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Emergency Dentistry Frequently Asked Questions

Emergency sign

It can be tough to know what to do when you find yourself in the middle of a dental emergency. Most people tend to wonder, “What should I do? Should I go to the emergency room, or should I call my dentist?” To help provide a little clarity, your emergency dentist in Plano, Dr. Bita Kamali, is going to answer a few common questions so you can know exactly what to do if you ever experience a dental emergency.

My tooth is very sensitive. What does this mean?

This could actually mean a few different things. One, that your enamel is becoming thinner, therefore exposing your tooth’s nerve to more temperature changes, or you could be experiencing the first signs of a dental infection. In either case, this kind of pain shouldn’t be ignored, and you should contact us right away so we can determine whether it is part of a bigger problem or not. Simply waiting will just allow it to worsen.

My crown is loose/has come off. What should I do?

Try and find your crown and gently rinse it off with warm water. See if you can place it back onto your tooth using a small bit of toothpaste or dental adhesive, and if you can’t, put it in a safe container. Be sure to come see us to have it professionally reattached so you don’t have to worry about it falling out again.

I chipped my tooth. What should I do?

A minor chip usually doesn’t require immediate attention, but you should still come see us so we can make sure that the damage won’t eventually become worse. We can repair your tooth using a variety of treatments if necessary. In most situations, we’ll just need to polish the rough area or use direct bonding to cover it up.

My veneer fell off! Is there a quick fix?

The only way to have your veneer permanently re-bonded to your tooth is to come see us, but in the meantime, you can use a small bit of dental adhesive to keep it in place. You can usually find it at your local drug store.

My jaw is swelling. What should I do?

You should come see us as soon as you can, but if you can’t, you can take an OTC medication like ibuprofen to control the swelling. If you are experiencing any pain, applying a cold compress can help as well.

My gums are bleeding. What should I do?

If your gums are only bleeding a little bit whenever you brush and floss, try using a lighter touch for a few days and see if that helps. If it doesn’t, you likely have gum disease and should come see us for treatment right away.

But, if your gums are bleeding due to an injury, use a clean rag to apply firm pressure to help your blood clot. Once you get it under control, be sure to give us a call, but if you can’t stop bleeding, head directly to your local ER.

My gums are swollen. What should I do?

Initially, try brushing and flossing with less force and see if that helps reduce the swelling. If it persists after a few days, gum disease is probably the cause, and you should make an appointment with us as soon as you can for treatment.

What should I do if I knock out a tooth?

First, try to find the tooth if you can, and be sure to only pick it up by the crown, never the root. Rinse it off gently with warm water, and then try to place it back into its socket. If you can’t do this, put it in a container of milk or saltwater until you can see us. Keeping the tooth wet will make it more likely that we can reattach it. In any case, you should come see us as soon as possible. A cold compress can be used to control any pain or swelling, and a clean rag with consistent pressure can manage any bleeding.

When should I go to the emergency room?

When experiencing a dental emergency, you should only go to your local emergency room if you have suffered any broken bones or are bleeding profusely. There, once you have been cleared by your attending physician, be sure to give us a call so we can help your smile.

Have More Questions?

Hopefully you never have to experience a dental emergency, but if you do, these questions and answers should help you know what to do next.

Do you have a question that we didn’t answer here? Be sure to call us and ask!