by Stephanie Trovato
If you have ever had tooth pain, you know that time is of the essence to remedy it. Finding a dentist to provide urgent dental care may seem like a daunting task — even more so with the limitations of COVID-19. However, that doesn’t mean you should ever put off emergency dental care. There are a variety of options available to you as the patient to ensure you are feeling better in no time.
Tooth pain is no laughing matter and can lead to serious health complications if not addressed in a timely manner. Not sure what constitutes as a dental emergency? Don’t worry, we are here to help.
What Is a Dental Emergency?
Dental emergencies are dental issues that require immediate dental care from a licensed dentist. The ADA explains that tooth injuries, such as cracking a tooth or having one knocked out, are very common dental emergencies. Most of the time, they are accidents and should be treated with proper care in the same way other accidental injuries occur.
Infections — known as tooth abscesses — occur when cavities aren’t treated in a timely manner. If they are painful or showing signs of infection, such as pus or blood, they can be considered dental emergencies. According to the Mayo Clinic, if not treated, a tooth abscess can cause severe pain, facial swelling, difficulty breathing or swallowing, and even sepsis — all of which require immediate dental care.
If you have a soft tissue injury, such as a bitten tongue or lip, this may also qualify as a dental emergency. These injuries may require oral stitches which can be safely performed by a professional dentist. It is important to inspect the area, use a cold compress to control the swelling, and monitor any excess bleeding.
Finding an Emergency Dental Service Provider
When you are in pain, it’s difficult to know what to do at that moment. It is important to find a dentist who specializes in emergency dental care and can treat you properly. In this added time of uncertainty due to COVID-19, you may be hesitant to receive oral care.
The dentist’s office is one of the safest, cleanest places you can visit, especially during a pandemic. Putting off emergency dental care can mean even more problems down the road, including the spread of infection and worsening pain. Dental offices have been advocates of enhanced Personal Protective Equipment protocols and cleaning methods for years and have enhanced their practices even further for current times.
If you have a dental condition that requires immediate attention, we have listed your options below. If the emergency is life-threatening, call 9-1-1, or go to your nearest hospital emergency room.
At West Coast Dental, we are here to help you whenever you need us. If you are seeking emergency dental services, please call us at 888-329-8111. We have a number of locations available, can find the office that best suits your needs, and can address your dental emergency as soon as possible.
Book Your Appointment Online
If you don’t love talking on the phone, you are in too much discomfort to speak or it isn’t convenient for you to call, we have an online portal that allows you to book your appointment quickly and easily.
What Should I Do While Waiting for a Callback or Care?
Waiting for a call from a doctor or dentist can be frustrating and nerve-wracking, especially if you or your loved one is experiencing pain. While you wait for emergency dental care, it is important to stay calm and manage your emotions. There are a few things you can do to help keep calm, protect your mouth, and stay comfortable.
If your tooth has been severely loosened or knocked out, do what you can to keep it in its place. Try putting some moistened gauze over it to help hold it in place. Remember to avoid touching the root of the tooth as to not introduce any new bacteria. Try to avoid touching it with your tongue or moving it around as much as you can.
Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can alleviate pain and help keep you comfortable while you wait. You can also use a cold compress on your cheek if you are experiencing swelling and pain. Pain medication can be taken, but be sure to follow the instructions given on the packaging and avoid aspirin because it increases bleeding.
If you are able to speak to the dentist but have to wait for your appointment, be sure to ask him or her what you can do to take care of yourself. In some cases, your dentist may instruct you to take an over-the-counter pain reliever or even prescribe a painkiller or antibiotic that can help you manage your discomfort until you can receive treatment.
Here at West Coast Dental, we are advocates for oral health and maintaining a safe and comfortable environment for our patients and staff. If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort, please contact us today.
Stephanie Trovato has more than a decade of research, writing, and marketing experience covering topics such as retirement planning, creating a safe and healthy workplace, technology for driving remote business, mortgage rates and financing, home buying tactics, dental health and wellness, and creating a successful business through planning. She has written for Huffington Post, Business Insider, Apartment Therapy, and Celebrity Cruises.
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