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Emergency Dental Care

Dental emergencies can happen to anyone, anytime, and they’re always always unexpected. Teeth can crack, crowns can come loose, or braces can break, and they can all cause serious pain. 

Dental emergencies can be stressful, embarrassing, and even traumatic, so it’s important to have a plan. Is there a dentist near you? Are they available on Saturdays or after-hours? Does the office take walk-ins? Does your injury even require emergency services, or can it wait until the next day?

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What is a dental emergency?

If you find yourself in an emergency dental situation, the qualified and professional staff at Castle Dental is ready to help with fast, exceptional care so you can get the care you need, then get back to your day.  Your emergency is our expertise, and we’re trained to help ensure the best possible outcomes for any situation.

An emergency is never convenient, but with multiple retail locations, walk-ins during business hours, and same-day appointment scheduling, Castle Dental can take at least some of the stress out of treating one. We also accept most major dental health insurance plans and offer flexible financing so you have one less thing to worry about.

At Castle Dental, our goal is to treat every emergency patient–new, existing, or walk-in– immediately when necessary or scheduled as quickly as possible. You can be confident you’ll be treated with the professionalism and attentiveness you deserve, and we’ll work hard to make you as comfortable as possible while you wait for treatment.

What do I do if I have a dental emergency?

Dental emergencies and injuries can be traumatic to anyone, but most can be treated quickly and rarely pose any life-threatening risks to the patient. During a dental emergency, it’s important to stay calm, maintain awareness of the situation, and seek dental care right away. There are also some precautions you can take immediately to help avoid further damage, minimize discomfort, and improve the outcomes of your treatment:

If you’ve knocked out a tooth:

If you can find the tooth, retrieve it by holding the crown and avoid directly touching the root. Touching the tooth’s root could expose it to bacteria and cause an infection. Use cold water to clean the tooth, but don’t try it. You can store the tooth in a glass of milk or “Save-a-Tooth” solutions (found at most pharmacies) until you arrive at the dental office.

If you are bleeding: 

Place gauze over the bleeding area in your mouth and apply steady pressure with an ice pack. This should slow or stop the bleeding until you can get to the dentist. 

If you have a toothache, swelling, or soreness as the result of an injury:

Use a cold compress or ice pack and apply it to your injury as needed for swelling. You can take over-the-counter pain medication if the pain becomes severe and avoid crunchy, hard, or chewy foods until you can be seen. 

Dental emergencies vs. urgent dental injuries?

The differences between dental emergencies and urgent dental injuries are subtle but important. Some dental injuries need immediate, preventative care or risk of making the injury worse. Other dental injuries can be treated with over-the-counter medication or at-home remedies until the next available dentist appointment.

What is a dental emergency?

Dental emergencies are injuries that require immediate care and should be treated as soon as possible. Dental emergencies can include the following:

Lost or knocked-out tooth:

Make every effort you can to find the lost or knocked-out teeth. If a dentist can treat a lost tooth within an hour of an injury, there is a high chance they can replace the tooth and save it. If the tooth can be replaced, a small wire or a splint, in some cases, can be placed around the tooth to keep it immobile for a few weeks up to 2 months while the gums and jawbone fuse with the repositioned tooth. 

Infection or abscesses:

A dental abscess is essentially an infected tooth root and is often accompanied by pain and a fever. Abscesses can be very serious and, if left untreated, can spread into the jawbone, gums or adjacent teeth, or even into the bloodstream. Seeking dental emergency services to treat an abscess as soon as possible helps reduce the chance of the infection spreading.

If your pain is not accompanied by a fever, it may not be a full-blown infection yet; you can call your dentist and schedule an appointment for as soon as possible and treat your symptoms with over-the-counter pain relievers until you can be seen.

Facial trauma or oral injuries:

Facial trauma or oral injuries caused by an accident can range from painful scrapes and cuts to bleeding from the mouth or swelling in the gums and mouth. Serious injuries to the face or head should first be seen by a hospital emergency room, where doctors can control any excessive bleeding and stitch up external wounds. From there, you may be referred to an emergency dentist who can help with any dental-specific injuries or damage. You can use cold compresses, over-the-counter pain medication, and a saltwater rinse to alleviate pain and keep the area in your mouth as clean as possible. 

What is an urgent dental injury?

Urgent dental injuries are injuries with a low risk for worsening health outcomes if they cannot be addressed immediately. While still very painful, these injuries can be treated with at-home remedies and over-the-counter medications while you wait for the first available dentist appointment. There are many types of urgent dental injuries, but these are among the more common:

Lost or broken crown:

Losing or breaking a crown can be painful, especially if the exposed tissue gets irritated, but it is not an immediate dental emergency. However, waiting to treat a lost or broken crown can lead to more long-term damage to the tissue, nearby teeth, and your jawbone, so you do want to call and schedule an appointment as soon as you can.

Be sure to save your broken or lost crown if possible and store it in a clean place until you can see the dentist. Rinsing with saltwater and taking over-the-counter pain medication can help with any discomfort or soreness. 

Damaged or lost filling:

A lost or damaged filling is not an immediate dental emergency, but it can still be painful and could lead to more extensive tooth damage, tooth decay, or infection if left untreated. Try to keep the filling area as clean as possible and take pain medication as needed until you can get in to see your dentist. 

Loose or broken braces:

Braces have a lot of components, so loose wires or broken brackets are not uncommon. However, they can cause pain and irritation in the oral tissues and could cause additional injuries to the mouth, tongue, and gums. Schedule an appointment with your orthodontist or dentist as soon as you can. In the meantime, you can protect your cheeks, gums, and tongue by placing orthodontic wax over the wire or bracket, and avoid very crunchy or chewy foods so you don’t dislodge any more of the appliance. 

Cracked, chipped, or broken tooth:

As with lost fillings or crowns, a broken or cracked tooth is painful and can lead to additional injuries if left untreated. Make sure to save any pieces of your tooth by storing them in a cup of milk or a Save-a-Tooth solution and take pain medication as needed for comfort until you can be seen by a dentist.

Constant mouth pain or toothaches:

Toothaches or mouth soreness may be less severe than other dental emergencies, but they are no less important to treat. While you wait to see the dentist, you can use over-the-counter pain medication or apply an oral numbing gel as needed for discomfort. When you are seen, the dentist will likely take x-rays of your mouth to determine the cause of your mouth pain and the best way to treat it. Be sure to take note of any symptoms you experience along with your toothache or pain, such as fever, as this may signal you have a dental abscess. Dental abscesses are serious and require emergency dental care. 

Emergency Dental Care at Castle Dental

Whatever your dental injury, Castle Dental is here with multiple, fully-staffed retail locations that are open late and on weekends. Get the quality, affordable care you need whenever you need it with Castle Dental’s emergency dental services. Find a Castle Dental location near you by visiting us here.