A dental emergency can easily be described as any abnormal condition that causes pain or concern.
1. Toothache- A toothache usually indicates that something is wrong. Pain may come from the tooth itself, the gums, or the jaw muscles or joints. Take 600 ibuprofen and 325mg Acetaminophen up to four times a day, if you can use it. Do not put heat or pain relievers directly on the tooth. Please call or schedule an exam during regular office hours.
2. Abscess- A dental abscess can be caused by infection of the gums or the tooth nerve. An abscess can be very serious. Symptoms generally include pain and swelling near the affected area. Please call or schedule an exam during regular office hours. Seek an emergency room immediately if you are experiencing an abscess that affects your eye, throat and/or you have a fever.
3. Mouth Sore- Most sores are not generally an emergency. While they can sometimes be quite painful there are over the counter topical ointments that are effective. Zilactin can be found at most pharmacies in the toothpaste aisle. Please call or schedule an exam during regular office hours if the sore has not begun to heal within 48 hours. Seek an emergency room immediately if you are experiencing symptoms that affect your eye, throat and/or you have a fever.
4. Knocked-out Tooth- A knocked-out tooth happens about five million times per year. If the tooth is found intact, it should NOT be handled by the root. The best transport fluid is your saliva. Many of these teeth can be saved if the tooth is recovered, handled properly and the patient gets to a dental office or emergency room immediately.
5. Chipped or Fractured Tooth, Missing Filling or Crown/Temporary Off- Minor chips can be repaired at your convenience. Fractures, Missing Fillings and Crown/Temporary Off seek an appointment as soon as possible during office hours. There are several over the counter filling/cement materials you may use to temporarily repair a tooth. This is a very short term solution.
6. Soft Tissue Mouth Injury- If you experience bleeding, rinse your mouth with warm water. Pulling the tongue forward and applying a gauze to the wound can reduce bleeding and swelling, hold ice to the area for at least ten minutes. A severe mouth injury should be treated by an emergency room.
7. Jaw Injury- An impact to the head severe enough to injure the jaw can be life threatening. If a jaw injury is suspected, immobilize the jaw by wrapping a towel under the chin and over the head, and applying ice to reduce swelling. Go immediately to the emergency room.
8. Broken Retainer or Denture- Please do not attempt to repair at home. It is best to leave the appliance out until your appointment. Please call or schedule an appointment during regular office hours.
9. Wisdom Tooth Pain- Follow directions under #1 toothache. You can schedule and exam during regular office hours with our associate Dr. Greene.
10. Loose Tooth- A permanent (adult) tooth should not be loose, this means it has an underlying dental problem. It is not an emergency unless you experience symptoms of an abscess. Please DO NOT WIGGLE a loose adult tooth as this can worsen the problem. Schedule an appointment as soon as possible during office hours. If a primary (baby) tooth is loose please wiggle until the tooth is naturally shed. If the primary tooth does not come out on its own, but you notice the permanent tooth has become visible please schedule an appointment during regular office hours.
11. Crooked Teeth- While this is not an emergency we advise you to visit our office for a free consult at your convenience.
12. How to Avoid Emergencies- Visit our office at least twice a year for your regular exams and prophylaxis (teeth cleaning). If advised to visit more frequently please follow the recommendations to avoid any complications.
You can leave a message for a member of our staff at 210-494-4011 ext 103 and your call will be returned on our next business day. Should you have a concern outside of office hours that does not require an emergency room visit you can contact Emergency Dental Care at 210-590-0892 address 8211 Roughrider, Windcrest, TX 78239.