If you have a dental emergency, such as loose fillings or a chipped tooth, the best thing to do is call a dentist right away and have a professional check out the problem.
When you call us with an emergency, we make every effort to see you as soon as possible, and most of the time will tell you to “come in now.” However, emergencies do not always happen during business hours. Many patients do not know what to do if they have a problem and can’t immediately reach a local dentist’s office. While you should still make an appointment to come in as soon as possible, these tips may help prevent the problem from worsening. Remember that an infection can be life threatening—if you have swelling or excessive bleeding, seek emergency medical care at your local hospital or urgent care center. If you have taken antibiotics repeatedly for the same dental infection, you can become high risk for antibiotic resistant infections which take lives throughout the United States yearly.
If you have had an entire tooth knocked out, place the whole tooth in a glass of milk, saliva or saline and see a dentist or oral surgeon as soon as possible. If you are unable to see a dentist right away, go to the nearest emergency room or urgent care center.
If you have any swelling, call your dentist immediately or go to an urgent care facility if we are closed, as this is a common sign of a dental infection. However, if bleeding occurs during brushing and there is no swelling, this could be a sign of gingivitis, which is an important issue but does not require emergency attention. Call our office to schedule an appointment, and if you are diagnosed with gingivitis, we will schedule you for gum therapy to treat your symptoms.
Jaw pain could indicate temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. If you have pain immediately in front of your ear canal, it is a good indication that you have swelling in the jaw joint. Until you can see a professional, avoid hard or crunchy foods or anything that forces you to open wide. TMJ disorders can have very detrimental long term ramifications including osteo arthritis and joint degeneration. Our dentists have extensive training in diagnosing and treating TMJ disorders, and we can help get you on the right track. Call to schedule an appointment with us at 336-272-4595.
Tooth grinding can lead to larger problems with your teeth over time and can make your jaw ache. Grinding during the day or while you are sleeping can cause very extensive damage to your teeth and gums, resulting in cracking or breaking of teeth and possible tooth loss. In some instances, a bite guard may be needed to protect teeth from grinding. Call for an evaluation, and we can speak with you about different options for night guards to protect your teeth from long-term grinding.
If you have severe pain, call your dentist or call for an appointment at 336-272-4595, or go to an urgent care facility right away especially if you have swelling. Typically, pain in a specific tooth can indicate that your body has lost the fight to dental infection, and the tooth has severe inflammation. Left alone, the risk of body wide infection goes up as well as the severity of the pain. Severe tooth aches can result in loss of sleep, an inability to eat, and in worst case scenarios, can result in death.
Many patients need to have their wisdom teeth removed to prevent overcrowding. If your wisdom teeth are coming in, schedule an appointment for evaluation to make sure they do not need to be removed. Continue to clean the area with gentle brushing until you can see your dentist. Avoiding the area involved can lead to worsening of the gum infections most commonly associated with erupting wisdom teeth. Usually specialized x-rays must be taken to evaluate your wisdom teeth and require a dentist/oral surgeon to accurately diagnose the problem. Hot or cold compresses can relieve pain when combined with over-the-counter pain medications.
If you have one particular tooth that is sensitive to hot or cold, call for an appointment at 336-272-4595. If you have mild overall sensitivity, you can try sensitivity toothpaste. Sensitivity toothpaste requires continuous use and can take several weeks to be effective. More severe sensitivity to hot or cold can indicate a more serious dental condition, including gum disease or dental decay, and requires dental intervention ASAP.
Cosmetic dentistry can offer you a number of options for broken or chipped teeth. Call our office to have one of our dentists evaluate which would be best for you. The options for reconstruction of anterior teeth are better and more numerous than ever. Constant innovation in dental science allows us to make more natural longer lasting restorations at affordable prices. Aesthetic dentistry can improve your smile, your mood and your self esteem. Read more about what to do after chipping a tooth.
Schedule an appointment to have a replacement made. In an emergency, we can often have dentures made in as little as 3 or 4 days.
If you have an infection with an unusual amount of swelling or a fever and you cannot reach a dentist, go to an Urgent Care facility or an Emergency Room. These types of dental infections are serious, and can be life threatening. Otherwise, call us at 336-272-4595, and we will set up an evaluation with one of our dentists as soon as possible.