay.

3. To Keep Your Teeth - Regular dental cleanings will help you keep all of your teeth for your entire life. Poor dental hygiene will lead to tooth decay and tooth loss. Having regular dental cleanings will help ensure that you live a long life with all of your teeth intact.

4. To Maintain Overall Health – Recent research has been mounting showing that periodontal disease has been related to heart disease, strokes, and even diabetes. Keeping a regular dental schedule will lead to better overall dental health. According to the research, a dental cleaning every 6 months helps to keep your teeth and gums healthy and could possibly reduce your risk of heart disease and strokes.

5. To Prevent Bad Breath – This is also called Halitosis. This is a major problem for millions of people around the world. Walk into any drug store and you will see shelves full of products that claim to help with bad breath issues. The best way to maintain your breath is thru regular dental cleanings and diligent at home dental care. This includes brushing, flossing and use of an anti bacterial mouth rinse.

6. To Keep Your Teeth Whiter - Your dental hygienist can remove most tooth stains, including tobacco, coffee and tea stains. During your cleaning, your hygienist will be able to polish your teeth to a beautiful shine. The end result? A whiter and brighter smile! This will lead to even more smiling on your part.

7. Early Detection Of Any Dental Problems – Early detection of any dental issues can lead to easier and cheaper care to fix the problems. If tooth decay or periodontal disease is left untreated it can lead to larger dental procedures such as root canal therapy, periodontal gum surgery or removal of teeth.

8. To Use Your Dental Insurance – Your dental insurance usually covers a dental examination and dental cleaning every 6 months. Also, most dental insurances cover 100% of this cost. If you have the dental insurance benefit why not stay healthy at the same time.

Conclusion

The reasons above should give you all the evidence you need to maintain good dental hygiene. It is far simpler to see your dentist for an hour or so every 6 months than to neglect your dental care. Neglecting dental care will lead to bigger more costly and painful issues.

Many of us never think of the possibility of a dental emergency until it is upon us. One of the most critical aspects of choosing a dentist should be their emergency dental care policy. Will the dentist be available after hours to answer questions or to open the office? Will my family be prepared in case of a dental emergency? Do we know what number to call?

Fortunately, many dentists choose to give their patients 24/7 access via cell phone to at least give advice or prescribe medicine after hours. While others will even open the office after hours when needed. There are also, many who choose to use an answering service or not be available at all for an after hours dental emergency.

Common Dental Emergencies

-Chipped or broken teeth. This dental emergency may or may not be a painful event or it may be only cosmetic depending on the severity of the chip or break. Teeth can fracture or crack in all manner of ways and can create a true dental emergency. Your emergency dentist will be available to relieve pain and also restore your tooth to its natural form and function.

-Knocked-Out Tooth (also called a tooth avulsion). This occurs from direct trauma. Timing is everything!  The key here is to re-implant the tooth as soon as possible to give it the best chance for success over the long term. If it hasn’t fallen out completely, try pushing it immediately back in, your dentist can do any necessary tweaking. Retrieve the tooth, hold it by the crown or head (the part that is usually exposed in the mouth), do not touch the root. Rinse off the tooth root with water if it’s dirty. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, try to put the tooth back in place. Make sure it’s facing the right way. Never force it into the socket. If it’s not possible to reinsert the tooth in the socket, put the tooth in a small container of milk (or cup of water that contains a pinch of table salt, if milk is not available) or a product containing cell growth medium, such as Save-a-Tooth. Leave the rest to your emergency dentist.

-Toothaches/Infection. This can happen when tooth decay invades the nerve of the tooth, trauma causes the tooth to die, or periodontal disease is left untreated. The bacteria in the mouth invade the tooth and surrounding bone. This causes the body to respond, which leads to the swelling, pain, and infection. If left untreated this can be a life threatening situation. Call your dentist immediately for this dental emergency.

-Objects caught between teeth. This dental emergency may seem minor but it can be quite uncomfortable and scary. A dentist has the proper tools to remove any and all foreign objects in between teeth.

-Lost Dental Filling. This dental emergency usually occurs when there is tooth decay present in or around the restoration. The bond between dental material and the tooth will break down causing the restoration to break loose. Depending on how large the restoration is this can cause quite a bit of pain and discomfort.

