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Help! I Think I’m Having a Dental Emergency

When you have a dental problem like a cavity, you may feel discomfort and need to see your dentist, but most of the time, the pain and situation aren’t serious enough to warrant an immediate visit to your dentist’s office.

So what constitutes an actual dental emergency, when it’s critical that you receive care right away? That’s what we’ll cover in this month’s post.

A highly respected, talented, and compassionate dentist, Dr. Ali Saeghi is committed to providing the most advanced dental care — especially when you least expect to need it. You can count on Modern Age Dentistry to be here for you, whether you’re getting a planned service or if something unexpected happens and you need care within the hour. 

What dental situations are considered true emergencies?

Deciding if you’re dealing with a dental emergency isn’t overly complicated, fortunately.

You’ll need prompt attention if you sustain a serious tooth or mouth injury. Examples of these types of injuries include receiving a severe blow to the mouth while playing sports or through some type of accident, like a fall or auto collision. 

In instances like these, your tooth may break, become dislodged or loosened, or  you might lose it entirely. Your mouth may also bleed a lot, which points to the fact that you’ll need emergency care. Severe pain is another  reason to call our office for immediate treatment, as well as if you have serious swelling or can see or feel some type of knot in your mouth, which may indicate an infection.

In addition to accidents, sometimes simply biting down on something very hard can require emergency dental care if your tooth becomes loose or dislodged. In other instances, food can get stuck between your teeth, and you find you can’t get it out with dental floss. This too is considered a reason to call us right away for treatment. 

If you do lose your tooth as the result of an accident, you should do some specific things to properly preserve it so Dr. Saeghi can reattach it: 

  1. Only handle your tooth at the crown (the top of the tooth), not the root. Check to see if you can tell if any part of the root or crown is missing.
  2. Don’t try to clean or remove dirt from the tooth with rubbing, as this could damage it. Instead, rinse the tooth, for no more than 10 seconds, in a bowl of lukewarm tap water – never running water.
  3. Attempt to return your tooth to its socket. If it doesn’t fit into the socket exactly, bite down on a wet paper towel or piece of gauze, which can help it stay in place until you get to our office. 
  4. If you’re unable to put your tooth back in its socket, place it between your gum and cheek in your mouth, or in a container with your saliva or milk. You can also buy products that help preserve your tooth in such situations. Make sure you buy one that has been approved by the American Dental Association.
  5. Now it’s time to seek emergency dental care. If you cannot reach the Modern Age dental office, go to the nearest hospital emergency room. 

If you come to our office after you’ve lost a tooth, Dr. Saeghi will do all he can to save and reattach it.

How to avoid dental emergencies

If you’re mindful of how most dental emergencies develop, you can take steps to prevent them, including being careful about eating hard candy and other hard or chewy foods, never using your mouth or teeth to open a bottle or can, and making sure to wear a mouthguard whenever you play contact sports.

It’s also critical to brush well twice a day and floss daily to avoid severe decay and gum disease, which in its later stages can cause your teeth to loosen and even fall out. 

Call the Modern Age Dentistry office closest to you if you have a dental emergency so you can be treated ASAP. Our offices are located in Los Angeles, Ojai, and West Hills, California. You can also book an appointment online, but in the case of an emergency, it’s best to contact us directly by phone.

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