Dental emergencies don’t exactly happen often. When they do, having a dedicated dentist you can visit to get it taken care of can make all the difference. Whether you have tooth pain that simply won’t go away or you aren’t even sure if what you’re dealing with is an emergency, don’t be afraid to call us to get guidance and schedule a visit at Westlake Hills Dental Arts. After all, it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to emergency dentistry in West Lake Hills, TX!
The moment you think you’re experiencing a dental emergency, whether it’s an aching tooth, sensitivity that doesn’t go away, or another concern, call our dental office as soon as you can. Not only can we get you scheduled for an appointment, but our team can provide advice on how to improve and manage your situation before you do arrive. While these tips are not permanent solutions, they can help until you do visit our dental office.
Take an over-the-counter painkiller like ibuprofen, especially if flossing your tooth does not remove any food debris and reduce your discomfort. Chances are you either have tooth decay or an oral infection, both of which require immediate attention. If a toothache appeared following an injury, apply a cold compress to your cheek to reduce any swelling.
Collect any pieces of the tooth that you can and bring them to our dental office. If your face is swelling, apply a cold compress for 10 minutes, then remove for an additional 10 minutes to avoid damaging your skin. While we can sometimes provide an immediate, permanent fix, sometimes we will need to restore your damaged tooth with a temporary crown when you arrive, then create a permanent crown that will be placed at a later date.
Do your best to locate the tooth and pick it up by the crown portion. Do not touch the root or any tissue still attached to the tooth. If there is any dirt or debris on the tooth, gently rinse it and place it back into your open socket for preservation. If not possible, place it in milk or saltwater and get to our dental office within the hour.
If you still have the crown, you can reattach it to your tooth using temporary over-the-counter dental cement to keep it in place temporarily. You will likely need to have it replaced with a new restoration at our dental office. Dental fillings generally need to be replaced outright.
While dental emergencies can be difficult to predict, they can still be largely avoided if you take the right precautions. For example, it’s important that you:
In some cases, discomfort can stem from the joints that connect your jaw to your skull, also known as the temporomandibular joint or TMJ. When enough stress has been applied to the jaw, either from chronic teeth grinding and clenching or as a result of an injury, it can lead to discomfort that simply can’t be ignored. We’re happy to evaluate your jaw, then develop a treatment to address your specific issue.
Treating a dental emergency will vary depending on the severity of your issue. For example, damaged teeth may only need a filling. However, more significant damage could require a dental crown, which costs more to design and create. Regardless of the price tag, waiting to get a dental emergency treated will only make your situation worse (and potentially increase your total cost), so it’s best to get seen as soon as possible. We’re happy to create a treatment plan that fits into your budget and stops your dental discomfort.
Dental emergencies are unexpected, so it can be difficult to know exactly what you should do. If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, Dr. Long and the rest of our team at Westlake Hills Dental Arts are here to help you get some relief. In the meantime, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about dental emergencies that may help to sooth some of your worries. If you don’t see the answers you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to give us a call and we’ll be happy to help!
A toothache typically doesn’t go away on its own. It is best to schedule an appointment with a dentist to rule out underlying problems before they become serious. Not all toothaches are emergencies necessarily, but leaving any tooth pain unchecked can potentially lead to serious complications or permanent damage, like needing to have the tooth removed. It’s best to come see us if you have an intense toothache or if your toothache has lasted for more than a day.
A throbbing toothache is likely a sign of an infection or inflammation within the tooth. This occurs when cavities or cracks inside the tooth allow air and bacteria to reach the sensitive inner area, therefore causing irritation and pain. An infection in the tooth can become very serious, even life threatening. Give us a call immediately if you have throbbing tooth pain and we’ll do everything we can to save your tooth and protect your smile.
Water can be used to rinse a knocked-out tooth, but it shouldn’t be placed in water. This is because water can damage the root surface cells of the teeth, making it more difficult for a dentist to save. Instead, try to place it back into its socket yourself. If you are unable to do so, keep the knocked-out tooth in between your cheeks and gums. You could also place it in a container of milk, saline solution, or saliva until you make it to your emergency dentist in Westlake Hills.
Jaw pain is typically caused by chronic teeth grinding and clenching. This puts stress on the jaw joints. It can also be caused by facial injuries that never healed properly or arthritis. A misaligned jaw can lead to TMJ disorder (TMD) which affects the joints connecting the jaw to the skull. By coming to see us, we can confirm the source of your jaw pain and work to develop a treatment plan to provide long-term relief.