It’s not unusual to panic when severe tooth pain or a dental injury occurs, but it’s important that you take control of the situation right away. Call Today’s Family Dental immediately when you have an oral health issue that needs to be treated right away. We’ll make time to see you quickly, relieve your pain, and figure out what kind of care you need to protect and restore your smile. Make sure that you have our contact information in your phone, so you can get in touch with us when it counts - to receive emergency dentistry in Wasthington, NJ.
Why Choose Today’s Family Dental for Emergency Dentistry?
Clean, Safe Dental Office Environment
Empathetic and Caring Dental Team
Dentist’s Cell Phone Always Available
How We Treat Dental Emergencies
Obviously, no two emergencies are the same, so we need to tailor our approach as the situation develops. That said, there are four main stages of an emergency treatment.
Making an Appointment: We will schedule to see you as soon as possible once you call to explain your emergency. Dr. De Rosso’s cell phone is always available through the answering machine and after hours. If you need help performing first aid, we can give you tips based on the information you provide over the phone.
Emergency Examination: Once you arrive, we’ll take steps to get you out of immediate, severe pain while also gathering information via examination and X-rays to determine the source of the problem.
Review Findings: After the examination, we will discuss our findings and explain what treatments can be used to repair the damage, stop your pain, and/or prevent the problem from growing worse. An estimated price and timeline will be provided to help you make your decision.
Get the Care You Need: Once a course of treatment is decided on, we’ll work quickly to correct the problem and restore your health, be it with a filling, a root canal, or another treatment.
The Most Common Dental Emergencies
Persistent oral pain and notable damage to the teeth or gums are both warning key warning signs of a dental emergency, but some issues are harder to identify than others. Below are some examples of particularly common emergencies; call us immediately if you experience one of the issues listed below.
It’s impossible to tell you how much your emergency care will cost until we see you. We need to fully evaluate your situation and decide which treatments are best for your situation before we can give you an estimate. Rest assured, though, that you will always know the price of your treatment before actually starting it, and we’ll help you take steps to make it affordable. Getting dental care as soon as possible can end up saving you a lot of time and money, as waiting too long can lead to more serious damage that’s harder to treat.
How to Prevent Dental Emergencies
Dental emergencies aren’t entirely avoidable, but there are many steps you can take to prevent them from happening. Plus, it’s always easier to lower your risk of dental disaster than it is to deal with one when it pops up. At Today’s Family Dental, we want to help you maintain a healthy and problem-free smile for as long as possible. That’s why we’re sharing a few simple precautions you can follow to keep your teeth and gums safe from harm. Should you find yourself in the middle of a dental emergency anyway, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team for assistance!
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
You must visit your dentist in Washington every six months for a checkup and cleaning to maintain optimal oral health. These routine appointments allow our team to spot, treat, and prevent dental problems. Not only can we stop issues from turning into painful complications, but we can keep them from happening in the first place!
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene Habits at Home
A solid at-home oral hygiene routine is essential for a healthy smile. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and rinsing every day with an ADA-approved mouthwash are excellent ways to maintain good oral health. These practices help ward off harmful bacteria and particles, lowering your risk of decay, cavities, and infection.
Be Careful with Your Diet
Believe it or not, your diet has a significant impact on oral health. Overindulging in sugary, acidic, or starchy foods can wreak havoc on your smile. For that reason, it’s strongly recommended that you stick to a healthy diet full of nutrient-rich foods (i.e., fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy products).
Wear a Mouthguard
Do you regularly play sports? If so, ask our team in Washington about a custom-made athletic mouthguard. It’ll protect your teeth from any impact should you sustain a blow to the face. For patients who grind their teeth at night, a nightguard can be helpful. It’ll keep the enamel safe from excessive wear and tear while you sleep.
Use Tools, Not Teeth to Open Packaging
When you can’t tear open a package or crack open a bottle, you may be tempted to use your teeth as a last-ditch effort. However, using your pearly whites for anything other than chewing food can easily cost you a trip to your emergency dentist in Washington. That’s why it’s always best to wait until you have the right tool or ask someone to lend you a helping hand.
Dental Emergency FAQs
Reading through the above information can give you valuable insight into everything from the common types of dental injuries to emergency prevention. However, to be as prepared as possible, you may still have some questions on your mind. Well, we want to help! Keep reading for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we get from patients regarding a dental emergency in Washington.
Will My Toothache Go Away on Its Own?
Despite popular belief, toothaches do not heal on their own. In fact, a once-painful toothache that has “disappeared” may actually be an indicator the infection has damaged the nerve of the tooth! Therefore, it’s always a good idea to schedule an appointment with your emergency dentist in Washington right away. From there, they can determine the root of the problem and put a plan in place to restore the look and function of your smile.
