It’s hard to plan for an emergency. But if you break a leg, you probably know to call 911. If your transmission in your car goes out, you probably have a mechanic you can call. But where do you turn when you need an emergency dentist appointment?
If you’re in the Michiana-area, we hope you’ll turn to our office. At Tulip Tree Dental Care we can often offer same-day and next-day emergency dentist appointments. Just give our office a call at 574-208-5668 and we’ll get your appointment scheduled as soon as possible. If you call after our normal business hours, listen to our voicemail to get our after-hours phone number.
But what do you do until you can get to our office? Read on to learn how to handle several common dental emergencies. (If your dental emergency is life-threatening, please get to a hospital as soon as possible.)
Repairing or Replacing a Missing Tooth
There’s little in life that can be more frightening than losing one of your permanent teeth. It can happen in an instant from an accident or a blow to your face. But if you take quick action — and get into our office for a same-day emergency dentist appointment — we may be able to save your natural tooth.
There’s a few important things to keep in mind when dealing with a loose tooth. You’ll want to avoid touching the root of the tooth or removing any tissue from it. You can attempt to place the tooth back in your socket until you can get to our office. But if your tooth won’t stay in place, place it a glass of milk or a container of a product called Save-A-Tooth.
Even if it’s not possible to restore your natural tooth, we can still fill the gap in your smile with a dental restoration. We offer dental bridges and dental implant restorations to replace your missing tooth. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is embedded in your jaw and then topped with an incredibly lifelike dental crown to restore both your smile and your natural chewing ability.
Repairing a Broken or Fractured Tooth
A broken or fractured tooth can be repaired with a variety of different restorative dentistry procedures depending on the severity of the break or fracture. Minor breaks and fractures can be sometimes be repaired quickly and painlessly with dental bonding. Dental bonding uses dental composite — the same material used in tooth-colored fillings — to fill in cracks and fractures. More serious breaks or fractures may require us to place a dental crown to restore the full form and function of your tooth.
But until you can get into our office, there’s a few important steps that can reduce your pain. First start by saving any loose fragments of your tooth, put them in an envelope or other secure location and bring them with you to our office. Use a cotton ball to try and stop any bleeding from the damaged tooth. You can also use sterile gauze to cover any sharp edges on the tooth and prevent cuts to the inside of your mouth. If you’re in pain, take an aspirin-free pain reliever (avoid aspirin because it can thin your blood).
Repairing or Replacing a Loose Dental Restoration
If you’ve had a dental bridge or dental crown fall out, be sure to hang on to it. We can often reattach it successfully. A loose dental filling cannot generally be reused unless it is made out of porcelain. If you’ve accidentally swallowed your dental restoration, don’t panic because it will normally pass through your stool without incident.
Until you can get to our office, you may want to try using an over-the-counter dental cement to hold your dental restoration in place. However, even if this method is successful keep in mind that it will only work temporarily and you really need to schedule an appointment at our office.
Ending Pain Caused By a Toothache
A toothache is definitely not something you should ignore! Toothaches are commonly caused by cavities, fractures, or infections in a tooth. Until you can get to our office, there’s a few easy steps to take to limit your pain. You can take a aspirin-free pain reliever, gargle with warm salt water, or apply a cold compress to the outside of your face.
Once you schedule an appointment, we can perform a complete dental exam to discover the source of your pain. If you have a cavity, we can fill it quickly and easily with a tooth-colored dental filling. If you have an infected tooth, we can often remove the infection and completely restore the tooth with a pain-free root canal.
Have a Plan Before an Emergency Strikes
The best way to avoid a dental emergency, is to plan in advance. That means make routine visits to our South Bend office. The American Dental Association recommends having your teeth cleaned and examined every six months. If we can detect a dental problem early, we can often treat it before it starts to cause you pain.
We also recommend putting together a dental first aid kit in case of an emergency. Your kit should include floss, sterile gauze, cotton balls, an aspirin-free pain reliever, a product called Save-A-Tooth, over-the-counter dental cement, and a sealable container. But most importantly, you should save our number in your phone. You can reach Tulip Tree Dental Care in South Bend, IN, by calling 574-208-5668 or clicking here.