Accidents happen suddenly and they seldom happen within ordinary office hours, luckily, West Lakes Dentistry is here for you and your family with emergency dental services. Slip-and-falls, sporting accidents, and even breaking a tooth while eating are all common issues we see. If you experience one of these things, call us right away!
West Lakes Emergency Dentistry
Unexpected dental emergencies can happen at any time and are well beyond our control. Even if you’re not a regular patient of ours, we are here to help! Follow our guidelines if you experience any of the following:
- Cracked or broken teeth. Rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress for the swelling. Bring the broken fragment to us if you have it.
- Knocked-out tooth/teeth. Try to place the tooth back in its socket if you can, a container of milk can also house the tooth as you bring it to us.
- Intense tooth, teeth, or jaw pain. If you are experiencing swelling, fever, sour taste, or have difficulty swallowing a possible infection needs to be treated immediately.
- Bleeding, aching gums. Excessive and frequent bleeding of the gums with an ache that just won’t go away is a serious indicator of periodontal disease that needs treatment.
- Soft tissue injury. If you have deep cuts or bites on your lip or tongue, clean the area gently with water and apply a cold compress to stop the bleeding.
Then, call us as soon as possible and make your way over to our offices for treatment! For true emergencies, we can usually see you the same day!
What Should I Do if I Need Emergency Dentistry?
The first step is to clean the area, carefully rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress. If you’ve lost a tooth, try to set it back within the socket. You can also place it between your cheek and gum line, or drop it in a container of milk to safeguard it as you make your way to our offices.
West Lakes Dentistry is open to emergency dental services, even if you’re completely new to our practice! We utilize advanced technology to provide you and your family with the best care possible, from digital intraoral scanners to professional-grade tools and treatments that are of the highest quality.
You should never wait to seek emergency dental treatment! Not only is a broken tooth, or infection, quite painful but it will not resolve on its own. That is how infection can set in or even spread to other areas of the body which can be life-threatening. Call us right away, and we’ll schedule an appointment for you at our next availability.
What Happens if I Don’t Seek Treatment?
Dental anxiety is an entirely common issue for most Americans, and we understand that. However, it is important to know that medical emergencies do not resolve themselves. Without intervention, infection can set in, or dig deeper within the jaw and spread through the bloodstream to other organs or areas.
The risks of not seeking medical attention for damaged teeth are:
- You could cut your tongue. Chipped teeth usually leave the tooth jagged and sharp at an odd angle, you can accidentally cut your tongue as you eat or speak.
- Increased sensitivity. Pressure and temperature sensitivity are common causes of tooth pain and sensitivity to hot or cold foods.
- The tooth breaks or falls out. Chips, cracks, or even fractures can get worse if they’re not treated. What started as a simple fix, could turn into the need for a huge restoration.
- Infection. While a damaged tooth may not seem important at first, if left unattended, an infection could take hold and cause all sorts of medical complications.
The people here were kind and very helpful when it came to an emergency tooth pain. They listened to me, fit me in for an appointment, and had me scheduled for a tooth extraction within a week. They gave me all the meds necessary to keep me out of pain, and to keep it from getting worse. I’m very grateful for their services! They were wonderful! And again, thank you!
– Briana H.
Common Types of Dental Emergencies
Remember, an inconvenience is not considered an emergency. Emergencies require immediate professional attention that strays from the norm, such as deep tissue injuries or broken teeth. There are a variety of issues that qualify as a dental emergency, and here are just a few of the most common ones that we see in our offices.
Knocked Out Teeth
Sporting activities are a common culprit of a tooth being knocked out, especially when it comes to high-impact sports such as football or hockey. Try to put the tooth back in place if you can, if you can’t, you can place the tooth between your cheek and gum or drop it in some milk. Be sure to bring the tooth with you!
Teeth can become weakened for a variety of reasons, such as medical conditions like pregnancy, diabetes, or autoimmune disorders. Cracks or fissures can become a nesting ground for bacteria, causing cavities or even infections to reach down to the root of your tooth and will need immediate attention.
Broken or Chipped Teeth
It’s common to get the urge to use our teeth to open pesky plastic containers or seals in packaging, but that’s also a great way to accidentally chip or break your teeth! A chipped tooth can create a jagged, sharp edge that can cut your tongue, cheeks, or lips, as well as expose your tooth to bacteria.
Loose or Missing Fillings
It is possible for a filling to become loose, or even swallowed! It’s important to have the lost filling addressed as soon as possible because it leaves the tooth open to bacteria and can cause tooth decay or further complications. Keep the area clean and avoid chewing on the affected area until you can get treatment.
Broken or Detached Crowns
The average lifespan of a dental crown is between 10–15 years, but accidents can still break, or knock loose the dental crown entirely. Be sure to bring the crown with you to our offices, if you can’t find it, that’s okay! We can construct a new dental crown for you. It’s important to protect the exposed tooth, so be sure to come see us as soon as you can.
It’s not unusual for metal braces to break, they can cause a lot of discomfort as the metal pokes into your cheek or gums. Dental wax can be used to cover the sharp points and protect your mouth before you can see us. Otherwise, if a loose/free wire is jabbing you, nail clippers can trim it back for the time being until it can be replaced.
