Do I Need Emergency Dental Care?

emergency dentist sterling vaAlthough teeth are strong, they’re not totally immune to injury. Ridgetop Dental is a Sterling, VA dentist’s office with emergency appointments available. It’s just as important to know how to take care of dental emergencies as it is to take care of your teeth every day. Here’s how to handle the most common accidents and how to decide whether you need emergency dental care.

How Can Teeth Get Injured?

There are several ways teeth can become injured, some more severe and urgent than others. All dental injuries need to be addressed quickly to protect your oral health, and there are some things you can do before seeing a dentist to mitigate the problem.

Injuries as a result of severe blows to the face or head need to be evaluated immediately, and most hospitals have oral surgeons on call to handle jaw fractures, emergency extractions, or dental arch reconstruction.

Less severe injuries, that tend not to be emergencies, include cracks, chips, or a tooth getting knocked out without blunt trauma. This can be the result of chewing on hard items or tooth decay. Even if you think the injury isn’t a big deal, you should still request the first appointment available.

What to Do in a Dental Emergency

  • If the injury resulted from an auto or sports accident, or if there was blunt force trauma to the head, neck, or face, seek immediate medical attention in an emergency room or health care provider. Do not wait to see your dentist.
  • For a cracked tooth, rinse your mouth with warm water to keep the area clean. You may also experience some swelling, which you can reduce by placing cold compresses on the face. Cracked teeth are much more susceptible to bacterial infection, so keeping the area clean is essential.
  • For a knocked-out permanent tooth, keeping the tooth moist at all times will increase the chances of saving it. Gently place it back in the socket without touching the root, or place the tooth in a clean and sealed container of milk. Make an appointment with your dentist immediately.

You may experience bleeding or swelling as a result of a cracked or knocked out tooth. Apply cold compresses to the face to keep the swelling down. You may also use over-the-counter painkillers, but never apply aspirin directly to the injured area.

Avoiding Dental Injuries

You can prevent dental injuries by taking simple steps to protect yourself and your mouth.

  • Never use your teeth to cut or open things.
  • Always wear a mouthguard when participating in sports or recreational activities.
  • Avoid chewing on hard foods that can crack teeth, or even especially items not meant for chewing such as pen caps, erasers, or finger nails.

Emergency Dental Care in Sterling, VA

Ridgetop Dental can help with dental emergencies. We keep emergency appointments open for situations that require immediate attention, so don’t hesitate to contact our office at (703) 520-7410 to get an appointment.

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