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A dental emergency is a health emergency! Everything from a broken tooth to a toothache can cause severe pain, distress and injury when left untreated. While we may want to brush off a dental injury as being just a tooth problem, the reality is that getting the situation addressed as quickly as possible can help us to avoid pain, misery and expensive repairs down the line. What starts in your mouth truly can impact the rest of your body in a very short amount of time if a problem is left untreated. What's more, acting quickly when a problem arises in your mouth can potentially help you to preserve a damaged tooth. There is hope for your tooth if you've just had a dental injury! Learn what you need to know when finding an emergency dentist near me to save a tooth in South Florida!
How Do I Know If I'm Having a Dental Emergency?
People are sometimes unsure if issues going on in their mouths can "wait" until they find time to make an appointment next week. While dental pain isn't always necessarily indicative of a dental emergency, it's often the first telltale sign that it's time to contact a dentist. Here's a look at some signs that what you're dealing with is a dental emergency:
- Severe, acute pain.
- Radiating pain.
- A loose tooth.
- A detached tooth.
- Facial swelling.
- Swollen gums.
- Knots on the gums.
- Signs of an abscess or infection.
There's also a list of dental issues that should be addressed immediately even if they aren't necessarily threatening your health or well-being. This includes things like a chipped tooth, malfunctioning crown or dislodged tooth filling. While you may "technically" be able to hold off for a few days before getting these types of issues addressed, the best course of action is to place a call to a dentist to get a recommendation on what to do based on the specifics of your situation. In many cases, a part of a tooth that has been chipped off can be preserved and reattached if you're able to get to a dentist within a small enough window. If you're unsure about what to do, reach out to an emergency dentist to get instructions on how to handle the situation to increase your odds of keeping as much of your original tooth preserved as possible!
Why Seeking Emergency Dental Care Is Important
Getting help for an emergency dental situation is important for your health, your appearance and your peace of mind. Things like abscesses or infections that form due to tooth trauma or decay can quickly spread. While rare, it is possible for infections to spread to other parts of your body to create very serious health issues. In the case of a dental abscess, a collection of pus caused by a bacterial infection has formed somewhere inside a tooth, your gums or a portion of bone. It's important to determine the source of the abscess to properly clean it out before the bacterial growth spreads.
Seeking emergency care is important even if your health isn't at risk. In most cases, seeing a dentist immediately following dental trauma can help you to save the affected tooth! Unfortunately, not enough people know that those first few minutes after a tooth is knocked out, dislodged or broken can determine if a tooth can be saved. While some people assume that a dislodged or broken tooth cannot be repaired, the truth is that there are treatments for restoring damaged teeth while the injury is still fresh. Always bring a tooth with any accompanying fragments that may have been displaced during the injury with you when you show up for your emergency visit with a dentist!
"Since dentists may have the ability to salvage teeth when people receive treatment for dental trauma within 30 minutes of their injuries, it is crucial for injured victims to seek dental intervention right away," shares the American Dental Association (ADA). What you do in the time it takes to get to an emergency dentist also matters. According to the American Association of Endodontists, these are the steps to follow after tooth trauma:
If a tooth is dislodged, try to place it back into the socket immediately by gently pushing it in with your fingers while handling it by the crown. Keep the tooth in place by holding or biting it gently.
Do your best to keep the tooth moist until you arrive at the dentist's office. Avoid using tap water to keep the tooth moist. Tap water actually destroys the root surface cells of teeth.
If you're unable to hold the tooth next to your cheek, place it in milk. A tooth-saving kit is also recommended!
When handling a tooth that has become dislodged, use extreme care. The tooth should only be picked up from the "crown" side that is the tooth's chewing surface. Avoid touching the root!
How Do Emergency Dentists Treat Teeth?
If a tooth is cracked, chipped or broken, a dentist will work within the resources available based on how much of the tooth was damaged, the extent of the damage and how much time has passed since the trauma occurred to try to reestablish the tooth. Dentists often use things like artificial caps or tooth-colored fillings to make the repaired tooth appear "whole" again. If the damage is extensive, a dentist might remediate damage using everything from full-coverage dental caps to tooth extraction.
In the case of a knocked-out tooth, factors like how much of the tooth was recovered, the state of the tooth after it was recovered and how much time the tooth was out of the socket can determine the course of treatment. This is a much more dramatic situation because the supportive tissues and blood vessels must also be addressed when reuniting the tooth with the socket. In most cases, root canal therapy is needed to reattach a tooth that has been dislodged.
In the case of a root fracture, the treatment path is actually very similar to how you would treat any other type of fracture within the body. A dentist will often use a splint to provide stability while the injury heals. Root canals are often used to preserve the tooth. Finally, an extraction may be necessary in a case where the fracture is severe.
How Can I Find an Emergency Dentist Near Me in South Florida?
While there are options on the table for fixing or preserving a damaged tooth, it's important to act quickly to find an emergency dentist offering same day treatment in Bayview, Galleria, Abacoa, Plantation, Atlantis/JFK, Delray, Fort Lauderdale, Jupiter, Miami or Boynton Beach. Considered the best emergency dentist in South Florida by the countless patients who have visited our office after experiencing dental trauma, The Dental Team offers 13 locations to ensure that you have a place to turn when you need immediate care! We offer same day treatment if you need to pull a tooth, fix a broken tooth or treat a toothache because you're having a dental emergency in South Florida. We offer quality, personalized dental care in a pristine environment from a team with more than 100 years of combined experience! Providing free exams and X-rays, The Dental Team of South Florida is equipped to assist with your dental emergency. Contact one of our 13 locations throughout South Florida today!