-Broken Braces And Wires. This may seem like a minor dental emergency but a broken bracket or wire can be very uncomfortable and can even cause trauma to the oral tissues. Contact your dentist for advice in your particular situation.

Dental Emergency Conclusion

An emergency dentist that is available 24/7 is an important asset to have for you and your family. You never know when a dental emergency will arise and don’t you want the peace of mind to know your family is protected? Not all dentists make themselves available after hours for a dental emergency so it is important to ask your dentist if they will come to your rescue in the event of a dental emergency.

A dental abscess is an infection of the mouth, face, throat, or jaw that begins as a tooth infection or cavity. Generally these infections are caused by poor dental health and can be the result of lack of proper and timely dental care. A Dental abscess may also occur in people with medical conditions such as autoimmune disorders (Sjögren’s syndrome and similar conditions)  or conditions that weaken the immune system (diabetes, following radiation or chemo from cancer). A dental abscess can also be triggered by minor trauma in the oral cavity…such as a fractured tooth. Openings in the tooth enamel allow bacteria to infect the nerve tissue (the pulp) in the center of the tooth. Infection may spread out from the root of the tooth and out to the surrounding bones supporting the tooth.

A dental abscess occurs when there is an infection to a small area of tissue and the body is able to seal off the infection and keep it from spreading further. White blood cells (the body’s defense mechanism against certain infections) travel through the walls of the blood vessels in the area of the infection and collect within the damaged tissue. When this happens pus forms (A generally viscous, yellowish-white fluid  formed in infected tissue, consisting of white blood cells, cellular debris, and necrotic tissue). This pus pocket is the dental abscess, which is represented by inflammation, redness, and pain.

Dental Abscess

X-ray showing Dental Abscess

The inflamed area can burst, allowing the pus to drain out, but it will come back if the cause of infection is not removed. The bacteria and host cells cause quick destruction of connective tissues around the tooth and into the jawbones as the dental abscess develops. The pain is constant and may be described as gnawing, sharp, shooting, or throbbing. Putting pressure or something warm on the tooth may induce extreme pain. There may be a swelling present at either the base of the tooth, the gum, and/or the cheek, which can be alleviated by applying an ice pack. A Dental abscess can be acute or chronic. Acute abscess are the most painful. A chronic dental abscess may produce a dull pain with intermittent swelling, but can develop into an acute abscess at any point. Sometimes the infection can progress to the point where swelling threatens to block the airway, causing difficulty breathing. A dental abscess can also make you feel ill, with nausea, vomiting, fevers, chills, and sweats.

In some patients, a dental abscess may penetrate the bone and start draining into the surrounding tissues creating a localized facial swelling. it is also possible for the lymph glands in the neck will become swollen and tender in response to the infection. It may even feel like a headache as the pain can shift from the infected location. Generally, the pain does not travel across the face, only up or down as the nerves that serve each side of the face are separate.

A dentist can determine by a thorough examination, if you have a drainable dental abscess. X-rays of the teeth are usually necessary to show smaller abscesses that may be at the deepest part of the tooth. The objective of any treatment is to remove the infection, save the tooth (if possible), and prevent further complications.

The most frequently seen types of a dental abscess are:

1) Periapical abscess. These are located at the apex of an infected tooth surrounding the roots. This type of dental abscess can occur on any tooth that has severe decay or is broken or chipped.

Dental Abscess

Dental Abscess

2) Periodontal abscess. These are located in the periodontal ligament (PDL) surrounding the tooth. This type of dentalabscess will commonly involve the mandibular and maxillary first molars, maxillary incisors, and cuspids, followed by maxillary second molars.

Treatment of a dental abscess can include:

-A Regimen of antibiotics may be given to fight the infection. Along with drainage of the infected area (if it has not already begun to drain).

-Endodontic or Root Canal Therapy (RCT) can be performed if the dentist feels the tooth can be saved. Even after the root canal therapy is completed, the dentist may want to see the patient periodically to ensure the area is healing properly.

-Teeth that cannot be restored must be extracted, followed by curettage of all apical soft tissue to remove necrotic infected tissue..

An untreated dental abscess can be life threatening and should not be taken lightly. Timely treatment usually allows the dentist to be able to cure the infection. The tooth can usually be saved in many cases but not all. Prompt treatment of dental cavities reduces the risk of a dental abscess. Teeth that have been subject to trauma should be examined immediately by the dentist.