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We tend to take a healthy mouth for granted until something goes wrong. Dental emergencies can be inconvenient at best and extremely painful or even life-threatening at worst. In most cases, a dental emergency means a high risk of excruciating tooth pain, severe gum bleeding, or permanent tooth loss. When you or a loved one needs emergency dentistry, it’s important to have a reliable emergency dentist you can turn to at any hour of the day.
At Trail West Family Dentistry, we offer after-hours emergency dentistry services and same-day emergency dental care in a relaxed and state-of-the-art facility in Greenville, SC. Our compassionate and skilled dentists, Dr. Philip D. Gould, DMD, and Dr. Terry A. Willis, DMD, are ready to assist you through this stressful experience. If you have a dental emergency, don’t hesitate to give us a call and schedule an appointment!
What is a Dental Emergency?
Dental emergencies happen all the time. For most people, it can be challenging to determine whether they should wait for their regular dentist to be available or contact an emergency dentist right away. According to the American Dental Association, tooth emergencies are dental problems that require immediate treatment to save a tooth, alleviate severe pain or stop ongoing tissue bleeding and are potentially life-threatening. To help you determine if you can wait to be seen by your dentist or if you need to take a trip to the emergency dentist, here are some conditions that are considered to be dental emergencies:
- Cracked or chipped teeth: If your teeth are chipped or cracked, use warm water to rinse your mouth and apply a cold compress to relieve the pain and keep the swelling down. Save any pieces you can collect, rinse and store them in a safe place, so you can bring them with you to see the dentist.
- Teeth broken or knocked out: Having a tooth knocked out of your mouth can be traumatic, but it can often be saved if you take the necessary steps. Grab the knocked-out tooth by the crown (don’t touch the root) and attempt to reinsert it. If that doesn’t work, then place the tooth between your cheek and gum or in a cup of cool water or milk to keep the roots alive until you can visit Dr. Philip D. Gould, DMD, or Dr. Phillip D. Gould, DMD, for it to be carefully replaced.
- Extreme toothache: Toothache emergencies can cause swelling and severe pain, so take an ice compress and apply it to the outside of your jaw to decrease swelling. You can also take ibuprofen to lessen the pain. Gently floss around the affected area to remove any possible food or other particles that could be causing discomfort, and rinse your mouth with salt water to kill bacteria and alleviate inflammation.
- Injuries affecting your gums: If you suffer an injury to your gums that results in tissue damage and bleeding, you need to clean the areas gently with water and schedule a dental emergency appointment immediately.
- Lost filling, crown: A lost filling or crown restoration leaves the sensitive areas of your tooth vulnerable to attack from bacteria and other particles. If you lost your filling or crown and the pain is unbearable, contact us to schedule an emergency dental appointment so that we can insert a new filling promptly.
If you experience any of these dental problems, call our Greenville, SC practice immediately for an emergency dental appointment.
What Isn’t a Dental Emergency?
While most dental issues are uncomfortable, not every dental situation should be considered an emergency. Dental non-emergencies include:
- Chipped tooth: a chipped tooth is only an emergency if it has left sharp fragments or is very painful. If the tooth is chipped but doesn’t hurt, it isn’t an emergency, and you can schedule a routine dental appointment.
- Minor toothache: As long as the toothache isn’t excruciating and you don’t have abscess symptoms such as swelling of the face, bumps on the gums, or a high fever, it is not considered to be a dental emergency.
- Preventive, routine appointments such as dental cleanings, x-rays, extractions of teeth that aren’t causing pain aren’t dental emergencies. Cosmetic procedures aren’t also considered to be dental emergencies.
Not sure if you need emergency dentistry? Give us a call, and our helpful team will advise you.
How to Avoid a Dental Emergency
Injuries are inevitable, but there are steps that you can take to avoid emergency dental services. The best way to prevent a dental emergency is to keep your teeth healthy by practicing proper oral hygiene and maintaining regular visits to the dentist for a dental exam and cleaning. These routine dental visits allow us to clean your teeth and eliminate plaque and tartar, as well as examine your mouth for cavities and gum disease. We can catch and treat dental issues early before they develop into an emergency. Other ways to prevent a dental emergency include:
- Use a mouthguard for sports: If you’re playing a contact sport, such as hockey, football, or basketball, the best way to prevent traumatic injuries is to wear a custom-fitted mouthguard. This will significantly lower the risk of damaging your teeth from collisions or falls.
- Avoid chewing on hard foods and ice as it can cause dental damage like cracked or chipped teeth. It can also damage existing dental work, such as veneers, crowns, and fillings.
Schedule Your Dental Emergency Appointment Now!
When a dental emergency strikes, time is not on your side. Getting a proper diagnosis and proper treatment right away can mean the difference between saving or losing the tooth. At Trail West Family Dentistry, our priority is providing quality emergency dental care exactly when you need it. We are available 24/7 and provide same-day treatment. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at our emergency dental clinic!