Pericoronitis (Wisdom Teeth Swelling/Pain)
Swelling and infection of the gums surrounding the wisdom teeth is called pericoronitis and can be quite painful. It usually affects people in their late teens to late 20s. You can sometimes experience acute pain, swelling, bad breath, bad taste, and even lockjaw. This is caused by impacted wisdom teeth and infection that needs intervention.
Pulpitis (Root Canal)
Pulpitis is an infection of the innermost layers of your tooth, which is where the pain stems from as that’s where the nerves are located. If caught soon enough, a root canal can save the tooth and return it to a healthy state, otherwise, the tooth will need to be removed. This condition is characterized by how painful it can be, luckily help is available!
A tooth abscess is a pocket of swelling caused by a bacterial infection. If you’re experiencing a severe, constant toothache that spreads out into your face or jaw, that is a clear sign of a dental abscess. Certain medical conditions can make the risk of developing an abscess greater, such as pregnancy, tobacco use, and autoimmune disorders.
Soft Tissue Injury
Deep cuts or bites done to the lips, cheeks, or even the tongue require immediate attention to prevent infection and encourage proper healing. Be sure to rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a clean piece of gauze to the wound to stop the bleeding. Ice can also help the pain and swelling of the affected area in the meantime.
Common symptoms of infection are a throbbing pain that never seems to stop, and swelling of the affected area. Excess bleeding can also be a sign of infection. Infections do not go away on their own and must be treated by a professional as soon as possible. Infections can be life-threatening as they can easily spread to other areas of the body.
Dental Emergency FAQ
West Lakes Dentistry believes in educating our patients and giving them the tools to make the right decisions for themselves and their families. Dental emergencies can be sudden, and even scary! We understand this and offer 24-hour emergency services so that you can be seen as soon as possible and get on the road to recovery.
When is it Time to Seek Emergency Care?
The best time to treat an issue is before complications arise. We can’t always prevent accidents from happening, but we can stop infections before they become a problem. Pain is a clear indicator that you need medical assistance, especially if it is a non-stop aching that is sensitive to pressure or temperature.
- Severe toothache.
- Broken/cracked teeth.
- Knocked out teeth.
- Soft tissue injuries.
- Pressure sensitivity.
- Temperature sensitivity.
- Excessive bleeding.
- Dental abscesses.
What Isn’t a Dental Emergency?
Problems that don’t require emergency services are anything that can wait to be seen within our ordinary office hours. While we understand that the inconvenience isn’t necessarily pleasant, there could be other, more pressing injuries from other patients that must be treated immediately.
- Damaged/lost dentures. While annoying, we can resolve this issue during our regular office hours. Dentures can also warp from hot water and we can address that the next time we see you.
- Debris stuck between teeth. Pesky popcorn kernel shells are notorious for digging between our teeth and poking our gums. A floss pick is a great option to help dislodge irritating food debris.
- Minor toothache. This could be a sign of a developing issue and we can diagnose and treat this without the need for emergency services. You can take over-the-counter pain relievers as directed.
What is the Best Painkiller for a Toothache?
Anti-inflammatory medications that you can get over the counter are your best bet to dull a toothache. The next step is to apply a cold compress to help lessen swelling. You can also rinse with warm salt water to help. The overall best solution for a toothache is to receive the dental care your body is telling you that you need.
Can I Sleep With a Toothache?
You’ll want to give us a call in the morning, but in the meantime, you can use over-the-counter medication to help dull the ache. You can also try a cold compress and elevate your head above your heart. You want to prevent your blood flow from rushing into your head which can make tooth pain even worse.
Can I Get a Same-Day Appointment?
In most cases, yes! If you’re experiencing a dental emergency you should give us a call right away so we can assess your situation. The problem might not be severe enough for a same-day appointment, in which case we’ll still schedule you for our next availability on the schedule.
If you’ve broken a tooth or had one knocked out, be sure to bring it with you if you still have it. Deep tissue injuries such as bitten or cut lips also count as an emergency. We are here for you and your family, your health and safety are our number one concern!
Does West Lakes Dentistry Accept New Patients?
West Lakes Dentistry in Mound and Chaska are accepting new patients! Be sure to arrive 15 minutes early to your appointment and remember to bring your insurance card. There will be a few forms waiting for you to fill out when you arrive. Or, you can save time by downloading the forms beforehand which can be located here!
How Much Does Emergency Dental Treatment Cost?
When it comes to your care, West Lakes Dentistry accepts a range of insurance plans. If you don’t have insurance, it’s still extremely important to come in to avoid future complications. We will work with you to make sure you receive the care that you need. Remember, dental damage and emergencies do not resolve on their own!
Schedule an Emergency Dental Appointment Now!
West Lakes Dentistry in Mound and Chaska proudly serves our community with respect and kindness. Your family’s health and safety are our priority! Whether you’re a patient with us already, or it’s been a while since you’ve seen a dentist, we are here to help. Advancements in technology allow us to diagnose and treat our patients faster and more comfortably.
Accidents happen, and they can miss ordinary office hours. Luckily, we offer the option to speak to an on-call dentist who can give you the best advice on how to take care of yourself until you can come in for an appointment. If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, be sure to follow our care guidelines for the injury and give us a call today!