Dental emergencies can happen at any time, which is why your Ranieu Family Dental team is always prepared to help you should you have a dental emergency. Getting to the dentist as quickly as possible after dental trauma is important to proper healing and dental health. If you think you’re experiencing a dental emergency call our office right away at (360) 735-9422.
What is a dental emergency?
According to the American Dental Association, dental emergencies are “potentially life-threatening and require immediate treatment to stop ongoing tissue bleeding or to alleviate severe pain or infection.” A dental emergency is an urgent health issue that involves the teeth, gums, and mouth.
What are some examples of a dental emergency?
- Severe toothache, especially pain that prevents sleep and daily function
- Swelling of gums, face, or neck
- Bleeding in the mouth that doesn’t stop
- Trauma from an injury
- Abscessed tooth
- Knocked out or broken tooth
How can you prevent dental emergencies?
Many dental emergencies occur from a lack of routine care, which is why it’s very important to maintain your routine dental check-ups. Your Ranieu Family Dental team will be able to monitor your oral condition and promptly provide treatment when needed. If left unattended, some oral conditions will worsen and cause severe pain and damage. And of course, avoid risky dental behavior and take precautions when playing sports.
- Maintain dental check-ups
- Brush and floss twice daily
- Wear a mouthguard while playing sports or riding a bike
- Wear your custom night guard for teeth grinding (bruxism)
- Take action on any dental care needed to prevent further problems (like toothache for decayed tooth)
- Use your teeth to open anything
- Play sports without a mouthguard
- Bite on hard objects (like ice or hard candies)
- Let noticeable dental pain go untreated
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Emergency Dental Procedures in Vancouver, WA
Emergency Tooth Extractions
A tooth extraction is never our first choice, however, in some cases it’s necessary to preserve the integrity of the surrounding teeth and/or tissue. We may need to remove a tooth if it’s too decayed to be repaired, it’s broken beyond restoration, advanced periodontal disease has damaged the supporting bone structure, decay on one tooth is spreading to surrounding teeth. If you need a tooth extraction, rest assured the procedure will be as comfortable as possible. We offer a local anesthetic to numb the area and nitrous oxide for relaxation.
Abscessed, Painful and Infected Tooth
According to the American Dental Association, an abscessed tooth is caused by an infection resulting from tooth dental, periodontal disease or a cracked tooth. These dental problems create conditions that let bacteria enter the pulp and can lead to pulp death. If left untreated, the abscess can cause serious infection in the jaw bone, teeth and surrounding tissues.
How do I know if I have an abscess?
An abscessed tooth is typically very painful which prompts patients to seek treatment at which point the dentist diagnoses the condition. But sometimes, little to no pain is felt but this doesn’t mean the infection will magically go away. These are some other symptoms that will help you identify a tooth abscess:
- Redness in the gums
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Persistent, throbbing, or severe toothache
- Extreme temperature sensitivity
- Pain when performing normal chewing or biting
- Swollen and/or painful lymph nodes
What kind of treatment is available for a tooth abscess?
Luckily, once the affected area is cleaned and the underlying infection is treated, you will heal quickly. Depending on the specifics of your dental condition, these are some treatments we may employ to bring you healing.
- Antibiotics to get rid of bacterial infection
- Draining the infected area to prevent spreading to other areas
- Root canal treatment if the abscess is caused by a cracked or severely decayed tooth
- A periodontal abscess should be treated by a periodontist and a deep cleaning and surgery will be conducted to eliminate the infection.
If your dental abscess is causing severe pain and you need temporary relief before your dental appointment, these are some home remedies that can help. These are not long-term solutions, just a temporary attempt to ease discomfort.
- Clove oil. The active ingredient is eugenol which has anesthetic and antibacterial properties. A small amount of clove oil applied to the site of the tooth abscess can temporarily numb the pain. But don’t ingest too much.
- Saltwater rinse can help soothe discomfort.
- You can try cool, wet peppermint tea bags to provide some relief.
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
Emergency Root Canal
Root canal treatment is used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected. Extreme pain, sensitivity, or pressure in a single tooth can often be the result of an infection. A tooth can become infected due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures on a tooth, facial trauma, or a crack or chip in the tooth.
A root canal has a reputation for being a painful procedure, but it’s actually a pain-relieving treatment. Patients will be numbed with local anesthetic and we also offer nitrous oxide for relaxation.
