Emergency Dentistry and Same-Day Care
Because Accidents Happen When You Least Expect
As your family’s dentist of choice, Dr. Johnson wants you to count on our team to be here when you need us, even for emergency dentistry. You never know when an emergency may arise. Whether a toothache becomes too intense to bear or a baseball knocks out a permanent tooth, when you find yourself in an urgent situation, you need help fast.
We provide same-day appointments for dental emergencies. If you need an emergency dentist, Oro Valley, AZ call us immediately at 520-314-4969 so we can discuss your situation.
Current patients can call our main line for instructions on how to contact us, in the case that an after-hours emergency occurs. Take a moment to add us to your contacts under “emergency dentist” so you’ll be ready if a problem should arise.
Common Dental Emergencies
If you have a toothache that becomes so intense that you cannot sleep or focus on daily tasks, this is a dental emergency. Enduring the pain of a structurally damaged or internally infected tooth will only allow the damage to worsen, which will cause even more pain. Call us for a same-day appointment if your toothache is severe. For a toothache that nags, but does not keep you from sleep or work, we can schedule you a visit as soon as possible.
In the mean time, take over the counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen, as directed on the packaging. You can also apply an ice pack to your cheek, but do not put ice inside the mouth. Avoid any hard or crunchy foods that may aggravate the tooth or that may become lodged in a cavity. Stick with soft, room temperature foods until we can see you and provide treatment.
Don’t suffer in silence. If you are experiencing a dental emergency in Oro Valley, AZ call us immediately at 520-314-4969!
A Chipped or Broken Tooth
If you chip or break a tooth, be careful not to swallow the portion that breaks off. If possible, bring the broken pieces to our office. A deep chip or fracture can expose sensitive dentin, which is the layer beneath tooth enamel that includes nerve endings. A very deep break will expose the tooth’s root. Both situations can cause significant pain. If your chipped or fractured tooth causes intense pain, you have a dental emergency, and we will want to see you immediately. If you are not in pain, schedule a next-available visit that’s convenient for you.
A Crown/Temporary/Filling Falls Out
A permanent or temporary dental crown, or a dental filling, can sometimes become dislodged. If you find the restoration/temporary and can place it back on the tooth from which it came, dry the crown/filling thoroughly and add a drop of toothpaste to the underside. Then reseat it in its former position on your tooth. Call our office to be seen as soon as possible. If you are in pain, do not have the restoration/temporary, or it is in pieces, you may need a same-day appointment to address the dental emergency.
Loss of a Permanent Tooth
Due to a direct blow or severe gum disease, a permanent tooth can be dislodged from the jaw. In some cases, the tooth breaks off at the root–a definite emergency. Other times, the tooth and root come out in one piece–also an emergency.
If this happen to you, follow these instructions:
- Gently brush off any dirt from the tooth, but DO NOT touch the nerve that extends from the root.
- Place the tooth in a baggie or cup, along with some milk or saliva from the patient.
- If the patient’s mouth is bleeding, press a clean cloth or gauze on the affected area and apply moderate pressure. This will help stop the bleeding. When bleeding slows or stops, you can replace the cloth with clean gauze or a moist teabag.
- Call us to let us know you’re on your way to the office.
- Bring the tooth to our office with you.
If possible, we will reset the tooth and hope that the root reattaches naturally. This procedure is not always effective, but it sometimes works. If the tooth does not reattach, it will need replacement with a dental implant or crown and bridge. It’s important to see us when this happens since if any tooth structure is left in the jaw, it will need to be removed to reduce risk for infection and pain.
Primary Tooth (Baby Tooth) Falls Out
If your child loses a primary tooth, you need to find it. There is a chance that a child could aspirate a tooth (inhale it), which is a more pressing emergency than having a tooth knocked out.
If the tooth was loose and no other dental problems exist as a result of the injury, schedule a non-emergency visit at your convenience. Dr. Johnson will evaluate the situation and let you know whether there are any issues that need to be addressed.
If the tooth was not loose, and it obviously came out prematurely, follow the instructions above, numbers 1 – 5. Many active children have accidents and injuries that lead to a lost baby tooth. Bring the tooth and your child to our office as quickly as possible so that we can try to re-implant the tooth. Dr. Johnson may need to shorten the root of the tooth to ensure no damage happens to the underlying permanent tooth. (There is also the possibility that the un-erupted permanent tooth may have sustained damage, but this risk decreases significantly with age.
Why replace a baby tooth? There is a possibility that if the damage occurred to the canines (third from the middle on right and left, top and bottom), not replacing the tooth could negatively affect jawbone development. This may cause problems when permanent teeth are ready to erupt. Speech development might be a problem if a child prematurely loses incisors, the four front teeth on the top and bottom. Children also have fewer teeth than adults, and all are needed for proper nutrition. Losing a tooth does not initiate early eruption of the adult tooth below it, so the child will likely deal with a gap for several years.
If you or a family member are having an atypical problem with your braces, it can affect the course of treatment if it is not corrected promptly. If you are in doubt, call us to discuss the problem. You do not need to wait for your monthly appointment to bring up concerns.
Common orthodontic emergencies and care include:
- Broken/loose/free bracket or ligature – call the dentist.
- Broken/loose/protruding wire – use wax immediately, call dentist.
- Sores/painful irritation in mouth – use wax on braces over irritated area, rinse mouth, apply Ora-Gel or Orabase, call dentist.
- Food lodged in brackets/wires – not an emergency; tie a knot in dental floss and thread it around wire then floss, or use an interproximal brush to dislodge the food; if this does not work, call dentist.
Call Us with Your Dental Emergency
If you need an emergency dentist, Oro Valley, AZ area, call Oracle Family Dentistry immediately. We offer same-day appointments for anyone. Patients of record with after-hours emergencies should call our main phone line and follow the instructions on the message to reach us for urgent dental care when the office is closed.