Emergency Dentist – Arlington, TX
Immediate Care When You Need It Most
Emergencies are never expected. While there are things you can do to help prevent emergencies, they are bound to happen. We are here to help. At South Arlington Dental Care, we want to be that safe place for patients of all ages. Don’t wait to reach out – contact us right away so we can schedule an emergency appointment for you. If you’re calling off-hours or on a weekend, our 24/7 phone service will get you in touch with someone, and if you’re unable to reach our office right away, we provide guidance for how to manage your situation until our emergency dentist, Dr. Prachi Shah, can give you the relief you need through expert care.
Most Common Dental Emergencies
So, what constitutes a dental emergency? We trust your judgment in these situations, but if you’re unsure, here are some of the most common cases our Arlington, TX team treats:
- Toothaches: Toothaches can occur for a number of reasons. If the pain you’re experiencing is from something lodged between your teeth, use waxed dental floss to remove it. If the pain does not subside or there is nothing lodged to start with, it could be that you have an infection and will require immediate care. Our team can look at your problem tooth via a visual exam and dental X-Rays. Depending on the severity, treatment can range from a dental filling or crown, or you could require root canal therapy or tooth extraction. While waiting for an appointment, don’t be afraid to take an over-the-counter pain reliever (as instructed) to reduce discomfort.
- Chipped/Broken Tooth: When dealing with a chipped or broken tooth, if possible, try to retrieve the pieces. Our team may be able to re-bond it to your tooth. In the meantime, place some dental wax or a piece of sugar-free gum over the jagged area of your tooth to prevent additional injury and irritation to your soft oral tissues (i.e. gums, tongue, lips, cheeks). If the pain becomes too much, try a simple pain reliever medication or cold compress.
Knocked-Out Tooth: Should you face a knocked-out tooth, make sure to retrieve the tooth and wash off any debris. Try not to touch the root if at all possible. If you can, try to reinsert it back into the socket. If unsuccessful, either place the tooth in a container of milk or between your cheek and gums inside your mouth. You’ll need to get to our office within an hour of the incident in order for our team to try and save it.
- Lost Filling/Crown: A lost dental filling or crown should not cause you to panic, so if this happens, take a small bit of dental cement, which you can purchase at the local drug store, and reinsert your filling and/or crown. This will serve as a temporary fix until we can permanently cement it back into place. While waiting for your appointment, try to avoid chewing on that side of your mouth, as it can cause the restoration to fall out again.
While many dental emergencies happen because of unavoidable circumstances, there are steps patients can take to protect their smiles, such as:
- When participating in an athletic event, always wear a sportsguard.
- Don’t use your teeth to open difficult packaging. Rely on scissors instead.
- Take care to avoid particularly chewy or sticky foods
- Resist the temptation to chew the ice from your drink, as this may cause damage.
Is It a Dental Emergency?
Knowing if an injury is worthy of a visit to the dentist isn’t always easy. Should you experience any of the above-mentioned problems, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and call to speak to a member of our team. After evaluating the situation, they can determine if you should get in right away or wait to see if the symptoms subside.
Of course, there are some extremely dire situations where assistance from an emergency room is recommended. This includes heavy oral bleeding, facial swelling, and a severely damaged jaw that could be broken. Dr. Shah assists patients with treatment of any broken teeth after their initial recovery.
How Are Dental Emergencies Treated?
The treatment process varies depending on the problem you’re facing. For instance:
- Toothache treatments can range from a filling and/or crown to address a cavity or severe decay to a root canal that clears away decayed pulp (the innermost layer). A tooth extraction is only necessary when the tooth is severely damaged and cannot be saved.
- A lost filling or crown will require a simple re-bonding if you can bring the restoration in with you. However, if you cannot produce it, we will need to have a new filling or crown created for you.
- A knocked-out tooth, if seen within the hour, can be saved, but if too much time passes, it will be necessary to discuss alternative solutions to replace the missing tooth.
- The pieces of a broken or chipped tooth can be re-bonded if the break is not too severe; however, if it is, a dental crown may be necessary to protect the weakened tooth.
The Cost of Treating Dental Emergencies
At South Arlington Dental Care, we are pleased to serve as an in-network provider for many dental insurance policies (i.e. Delta Dental, Dental Network of America, Cigna, BlueCross BlueShield), but we also accept and file all insurances. If you are uninsured or your out of pocket expenses are still too much for you to pay at one time, we do offer financing with CareCredit, which will allow you to enroll in a low-interest or no-interest payment plan.
Finally, our office does provide a VIP Savings Plan for patients who wish to pay a single fee each year for services.
No matter the cost of treating your dental emergency, we can identify a plan that will help you stay within your budget while getting the help you need.
Frequently Asked Questions - Emergency Dentistry
At South Arlington Dental Care, your emergency dentist is ready to help when problems arise. Whether they’re due to poor oral health or traumatic injury, it’s important that you know we’re here to provide the level of care you need, especially when you need it most. But before you make it to our office, we want you to have the information and tools you need to handle the situation on your own. To do this, we’ve compiled some frequently asked questions about dental emergencies. Review them and feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions.
How do I know if I’m having a dental emergency?
When trying to determine if the problem you’re experiencing is, in fact, a dental emergency, there are a few ways you can tell, such as you’re bleeding, experiencing swelling, or you’ve fractured, chipped, or broken a tooth. It’s always best to err on the side of caution when dealing with injuries as they related to your teeth, gums, or facial structure. These types of injuries do not heal on their own, so when they occur, it’s in your best interest to contact our office and alert us to the issue. We will be happy to walk you through the steps to take while at home as well as schedule an appointment.
What can I take to help with tooth pain?
Toothaches are one of the most annoying feelings. The throbbing and aching pain radiating through your mouth can make your neck and shoulders tense up and your head begins to hurt, too. Before we are able to see you in our office, there are a few things you can do to help with tooth pain at home, including:
- Gargling with salt and hot water mixture to reduce irritation and aching
- Using a cold compress or ice pack to reduce swelling and alleviate pain
- Gargling with hydrogen peroxide and water
- Using a cotton ball soaked in apple cider vinegar to help with swelling and discomfort
How do I remove an object that’s stuck in my mouth or teeth?
The best way to remove something that is stuck in your mouth or between your teeth is with dental floss. The key is to carefully move the floss back and forth between your teeth to dislodge the object. If that doesn’t work, a water flosser might be able to help, as water is forcibly pushed through the device and sprayed into the area of the lodged item.
Remember, never use tools to remove a stuck item. Pliers, forks, knives, tweezers, or any other sharp object can do much more harm to your teeth and gums.
How long does a toothache last?
This answer mostly depends on what is causing the toothache. If your pain lasts longer than 1-2 days, you should seek treatment immediately. If there is something stuck between your teeth and you are able to dislodge it, you should experience relief almost immediately; however, if there is a more harmful underlying problem such as an infection, the pain will likely continue until treatment is administered.
Never underestimate a toothache. While you might think it will go away on its own, it may not, which is why timely care is important to protect your overall oral health.
Should I go to the emergency room?
This is a question asked by many patients who have experienced a dental emergency. A dental professional will be able to more effectively handle your situation and offer recommended treatment options; however, if you are suffering from continual bleeding, swelling, or a fractured or broken jaw, you should get to your local emergency room as soon as possible.
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