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Handling a Dental Emergency

A dental emergency can happen to anyone, no matter how well they take care of their oral health. But what should you do if one happens? Dr. Andrew C. Cobb, a dentist in Washington, D.C., explains common dental emergencies and how to handle them. dentist in washington dc

What is a Dental Emergency?

Dental emergencies are anything that happens to your teeth that needs to be taken care of immediately. They’re issues that you don’t want to wait on. If you experience a dental emergency, call our office immediately. Below is a list of common dental emergencies and what to do to handle them until you can be seen in our office.

Severe Tooth Pain

Tooth pain is never something you should ignore, particularly if it’s sharp or comes on suddenly. It can be caused by a variety of things. These include infection, an abscess, or severe tooth decay. Many times, you may not be able to tell what’s causing it until a trained dentist can take a look at it. Take over the counter pain relievers to ease the pain. Use a cold compress if you experience any swelling.

Knocked-Out Tooth

It’s natural to want to panic when an adult tooth gets knocked out. However, it’s crucial to try to stay calm and retrieve the tooth. Be sure to pick it up by the crown and avoid touching the tooth root. Rinse off any dirt or debris that may have accumulated on the tooth. Place the tooth in a cup full of your own saliva or milk to try and preserve it.

When you’re seen in the office, your Washington, D.C. dentist will analyze the tooth to see if it’s viable for replacement. If not, there’s no need to worry. Our office offers many options for replacing missing teeth. In particular, Dr. Cobb recommends dental implants. They’re the most natural form of tooth replacement and the only option that replaces the tooth root.

Broken, Chipped, or Cracked Tooth

The severity of damaged teeth can vary widely. If you’re lucky, you may only have a cosmetic chip. However, a severe break or crack can really cause trouble. If you have a severe break or chip, your dental pulp and nerves can be exposed. This can be extremely painful and can prevent you from being able to bite and chew properly.

A severe crack can expose the dental pulp to open air. It also exposes the pulp to bacteria, which can lead to infected pulp. This can require a root canal or a tooth extraction to take care of.

Dr. Cobb will take a look at your break or crack to determine the best way to treat it. Dental bonding can take care of closing the gap in cracks and can be molded to replace a chunk of the tooth that’s chipped off. Porcelain veneers cover the front and sides of the tooth so that you don’t notice a chip or break. Dental crowns go over the entire tooth, keeping a cracked tooth together and giving you full functionality in your damaged tooth.

Emergency Dentistry at Your Washington, D.C. Dentist

If you have a dental emergency, call us immediately. If you think your issue is more cosmetic, or you have any other concerns, call us or schedule an appointment online!