Dental urgent care is not exactly like it is in medicine. There are not stand alone businesses just to handle a dental emergency. There are however, dental offices in Las Vegas and across America ready and able to handle your dental emergency. What types of issues are considered a dental emergency that you would need dental urgent care? When you experience an abnormal dental issue, sometimes it can be hard to know if it is a true dental emergency in need of dental urgent care. For a general rule dental urgent care is needed if you are experiencing sudden or prolonged extreme pain or profuse bleeding or both, you should seek dental urgent care right away. In some cases where you may be experiencing mild pain you may be able to put off a visit for dental urgent care a few days before visiting your dentist.
Dental Urgent Care Needs
–Broken or Fractured Tooth – This definitely falls in the category when dental urgent care is needed. This type of trauma can become extremely painful in a short amount of time. If the fracture or break causes nerve of the tooth to be exposed just the simple act of breathing will send shock waves through your body. Depending on where the fracture is this can also be considered a cosmetic dentistry emergency. That would be one where the tooth being affected is in a cosmetic area like a front tooth. Unfortunately, broken or fractured teeth cannot be repaired at home and will need immediate attention by dental urgent care.
For a tooth in the back of the mouth, your dental urgent care specialist may recommend you place a medicated filling may be placed to cover the exposed nerve and hopefully calm it down until you can come to the office. A product sold over the counter at your local drug store called Dentemp can be mixed and placed by you, to help temporarily cover the hole.
Whether or not the tooth can be saved depends on how severe the fracture is. Until you are able to get to dental urgent care, rinse your mouth with warm water, apply a cold compress outside the affected area, and keep the area as clean as possible from debris and foods. You may consider taking an anti-inflammatory medication to keep the swelling down as well as take the edge off the pain before it develops. Aspirin is not suggested to be taken, it will cause difficulties in blood clotting if the tooth needs to be removed at dental urgent care.
–Temperomandibular Joint (TMJ) or Jaw Injury – If you believe you may have broken your jaw, apply a cold compress to the area to maintain swelling to the face and immediately go to dental urgent care or to the hospital emergency room. This type of injury would be beyond simple dental urgent care and the hospital would be the better place. If your jaw has become locked or dislocated, you will need to have the jawbone re-positioned back into your Temperomandibular Joint (TMJ) socket.
-Swelling With Pain. This is most definitely a true dental emergency and you should call your dental urgent care immediately for advice. Swelling in this area is due to a dental infection called an abscess. This can progress very quickly to an infection that affects your entire body and in rare cases can even lead to death.
Tips to attempt to relieve some of the pressure include: apply cold compresses to the area, rinse with saltwater, and try to keep your head elevated. Once a dental infection gets to this point, most over the counter medications will not work very effectively in easing the pain. Antibiotics will be required along with drainage of the infection to relieve pressure and build up. This type of dental emergency will require you to be seen by dental urgent care.
-Biting Lip or Tongue w/ excessive bleeding – Accidentally biting your lip, tongue, or other part in your mouth is something that can happen at any time. It is important clean the area and apply a cold compress to help limit swelling to the area. If the bleeding is extensive, or will not stop quickly (a few minutes is a good guide), call dental urgent care or go to the hospital emergency room.
-Loose Tooth – If one of your teeth begins to become loose, see your dental urgent care right away. Your dentist may be able to save the tooth depending on why it has become loose. Until you are able to get to dental urgent care, take tylenol (ibuprofen) or aleve (sodium naproxen) and apply a cold compress to the affected area to relieve any associated pain or discomfort. If the tooth became loose due to trauma, dental urgent care will most likely recommend splinting the loose tooth (using tooth bonding) to an adjacent tooth or two to allow time for the tooth to re stabilize in the bone.
A loose tooth can also be caused by progressive periodontal disease which will develop over a period of years. In the case of periodontal disease causing the loose tooth or teeth, your dental urgent care may not be able to save the tooth and it may be recommended to remove the tooth. A dental implant may placed instead once the area has healed and the periodontal disease has been brought under control. If you have a loose tooth, try to “baby” it…..chew on other side and do not wiggle it with your tongue.
–Pericoronitis. This is a dental infection that generally happens in young adults as your molars erupt into your mouth, a flap of gum tissue will remain over the back of the tooth, becomes irritated and swollen, and can be extremely painful especially upon chewing. If you experience symptoms of pericoronitis, which may include swollen and irritated gums, a bad taste or malodor in your mouth, or you are not able to fully open your mouth, call dental urgent care right away.
