Needing emergency dentistry can be quite stressful and even frightening, especially when you’re unsure of whether or not you’re experiencing a true crisis that requires immediate care. Keep calm, and always notify your dental care provider as soon as a possible dental emergency is happening.
At Perfect Smiles of Reston in Northern Virginia, emergency dentist Aramesh Darvishian, DDS, will let you know what your next step should be. In the meantime, here’s how to care for yourself until you see the doctor. It’s important to note that if you need life-saving care, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital immediately!
To schedule an emergency dentist appointment, call the office at 703.982.7323 now!
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions:
Emergency dentistry is a type of dentistry that can address serious and time-sensitive oral health issues rapidly. At Perfect Smiles of Reston, Dr. Darvishian makes time for emergencies that can happen on a whim.
Awaiting care for certain dental emergencies could lead to the permanent loss of a tooth or the spreading of an infection, so you should make a visit as soon as you realize something is wrong.
You should also take steps to prevent dental emergencies whenever possible, such as wearing a mouthguard for contact sports and brushing your teeth twice daily every day.
When you come in for an emergency dentistry visit, Dr. Darvishian quickly and thoroughly assesses the issue and plans out the treatment you need. You may need a restoration like a crown or bridge in some cases, and she can use Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramic (CEREC) to manufacture new or replacement restorations.
There are many reasons why you might need emergency dentistry, even when you don’t anticipate a problem with your oral health or function. You should call for an emergency dentistry visit if you experience:
Traumatic tooth injuries
Traumatic tooth injuries, like knocked-out teeth or broken teeth, require near-immediate emergency care. Dr. Darvishian may be able to save the original tooth or reattach the fragments if you don’t wait around for the care you need. She can also provide restorations if you can’t save the original tooth.
Traumatic soft tissue injuries
Traumatic soft tissue injuries are oral injuries affecting your gums, lips, tongue, or inner cheeks. Injuries and infections can affect the soft tissues in your mouth, including serious gum disease, lodged foreign objects, bites, or burns.
You should never ignore severe tooth pain, and in many cases, it’s a clear indication of a dental emergency. Tooth pain often comes from tooth decay, which is a serious bacterial infection that can spread into other parts of the affected tooth and beyond.
An abscessed tooth is a dental condition that occurs when a tooth becomes infected. The infection is usually caused by bacteria, and it can spread to the root. This can cause severe pain and inflammation, as well as lead to overall health issues.
Your dentist will likely prescribe antibiotics to treat an abscess. In some cases, the tooth may need to be removed or a root canal may be necessary.
Chipped / Broken / Dislodged / Knocked-Out Tooth
Trauma to the mouth is not uncommon, especially for athletes, though they are often preventable by wearing protective gear. Oral injuries can lead to pain, discomfort, and / or infection. The tooth may be able to be repaired with a filling or crown. In other cases, the tooth may need to be extracted.
If you have a tooth that has been knocked out, it’s important to act fast to try and save it. First, find the tooth and pick it up by the crown, being careful not to touch the root. If the root is dirty, gently rinse it with water. Try to reinsert the tooth into the socket. If that isn’t possible, put the tooth in a cup of milk and bring it with you to your dentist.
The sooner you get to a dentist, the better the chances are that the tooth can be saved. It can often be reinserted, though it may need to be replaced with an implant.
Lodged Object in Teeth or Gums
If you have an object lodged in your teeth or gums, the first thing you should do is try to remove it with floss. You can try using other types of dental tools to remove it if floss doesn’t work. Be very careful not to damage your gums or lodge it further in the process.
Loose Brackets / Bands
If a bracket or band comes loose, try to push it back into place. You can place a piece of orthodontic wax over the loose bracket to protect your cheeks or gums. If you are still experiencing discomfort, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever until your appointment.
Loose Permanent Tooth
A loose tooth can be a sign of gum disease, which is a serious condition that can lead to tooth loss. If you have gum disease, your dentist will treat it with a deep cleaning or other procedures.
In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to protect your loose tooth:
- Avoid hard and chewy foods. Stick to soft foods that are easy to chew.
- Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful not to put too much pressure on your tooth.
- Use mouthwash to keep your mouth clean.
Lost Bridge / Crown / Filling / Onlay / Veneer
If you have a lost bridge, crown, or filling, try to find the restoration and bring it with you to your appointment. If you have a lost onlay or veneer, you can try to reattach it with dental adhesive.
Don’t worry too much if you can’t find your lost restoration. Your dentist will be able to replace it, though you will likely be responsible for replacement costs.
To help relieve the pain of a toothache, you can take over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen, and you can apply a cold compress to the outside of your cheek.
If the pain is severe, you can also try rinsing your mouth with a mixture of warm water and salt to help reduce pain and inflammation.
Avoid any chewing gum or doing any other activities that may put strain on the jaw. If the pain is due to TMJ disorder, you can also try exercises that help to stretch and strengthen the muscles in the jaw.
Depending on the type of dental emergency you experience, there may be steps you can take ahead of time to improve your chances of successful treatment at Perfect Smiles of Reston.
For soft tissue injuries, you should rinse your mouth with warm water and apply pressure to the source of the bleeding using either moist gauze or a teabag. A cold compress can control swelling as you await your visit to Perfect Smiles of Reston.
For traumatic tooth injuries, you must keep any knocked-out teeth, tooth fragments, or restorations safe until you can make it to the office after rinsing them. If it’s a full tooth, you should place it back in its socket until you can get the care you need.
You can also place teeth or restorations in milk or saltwater as you make your way to the office.
If the need for an emergency dentist arises, call Perfect Smiles of Reston at 703.982.7323 right away.
At Perfect Smiles of Reston, we know that maintaining oral health is important for our patients, so we offer a wide range of dental services to help our patients keep their teeth and gums healthy!
We also know that sometimes dental emergencies happen, and when they do, we’re here to help, doing everything we can to make our patients feel comfortable and safe during an emergency dental visit.