My Chipped Tooth Doesn’t Hurt. Do I Still Need a Dental Visit?
Even if your chipped tooth doesn’t hurt, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with your dentist. Although you may not be in any pain, the inner layers of your tooth could be vulnerable to damage. Plus, your chipped tooth may break further without professional attention, resulting in sensitivity, soreness, and overall discomfort. With that being said, you can most likely afford to wait a day or two until your appointment if needed. Just make sure you don’t put off seeing your dentist for too long.
What Does Throbbing Tooth Pain Mean?
It’s likely a sign of an infection or inflammation within the tooth. Cavities or cracks inside the tooth allow air and bacteria to reach the sensitive inner area where the pulp lies. This results in irritation and potential infection of pulp nerves to cause pain. It can also occur if decay is present. In other cases, throbbing teeth could be due to chronic teeth grinding and clenching.
Should I Visit the Emergency Room First for Dental Emergencies?
Unfortunately, most emergency rooms are not able to address dental emergencies effectively. However, there are three main exceptions where an ER visit is a better option, including:
Jaw fractures and dislocations
Serious cuts or lacerations to the face or mouth
Abscess or infection that is swollen to the point of affecting breathing or swallowing
In virtually all other circumstances, you should visit a dentist first. Dr. De Rosso can be reached on his cell phone even after hours.
Is My Toothache a Dental Emergency?: Tooth pain may or may not be a dental emergency. If something is lodged in your teeth, you can usually remove it on your own. Otherwise, call our dental office immediately if you experience pain that lasts longer than a day, fatigue, swelling, tooth sensitivity that lasts longer than 30 seconds, a small bump forming near the tooth, and discomfort whenever you bite down.
How You Should Handle a Toothache: Rinse with warm salt water to flush out debris and get rid of bacteria. Use dental floss or a water irrigator if something is stuck between your teeth. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever to reduce your discomfort while waiting for your emergency appointment.
How We Treat Toothaches: We may recommend antibiotics, fillings, crowns, periodontal therapy, root canal therapy, tooth extraction, or other forms of treatment depending on what caused your toothache. Regardless of what treatment we recommend, we’ll take the time to fully inform you about the details.
Is a Chipped Tooth a Dental Emergency?: You might chip a tooth if you fall down suddenly or bite into something hard with just a little too much force. If there’s no pain, you don’t have to get treatment right away, but you shouldn’t wait longer than 2 days, as you could be at risk for infection.
How You Should Handle a Chipped Tooth: Gather any chipped pieces to take with you when you visit our dental office. Rinse out any debris with warm water. Apply dental wax or sugarless gum to the rough edges of the tooth. Do not chew with the side of the mouth where the damaged tooth is located.
How We Treat Chipped Teeth: We will check the tooth to see how bad the damage is, then decide on the best way to repair it. For minor chips, we typically offer direct bonding; however, if the damage is more extensive (especially if it puts the tooth at risk for infection), then we may need to consider alternative treatments.
Is a Cracked Tooth a Dental Emergency?: A cracked tooth is definitely an emergency. You may not experience pain or even be able to see the damage, but there’s a chance that the crack might extend beneath the gum line, and that calls for immediate treatment.
How You Should Handle a Cracked Tooth: Rinse with warm salt water immediately; bacteria could slip through the crack and infect the pulp of the tooth, so keeping the area clean is key. The edges of the tooth may be jagged or rough, so apply dental wax or sugarless gum to the area to protect your soft tissues.
How We Treat Cracked Teeth: A minimal crack can sometimes be repaired with composite resin, while a more severe crack might call for a customized dental crown. And if the tooth has been so badly damaged that it cannot be saved at all, we’ll need to extract it in order to protect the rest of your natural smile.
Very Sensitive Teeth
Are very sensitive teeth a dental emergency?
There are many reasons why tooth sensitivity may occur, including exposed tooth roots and enamel erosion. While mild cases are generally non-urgent, your situation is considered a dental emergency if you experience any of the following:
Sensitivity that lasts multiple days or impacts one to two teeth
How you should handle sensitive teeth:
Call our office right away. We’ll get you scheduled as soon as possible and provide first aid instructions over the phone to help you manage your situation in the meantime. You can ease your discomfort by drinking lukewarm water, avoiding spicy and sweet foods, and taking over-the-counter pain medication.