To perform the root canal, your dentist in Vancouver, WA will remove the infected area, clean, and seal your tooth. Doing so removes decay and prevents it from spreading to the surrounding tooth or tissue.
Emergency Wisdom Tooth Removal
Some adults who still have their wisdom teeth may find that these teeth become impacted and cause pain. When a tooth is impacted, that means it can still be partially erupted, or still under the gum line. It’s important not to wait to get treatment because when you have an impacted wisdom tooth, it requires treatment or risk further damage and pain.
Do you think you may have an impacted wisdom tooth? These are some common symptoms.
- Jaw pain or stiffness
- Gum swelling or inflammation
- Gum infection
- Misaligned teeth
Emergency Crown and Bridge
A dental crown is a dental procedure used to restore a tooth that has been severely damaged. The crown covers the entire outer surface of the tooth to both hold the remaining healthy parts of the tooth structure in place and prevent further decay. Dental crowns need the same kind of care as your natural tooth structure. Don’t bite on hard things, use your teeth to open things, and make sure to wear a nightguard to prevent teeth grinding (bruxism).
A dental bridge is a fixed dental restoration used to ‘bridge the gap’ between one or more teeth. When teeth are missing it can cause your facial structure to change. A bridge restores your bite and maintains the natural shape of your face.
Your dentist in Vancouver, WA may recommend a dental crown or bridge to:
- Replace a large filling when there isn’t enough natural tooth remaining
- Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
- Restore a fractured tooth
- Attach a bridge
- Cover a dental implant
- Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
- Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment
If you have a broken dental crown or damaged bridge, contact your Ranieu Dental team immediately. If left untreated, bacteria can grow which will lead to an infection that will be much more painful than a broken crown.
Jaw pain is a condition that can affect your ability to talk and chew. Jaw pain can have many causes, so it’s important to seek professional help when you’re experiencing jaw pain to get a proper diagnosis.
What causes jaw pain?
Most cases are from an abnormality or injury to the joint of your jaw, but there are other possible causes. Here are some of the causes of jaw pain.
- Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder (TMD)
- Severe abscess
- Periodontal abscess
- Teeth grinding
- Trauma to the jaw
- Cluster headaches
- Sinus problems
- Ear infections
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Tooth pain
- Heart attack
Each symptom has a different cause, which needs a different treatment. So, if you’re experiencing jaw pain, contact us for a thorough evaluation and appropriate treatment plan. If a specialist is needed we will work together as a team to bring you healing. New patients to Ranieu Family Dental receive a comprehensive oral evaluation, at which point we will perform a TMD evaluation.
For immediate jaw pain relief until you can be seen by your dentist, try a cold or hot pack, over-the-counter pain relievers, and massaging the painful joint.
Gum Pain Relief
If your gums are sore and bleeding, it’s important to seek prompt care from your dentist. This could be a sign of periodontal (gum) disease, and can also be caused by certain medications. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gum tissues that hold your teeth in place. If left untreated, it could lead to tooth loss and is a risk factor for heart and lung disease. Twice daily brushing and flossing, combined with regular dental check-ups, is the best prevention for periodontal disease. If you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, rest assured we’ll restore your mouth to health with a customized treatment plan.
Broken or Knocked Out Tooth
If you’re dealing with a broken or knocked out tooth, these are the steps you need to take:
- Call Ranieu Family Dental in Vancouver, WA immediately. The sooner we can see you the better chance we have at saving the tooth.
- Try to find the knocked-out tooth or any piece of the tooth that has broken off.
- Pick the tooth up by the crown, do not touch the root.
- Gently rinse your mouth with warm water.
- Rinse the tooth in warm water.
- Try to place the tooth back into its socket until you visit our office, otherwise, place the tooth in a container of milk or saltwater.
- Use a cold compress or over-the-counter pain medication to reduce pain and swelling.
Experiencing a knocked out or broken tooth can be alarming. But with this action plan in place, you’re taking appropriate steps to swift treatment. Here’s a preparedness plan we recommend.
Make a dental first aid kit and keep with your emergency first aid materials.
What to include:
- Gauze to stop bleeding
- Mouthwash to help clean wounds
- Toothpaste or denture adhesive to temporarily hold lost crowns or fillings in place
- A small cup or a special kit to preserve a knocked-out tooth
Other Related Services
Cleaning & Prevention
Achieve and maintain optimal oral health with routine dental cleanings and at-home care.
Gum disease continues to be the leading cause of tooth loss in adults today and can aggravate other serious medical conditions.
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