Emergency Dentist – Longview, TX
Getting East Texas Smiles Out of Pain
If you were to fall and break a bone, you probably know that you should seek prompt medical attention. But a lot of people aren’t sure what to do when a dental emergency strikes. It can be tempting to just ignore a persistent toothache or a chipped tooth, but your smile needs care right away. That’s what Dr. Stoddard and the rest of our team at Longview Dental Center are here for. If you need an emergency dentist in Longview, just give us a call. We’ll provide you with over-the-phone first aid tips and schedule an appointment for you as quickly as possible.
How to Handle Common Dental Emergencies
The best way to respond to a dental emergency is to call our office as soon as you can. By taking the proper precautions, you can minimize the damage to your smile and reduce your discomfort until you can reach our dental office. Until then, here are some basic tips for handling common dental emergencies.
Intense toothaches often indicate a serious infection deep within the tooth that requires root canal therapy to treat. To ease the pain and curb any swelling, you can place a cold compress on your cheek for 10 minutes on and then 10 minutes off for up to an hour. You can also take an OTC pain reliever like ibuprofen as needed.
Collect any pieces of the tooth that you can, rinse them off with warm water, and bring with in a sealable plastic bag to your appointment. If the remaining part of your tooth has a sharp edge, you can cover it with orthodontic wax or sugar-free gum to prevent further oral injuries. Dr. Stoddard will do his best to save the tooth, but it may need to be extracted if the damage is too severe.
A knocked-out tooth can only be saved within an hour of the incident, so call us as soon as humanly possible. Retrieve the tooth, making sure to only touch it by the biting surface. Rinse it off, but do NOT remove any tissues or scrub it dry. Until you get to our office, hold the tooth in either your cheek pocket or a secure container of milk to keep it viable for reattachment.
If you can find the lost crown or filling, you can temporarily place it back on your tooth with a dab of toothpaste, denture adhesive, or petroleum jelly. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll need to see us to have the restoration properly reattached or replaced if you want to avoid further damage to that tooth.
Keys to Preventing Dental Emergencies
By their very nature, it’s almost impossible to prevent dental emergencies in Longview from ever occurring. That said, there are certain precautions you can take to lessen your risk of having a sudden dental problem bring your day to a screeching halt. By maintaining a healthy diet, brushing and flossing daily, and keeping up with your routine dental checkups, you can reduce bacterial buildup that causes cavities, infections, and more. Wearing a protective mouthguard while playing sports can shield your teeth from injury due to impact. Lastly, avoid using your teeth as tools to open packaging, bottles, etc., as this could easily fracture a tooth.
Visit Us Regularly for Dental Checkups
Many people mistakenly believe that there’s no point in visiting their dentist for checkups if their teeth feel fine. However, if you wait until you have a toothache to schedule an appointment, then there’s a strong chance that serious damage has already been done.
Keep Up with Your Oral Hygiene at Home
Of course, you’ll also have to keep your pearly whites healthy between cleanings. Going even 24 hours without brushing or flossing can cause plaque in your mouth to harden into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional. Since tartar contains dangerous bacteria, your risk of infections and decay increases. Fortunately, it’s easy to keep plaque and tartar at bay – simply brush your teeth twice a day, floss every night before bed, and regularly rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash.
Eat a Nutritious Diet
Another way to prevent bacterial buildup in your mouth is to avoid consuming too much sugar. Eating a slice of cake or a bowl of ice cream every now and then is fine, but excess sugar attracts harmful bacteria. Instead, incorporate plenty of nutrient-rich foods and drinks into your diet, such as low-fat dairy products and leafy greens.
Wear a Mouthguard
Nearly 40% of all dental injuries, including knocked-out or broken teeth, are sports-related. If you’re an athlete, it’s in your best interest to protect your pearly whites by wearing a mouthguard. Dr. Stoddard can craft a personalized appliance for you that not only fits more comfortably than store-bought mouthguards, but also shields your teeth more effectively.
Don’t Use Your Teeth as Tools
Your teeth might seem like convenient tools to quickly open a bottle or package that your hands cannot. However, one slip and you might end up seriously injuring your smile. Any time that you might have saved by using your teeth as tools will be then spent visiting your emergency dentist in Longview. To safeguard your smile, take a few extra moments to always use the ideal tool for the job.
Understanding the Cost of Emergency Dentistry
Because dental emergencies can vary wildly, so too can the price of treatment. After we assess the extent of the damage to your smile, we can discuss treatment options and provide you with a cost estimate. We accept most dental insurance plans and are even in-network with many of the most popular providers. We also offer in-office payment arrangements and affordable financing through CareCredit. Rest assured that we’ll find a way for you to fund the care your smile needs without breaking the bank!