What to expect when you need emergency dental care in Dolton, IL
A day at the park, a good meal, a friendly game of basketball after work… It’s all fun and games until someone loses a tooth! We understand. Nothing can bring your day, and your life, to a sudden halt quite like a dental injury. You are in pain, possibly bleeding, and teeth are damaged or gone. You know you need help, and you need it fast. Yet, you might be wondering where to turn for emergency dental care in Dolton, IL and just what your dentist will do for you.
Patients of all ages trust their oral health to Dr. Dietrich and the team of Pleasant Dental for quality, affordable care, delivered with compassion. In any emergency, call us right away. Every situation is different, but our priorities are always the same. We strive to get you out of pain immediately and restore your smile using gentle techniques. Some of the most common emergency dental treatments are explained below.
Knocked out tooth
Reattachment is possible, but there is a very narrow window of time. By that, we don’t mean a few days, or even hours. The odds of successful reattachment are highest within the first moments after your injury. Ideally, you should see a dentist within 30 minutes. After that, reattachment is still possible, but the odds may not be in your favor. In the meantime, handle the tooth with care and don’t disturb any soft tissue that is still attached. If possible, put it back in the socket. Alternately, you can hold it on the inside of your cheek or place it in a clean container of milk.
When you get to our office, Dr. Dietrich will see you ASAP and take steps to stabilize the tooth and relive your pain. First, the tooth and socket are very gently flushed with water. Next, the tooth is slipped back in place and secured with composite resin or soft wire. The splint needs to remain in place for at least a few days, possibly longer depending on the extent of the injury.
It usually takes about three to four weeks for the tooth to reattach in uncomplicated cases. If there is damage to the tooth or bone, you can expect six to eight weeks of healing time. Additionally, we may need to schedule a root canal procedure if the dental pulp was compromised. We will provide aftercare instructions, schedule follow-up treatments, and discuss the projected recovery period at the time of your visit.
What if you don’t make it to the office in time, or the reattachment fails? Then it is time to discuss replacement. Dr. Dietrich offers several options to fit your budget and schedule. Removable dentures and dental bridges are economical and only take a few weeks. Dental implants replicate natural tooth anatomy for the most lifelike appearance and functionality. Any of these are good choices. However, leaving a gap in your smile isn’t a good solution, for both aesthetic and oral health reasons.
If you’ve fractured, chipped, or broken a tooth, the urgency of the situation depends on your pain level. If your tooth is hurting unbearably it calls for emergency dental care. However, even if you’re not in any pain, you need to schedule an appointment soon. Any damage to the hard, outer layers of a tooth create an opening for harmful bacteria. If not treated promptly, it is an invitation to decay and infection.
Treatment depends on the nature and extent of the damage. After an evaluation, Dr. Dietrich may recommend:
- Bonding – This fast and straightforward procedure is very similar to a cosmetic tooth filling. Resin material is applied, shaped, hardened, and polished in a single visit. It is a good option for repairing minor damage, such as a small chip.
- Dental crown – Also called a cap, this restoration covers, protects, and restores a tooth. We offer several types of crowns, but life-like porcelain is by far the most popular. The procedure takes a couple of visits, because the tooth needs to be prepared, and then a laboratory will create your new crown. A temporary restoration may be added to protect the tooth in the meantime. A cracked or broken tooth will usually need a crown.
- Root canal therapy – Despite popular myths, it actually isn’t painful or traumatic. Yes, the area is thoroughly numbed before the procedure begins, so you shouldn’t feel anything more than a little pressure. Dr. Dietrich will remove the injured or infected tissue (pulp) from the center of the tooth, then sterilize and seal it. The tooth will then need to be crowned in order to protect it. Root canal therapy is needed when a break or deep fracture reaches the dental pulp, causing damage or exposing the nerve.
In case of emergency, remember this…
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