Dental emergencies can strike at any time and cause intense suffering. If you are experiencing a toothache that keeps you awake at night, or have lost a dental crown, or lose a whole tooth, our dentists are here for you and your family—with fast and professional emergency dental care.
What is an Emergency?
At LifeSmile Dental Care we offer services for emergency dental situations. What constitutes an emergency? A good measure of the difference between a nagging toothache and a severe toothache is whether the pain interferes with your ability to sleep, eat, and function normally. Are you able to continue working or caring for your children, or is the pain so intense that you are incapacitated? Is your pain manageable with the use of over-the-counter medications ?
If you are not able to continue with your daily routines, call our Hazelwood, Missouri office at 314-521-5678 and tell us that you are having a dental emergency that requires urgent treatment.
If you are able to continue with your daily life, call us for a next-available appointment and we will try to schedule you for the soonest time possible. We can also put you on a call-list so that if an appointment is canceled, we may be able to fit you into the schedule. In the meantime, you can try to control the pain using over-the-counter medications.
Broken or Chipped Tooth
Our teeth are very durable, but they can crack or chip when exposed to intense, sudden pressure—such as taking a fall onto concrete or accidentally biting into something unexpected, such a popcorn kernel. A deep crack can be serious, causing severe pain to the sensitive dentin beneath the enamel or in the tooth’s root.
If you are in pain from a chipped or cracked tooth, see What is an Emergency? (above) to determine whether it is an emergency situation.
Chipped teeth do not always hurt; if you have a chip or crack that’s not causing you significant discomfort, contact us during office hours at 314-521-5678 to make an appointment with one of our dentists. We will probably recommend a bonding treatment or a crown to repair and restore the natural appearance of your tooth.
A Damaged Temporary Crown
A damaged or lost temporary crown is a common situation, since temporaries are neither as strong nor stable as permanent crowns. In most cases, a lost, damaged, broken, or dislodged crown is not an emergency, as long as you are not experiencing severe pain. If you are in severe pain, see What is an Emergency? (above).
If your crown is dislodged, call our office for a next-available appointment so we can re-fit or replace it. If the temporary crown is in one piece you may be able to clean it, dab some toothpaste inside, and replace it yourself as a short-term fix until your appointment.
A dislodged (knocked out) tooth is also considered a dental emergency and should be treated as soon as possible. A tooth that has been knocked out due to injury or trauma should be collected and placed in a container with milk, or saliva if milk is not available. Include any tooth particles and bring them when you see us. In some cases, we are able to reset the tooth into your mouth so it can heal naturally. Most often this is not possible, but it is always worth a try—as natural healing is always is preferable to a man-made prosthetic.
Additionally, you should treat the area in the gums where the tooth was lost, to stop any swelling or bleeding. Use a clean, wet cloth and bite down gently to apply pressure and stop any bleeding. If you are in pain or notice swelling, you can hold an ice pack to your face, over the cheek containing the empty socket.
If your missing tooth cannot be replaced naturally, one of our dentists will explain tooth replacement options, so you understand the benefits and characteristics of each—before restoring your lost tooth with the prosthetic of your choice.
Torn Oral Tissue, Broken Jaw, or Injured Tongue
For any emergencies that might need stitches or that may indicate broken bones—go straight to the emergency room of your local hospital or urgent care clinic. If any of your teeth were injured, call us to discuss the situation and possible treatment options to consider after you have been treated for the initial injury.