Should I call or can it wait?
The presence of dental pain most often indicates an underlying condition that, at the very least, should be diagnosed by one of our dentists. If the pain is very mild and intermittent, you may be able to wait until our office is open during regular business hours.
Advanced DDS is open six days a week with evening hours available. We will try to see you that same day for any emergency to get you out of immediate pain. Every case, however, is unique and cannot be fully diagnosed by phone call alone. We will make every effort to provide a recommendation for appropriate care in the short term on an emergency basis so that you can take comfort knowing appropriate and professional guidance is available.
What is considered ‘Emergency Dental’?
Restorative Emergencies: Accidents can occur at any time, and in the event of a missing or chipped tooth, it is best to seek immediate care. Restorative emergencies require dental care to preserve teeth, so they remain functional. Dentists can then replace teeth to restore the patient’s smile.
Severe Gum Pain: Patients should visit the dentist if minor tooth, jaw, or gum pain lasts more than two days. However, those who are in extreme pain should visit the dentist immediately. Pain that persists despite taking over-the-counter medications, such as Aleve®, Tylenol®, or Advil®, could indicate a serious infection or gum disease.
Tooth Abscess: Tooth abscesses are caused by pockets of pus that develop underneath teeth. In addition to being extremely painful, a tooth abscess can lead to a life-threatening infection if left untreated. Seeking immediate care allows dentists to drain the pus that causes the pain before the problem becomes more severe.
Lost Fillings: When patients lose cavity fillings or crowns, the opening is susceptible to infection. Replacing lost crowns and fillings eliminates pain and reduces the chance of infection setting in. Waiting to receive this treatment could elevate patients’ pain.
Benefits of Emergency Dental Care
Emergency dental treatment helps relieve mouth pain quickly and effectively. Dental trauma can occur from an accident or an injury. Seeking immediate care when a problem occurs prevents it from becoming a more extensive issue requiring harsher treatments. By taking control of dental emergencies and visiting the dentist immediately, patients can drastically improve their oral health.
For most minor problems, patients can call ahead to schedule an appointment within a few days to resolve the issue. Emergency dentistry treats patients dealing with significant dental trauma who need immediate care.
First Aid Tips for Dental Emergencies
Knocked out tooth: Find the tooth and make sure to handle the tooth by the top (crown), not the root portion. You may rinse the tooth, but do not clean or handle the tooth unnecessarily.
Try to reinsert it into its socket. Hold the tooth in place by biting on a clean gauze or cloth. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, transport the tooth in a cup containing milk or water. Call the dentist immediately. Time is a critical factor in saving the tooth!
Toothache: Clean the area around the sore tooth thoroughly. Rinse the mouth vigorously with warm salt water or use dental floss to dislodge trapped food or debris. Do not place aspirin on the gum or on the aching tooth. If the face is swollen, apply a cold compress. Take acetaminophen for pain and call the dentist as soon as possible.
Broken Tooth: Place cold compresses over the face in the area of the injury. Locate and save any broken tooth fragments & call the dentist immediately.
Lost Crown: Call the dentist immediately and bring the crown with you to the dental appointment. If you can gently place the crown back over the tooth. You can use an over-the-counter dental adhesive from a local drug store to temporarily hold it in place.
Cut or bitten tongue, lip or cheek: Apply ice to bruised areas. If there is bleeding, apply firm but gentle pressure with a clean gauze or cloth. If bleeding does not stop after 15 minutes or it cannot be controlled by simple pressure, you may have to go to the emergency room.
As always, prevention is the best solution. In sports, you should always wear a custom mouth guard. Don’t consume any hard items like candy, or chew on ice. Never use your teeth to open bottles, cans or packages. Remember, your teeth are not tools. At Advanced DDS, your Garden City Dentist, we're prepared to handle virtually any dental emergency and encourage you to call us at (516) 825-1100 regarding any dental emergency.