How we treat tooth sensitivity:
First, we’ll need to examine your tooth to identify the root cause of your sensitivity. Depending on the underlying issue, we may recommend desensitizing toothpaste, prescription mouthwash, topical fluoride therapy, antibiotics, gum disease treatment, and root canal therapy.
Yes! Time is of the essence in this situation. Call our office immediately after your tooth is knocked out if you want a better chance of saving it. The sooner you get to our office, the more likely we’ll be able to reimplant your tooth.
How you should handle a knocked-out tooth:
Once you find the tooth, be sure to pick it up by the crown portion only. Avoid touching the root or removing any tissue attached. Carefully rinse the tooth with water and store it in milk or saline solution to keep it preserved. If you have one, you can also use an ADA-approved tooth preservation kit.
How we treat knocked-out teeth:
Dr. De Rosso should be able to successfully reimplant the tooth if it’s still viable and not severely damaged. However, if it’s been outside of the mouth for too long or if it’s damaged beyond repair, you may need to explore your tooth-replacement options (i.e., dentures, dental implants, dental bridges).
Dental restorations are certainly durable, but they’re not meant to last forever. Once they reach the end of their lifespan, they can break down or fall off completely. Although it’s not considered an urgent situation, you should still contact our office and seek treatment as soon as possible.
How you should handle a lost filling or crown:
Locate the restoration and store it in a clean sealable container. Make sure you bring it with you to your appointment! While you can try to temporarily reseat a dental crown to your tooth using special cement, you shouldn’t attempt it for a dental filling.
How we treat lost fillings or crowns:
If your restoration is relatively new and undamaged, Dr. De Rosso may be able to recement it into place. On the other hand, you may need to opt for a replacement if your crown or filling is damaged beyond repair.
Wearing a damaged denture can easily injure your gums, soft tissues, and remaining teeth if you have them. Call our office right away, whether the base or teeth of your denture are damaged.
How to handle a broken denture:
Avoid wearing the denture until you get to our office. You can keep it contained in cold water to prevent it from drying out. Use a back denture if you have one, but do not use it to replace your broken denture entirely. Do not try to repair the denture on your own.
How we treat broken dentures: Treatment for a broken denture depends on the severity of the damage. For example, composite resin can fix small chips and cracks, but dedicated relines may be necessary if the denture does not fit properly. If your denture is badly damaged, a replacement denture or dental implants may be recommended.
When teeth are loose, extruded, or partially dislodged, they can easily fall out completely. Whether it’s loose due to dental disease or physical injury, don’t wait to call us, even if there’s no pain present.
How you should handle a loose permanent tooth:
Avoid touching the tooth with your tongue or fingers. Use a cold compress to bring down swelling if it appears. Try not to bite down onto anything hard or tough to prevent making your tooth more loose.
How we treat loose permanent teeth:
We’ll confirm if the tooth can be saved when you arrive. If so, we’ll splint the tooth so it can begin to reintegrate. However, if the tooth is too damaged to be saved, it may need to be extracted.
Is an injury to the gums, lips, or tongue a dental emergency?:
Oral cuts inside the mouth can cause significant bleeding, but you may be able to stop it on your own. Depending on the severity of your bleeding, you may need to visit the emergency room first.
How you should handle an injury to the gums, lips, or tongue:
Clean the area by gently rinsing your mouth with water. After washing away debris and bacteria, apply pressure to the wound for 10 minutes. This can be done with either a clean washcloth or gauze pad until bleeding stops. Use an ice pack to bring down swelling and discomfort.
How we treat injuries to the gums, lips, or tongue:
If you cannot stop the bleeding on your own after applying 10 minutes of pressure, go to the emergency room as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can visit our office if you can get the bleeding under control. We can apply stitches to close the wound and give it time to heal.
Jaw pain is not typically a dental emergency, but it can lead to major dental problems later on if left untreated. Schedule an appointment for now so you can get it examined and stay proactive.
How you should handle jaw pain:
We typically recommend taking over-the-counter painkillers and using a cold compress to bring down pain or swelling in your jaw and cheeks. If you believe that your jaw is broken or dislocated, go to the emergency room immediately. You can visit our office for closer examination later.
How we treat jaw pain:
In many cases, jaw pain is due to untreated bruxism. To get relief, we may recommend a custom-made mouthguard to take stress off your jaw joints. We’ll also examine the rest of your mouth to confirm no other problems could be causing your jaw pain.
Do not try using any sharp tools or objects to remove foreign objects from your mouth. This includes tweezers, toothpicks, and other similar instruments. This can lead you to accidentally injuring your soft tissue. Instead, use dental floss to remove debris. You can also rinse your mouth out with saltwater. If this does not help, call our office for assistance.