-Sudden Onset Toothache. If your tooth begins aching, rinse out your mouth with warm water and gently floss around the tooth to make sure there is nothing lodged between your teeth that could be causing the issue. Call your dental urgent care immediately for an appointment. This could range from simple gum irritation, a full on dental infection.
-Knocked Out Tooth (also called avulsed tooth) – The main tip here is to clean off the tooth immediately to remove any dirt and debris that has gathered when hitting the floor. Do not scrub the tooth clean, just a gentle rinsing is all that is necessary. If the tooth can be re implanted dental urgent care will instruct you to do so. This is may not always possible if there is bleeding and swelling in the area where tooth was displaced. The next best option is to place the tooth in a milk solution. The milk acts as a preservative and can significantly increase the long term chances of a successful re implantation.
You should call or see dental urgent care immediately even if you are able to re implant the tooth. The tooth will probably need to be splinted to another tooth (using tooth bonding) while it heals. Dental urgent care will also check that it is in proper alignment with the adjoining teeth. The tooth will also need to be monitored over time to gauge the success of the re implantation as well as any long term affects that might happen due to the trauma. This tooth may still be lost in the future or it may need further treatment like root canal therapy.
-Lost Dental Filling or Dental Crown or Dental Bridge – Unfortunately, this type of dental emergency can happen at any time even with routine dental care. If your dental crown does come off call dental urgent care immediately for detailed instructions. Most local drug stores sell fixodent, or temporary cement to place it back on until you are able to be seen by dental urgent care. This will limit the chances of the development of tooth decay or tooth sensitivity in the interim. The same can be done for a lost filling, most drug stores sell a temporary filling material (mentioned earlier called dentemp) that can be applied at home. Either way, you will need to seek dental care ASAP to prevent any other damage from occurring to your smile.
-Orthodontic (Braces) Damage – If you believe that you have broken your braces in some way, you should call dental urgent care as soon as possible. In most instances, they will want to see you right away (especially if the break is causing pain or discomfort). But in some cases they may recommend waiting until your next dental appointment.
-Food Or Debris Stuck Between Your Teeth – If food or debris gets lodged between your teeth, try to swish aggressively, then attempt to gently remove it with dental floss. Be careful not to cause trauma to the area by being too aggressive. If the object still will not come free, call dental urgent care for more detailed instructions.
Urgent Dental Care Emergency Kit
The following are items to have ready in the house at all times in case a dental urgent care emergency arises:
–Pain Medication. Includes Motrin or Aleve or Tylenol. Just have something on hand to relieve the pain until you can see dental urgent care for more advanced pain relief. Avoid aspirin as this will inhibit blood clotting and have a possible effect on further dental treatment.
–Gauze or Cotton pads. These will be necessary if there is any bleeding from a traumatic injury or even to have the patient bite down on to relieve some of the pressure from a dental infection. It can also be useful if you have tissue irritation from your orthodontic braces, orthodontic appliance, or removable denture. You can place the cotton or gauze in between the appliance and the sore to relive some of the discomfort.
–Dental Wax. This can be used to cover up areas of irritation like orthodontic brackets or broken orthodontic wires. –Dental 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 ideal for transporting avulsed teeth. This system will give you have a better chance for long term survival once re implanted.
-Generic Teabags. These are helpful 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 have also been shown to be soothing if you bite your lip, cheek, or tongue.
–Denture Adhesive. This can be handy even if you do not have a denture wearer in the house. In addition to using it to fix dentures in place, it can also be used to temporarily secure a crown or bridge that has fallen out. Fixodent is a good example of a denture adhesive.
–Dentemp or Temporary Filling Material. This is an excellent material to cover up open holes in teeth until you can see dental urgent care.
–Dental Mirror and Flat Spatula. These can usually be found at any drug store or even online. The dental mirror can be used if the dental urgent care emergency is back in the mouth and the spatula will be useful for using temporary filling material in the mouth.
–Instant Ice Packs. Perfect for quick application of cold to maintain swelling from trauma or dental infection.
–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. Salt water helps clean and irrigate out wounds.
–Package of Colgate Wisps. These tools acts as a mini toothbrush as well as a toothpick. These can be very helpful removing foreign objects or debris lodged between your teeth.
–Dental Urgent Care Contact Information. Most dentists should be able to be reached after hours using an emergency telephone line.
Dental Urgent Care Conclusion
Dental urgent care is a term used for a dental emergency. As we said earlier there are no “dental urgent care” facilities, just call your dentist as soon as a dental emergency arises. The faster you get in front of a dental issue the easier it will be to treat for you and your dental urgent care Las Vegas team. Remember maintaining good dental health is not just about dental urgent care but should include regular dental visits as well!