John C. Schilt, DDS

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When Should You Really See an Emergency Dentist?

When Should You Really See an Emergency Dentist?

As an emergency dentist in Springfield, Oregon, our team at McKenzie River Dental knows that some oral health problems require immediate attention and treatment in order to quickly restore a smile back to health. The longer a loose filling or broken tooth goes untreated, the more permanent damage can occur. That’s why we offer same-day emergency dental care appointments for patients who just can’t wait until something opens up on the schedule.

While every twinge of pain we experience when eating and drinking can cause us to feel alarmed, not every issue that causes discomfort requires seeing an emergency dentist in Springfield, Oregon. Having the ability to differentiate between what requires immediate dental care and what can wait until your next visit to McKenzie River Dental can save you a lot of time, money, and anxiety.

Here are a few of the types of true dental emergencies that require patients receive immediate care.

Loose Tooth

If after an accident it feels like a tooth has become loose or knocked out of alignment, you need to contact our team at McKenzie River Dental to schedule an emergency exam. It doesn’t take much for a loose tooth to become a knocked-out tooth. The longer you wait to receive care from Dr. Schilt, the higher your risk becomes of losing the tooth.

If you feel a tooth has been knocked out of alignment, you can attempt to move it back into place using very light pressure applied with the tip of your finger. Take care not to apply too much force or try pushing the tooth back into position. You can try biting down on the tooth to keep it in place, but avoid doing anything that could worsen the situation until your visit with Dr. Schilt.

Knocked-Out Tooth

Losing a tooth can cause a great deal of anxiety as images of a ruined smile flitter through our heads. Obviously, a knocked-out tooth requires immediate treatment, but don’t fret about it doing permanent damage to your smile. When you receive quick attention after losing a tooth, the odds that the tooth can be restored back to health increase significantly.

If you experience a knocked-tooth, don’t panic. By staying calm and following the steps outlined below, you have an excellent chance of restoring your tooth back to health if you receive care quickly.

  • Pick the tooth up by the crown (top). Make sure you don’t touch the roots of the tooth.
  • Gently rinse the tooth off using room temperature water to remove any dirt or debris. Don’t scrub the tooth or use any other liquid to clean off the tooth.
  • If you can, place the tooth back into the socket. Only put the tooth back if you’ve rinsed if off thoroughly.
  • If you can’t place the tooth back into the socket, place the tooth in a small container of milk. Placing the tooth in milk will allow it to survive longer out of the mouth.
  • Call our team at McKenzie River Dental. We will find the time to immediately accommodate your care in our schedule.

Broken, Chipped, or Cracked Tooth

A chipped tooth that doesn’t cause you to experience any discomfort can usually wait a few days before receiving treatment. However, you need to take care when eating so not to further damage the tooth. Dr. Schilt may be able to around out a chipped tooth or add composite material to repair the chip.

While a chipped tooth presents little risk to your oral health, a cracked or broken tooth does constitute a dental emergency that requires immediate care. When a tooth cracks or breaks, the interior of the tooth is likely to sustain damage along with the outer enamel. If a severe fracture occurs, often it won’t be possible for Dr. Schilt to save the tooth.

If you experience a broken or cracked tooth, you need to schedule an immediate appointment once you’ve completed the following steps.:

  • Gently rinse your mouth with warm water.
  • If the fracture was due to oral trauma, apply a cold compress to the swollen area.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever to dull any discomfort.
  • Never apply a pain reliever directly to the gums as the exposure could cause the tissue to burn.

While we would never wish for any of our patients to experience a dental emergency, know that the team here at McKenzie River Dental is ready to help if you do.

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