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Emergency Dental Care: When Disaster Strikes!

When Disaster Strikes!

From breaking a tooth, to a filling falling out, to a painful toothache, a dental emergency is never a desirable situation to be in, and while its always a good idea to take certain precautions to prevent such an event, accidents DO happen! Fortunately, your friends here at Overland Park Dentistry understand this and are certainly willing to be here for you in your time of need, while breaking a tooth will never be a welcome surprise, we hope you can rest a little easier knowing that we’re always here for you, especially when you need emergency dental care.

Emergency Dental Care: What happens  

As mentioned previously, there are several reasons why dental emergencies happen, but usually it comes back to one cause, decay! Tooth decay, even in its earliest stages, is a danger to teeth and if left untreated can put a great strain on your oral health and lead to additional health complications as well. While certainly no one intentionally neglects their teeth, unfortunately it can be very easy to fall into poor or improper hygiene habits, causing your teeth to slowly deteriorate and eventually decay. While its important to realize that decayed teeth are considerably weaker and easier to break, accidents resulting in physical trauma (falls, occupational hazards, sports injuries) are not uncommon ways to break a tooth either and can happen anytime.

Emergency Dental Care: What to Do and Steps to Follow:

While the reasons for emergency dental care may sound believable in theory, often people assume that they will never need such a service; that is until it happens to them! So hypothetically speaking, ask yourself:

“If you truly found yourself faced with such a crisis as a broken tooth what would you do?”

Here is the best plan of action…
  1. Find the tooth: First things first, whether the tooth (or teeth) has broken off into one piece or several, its important locate these fragments and bring to your dentist for examination. Remember if the tooth is still relatively intact, it may be possible to save and re-implant it.
  2. Clean and preserve the tooth: If the broken tooth has gathered any dirt or debris, it is certainly a good idea to rinse and clean the tooth, while simultaneously being careful as not accidently wash away any of the tooth fragments. Once cleaned, your next step is to preserve the tooth and prepare it for transportation, which can be achieved by filling a small airtight container with milk (most use Tupperware or basic food storage container) and sealing the tooth inside. This keeps the tooth from drying out and its root surface from swelling up, thereby preserving it for an extended period of time.
  3. Make the call: Because Dr. Kimes cares a great deal about his patients and wishes to provide them with assistance in the instance of an emergency, by contacting our offices at Overland park Dentistry and giving your name and reason for your call, you are certain to receive a swift response. Dr. Kimes has performed many emergency procedures for patients in the past and will certainly do the same for you! 
  4. Find a driver: Breaking a tooth can be a very painful experience, and if you are in severe pain then driving might not be a good idea. In this case, acquiring the assistance of a friend or family member might be a necessary final step. While breaking a tooth is certainly a serious issue, it is absolutely not an issue worth the risk of causing any potential harm to yourself or others, by attempting to drive in such a condition.

Emergency Dental Care: Other Scenarios

Although breaking a tooth is typically the worst-case scenario, as mentioned earlier, there are additional situations that may warrant emergency dental care treatment as well. While the best course of action is always to call and make your emergency appointment, below are some of these potential issues as well as some additional tips and remedies that may prove useful in the given situation.

  • Broken or lost crown: In the instance of a dental crown (or filling) breaking or simply falling out, clean the area by rinsing it with warm saltwater as an initial good step to take. Additionally, if you are unable to make an emergency appointment, patching the afflicted area with toothpaste or denture cream may suffice as a temporary solution.
  • Severe toothache: While it may sound a bit silly, sometimes a plain old toothache can cause enough pain to almost completely incapacitate a person, requiring immediate care. Like the previous scenario, rinsing and swishing your mouth with warm saltwater may alleviate some of the discomfort, as well as the use of ibuprofen or basic over the counter pain relivers. Keep in mind however, a severe toothache may indicate tooth decay or other oral health issues, so scheduling a dental appointment is still a necessity.
  • Out of town emergency: Perhaps one of the most difficult situations would be having a dental emergency while out of town or on vacation. In this scenario, contacting a local dentist or visiting the emergency room might be required to provide temporary relief, however contacting your regular dental provider and scheduling a follow-up visit should be your first move upon returning home.

Emergency Dental Care: Be Prepared

There’s no telling when an accident may occur, being properly prepared can make a big difference in ensuring things get resolved quickly and effectively during an emergency dental care situation. While we certainly hope the various steps and guidance tips may help you in such a scenario, keep in mind that Dr. Kimes and his staff at Overland Park Dentistry are always prepared to help you and address all your dental needs.

So, remember when disaster strikes, you know who to call!

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his expert team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with any preventativerestorative or cosmetic needs you or your family may have. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Do You Need Emergency Dental Care?

emergency-dental-care

Emergency dental care is something we all hope we’ll never need… Having a dental emergency is not something any of us normally look forward to, nor is it something that is ever planned. Unfortunately, it happens to all of us at one point or another. And when it does, it’s nice to know what to do when you or someone close to you needs emergency dental care.

An unexpected dilemma

Imagine enjoying a wonderful holiday break with your family. As you sit down to have a meal together, you experience an unpleasant situation. When you bite into your food you feel a cracking sensation, followed by a sharp pain in your mouth. As the stinging in your mouth continues to worsen, the reality of your situation sets in; you have just broken a tooth! Unfortunately, this imaginary scenario has been a reality for many people; when you break a tooth it’s often a sudden, unanticipated problem that delays any immediate plans you may have. You experience needing emergency dental care.

Who are you going to call?

At Overland Park Dentistry we are prepared to assist our patients when a dental emergency occurs. When patients call in this type of situation, we always do our best to accommodate same day emergency appointments.

There are normally two reasons for emergency dental care, restorative and cosmetic.

We provide restorative emergency dental care to help our patients to get out of pain as quickly as possible.  There are cosmetic reasons for requiring an emergency visit as well. Perhaps you have a presentation to give, or an important meeting to attend, or maybe child has a school photo in the next couple of days.

These are both valid and understandable reasons for requesting an emergency visit, and here at Overland Park Dentistry we are willing to help address these unexpected issues when they arise.

What should I do if I need emergency dental care?

In the case of a dental emergency, before we can get you into one of our offices for an appointment, here are some helpful tips:

What if my tooth gets knocked out in an accident?
When trauma or an accident knocks out your tooth, you need to act quickly. First, locate your tooth (or teeth) and determine whether you have the entire tooth in one piece including the root or if the tooth came out in several pieces. Rinse any dirt or debris off the pieces you have gathered and avoid touching the root. Put the tooth in milk or your own saliva for transport.

Safely rush the injured person and tooth to our dental office. In an ideal situation, the tooth will be re-implanted. For a period of time, the tooth may be splinted with a wire to the adjacent teeth.

Broken Filling or Broken Tooth:
Temporary filling materials can be purchased at most pharmacies and can be placed over the sensitive area until you see Dr. Kimes. Use sugar-free chewing gum to cover the area as a last resort.

When a permanent (or temporary) crown comes off:
Brush the area, if it’s not too sensitive and rinse with warm salt water (below) to keep the area clean. Teeth can shift, making it difficult or impossible to re-cement the crown at a later date, so avoid leaving the crown out for more than a few days. Until your emergency appointment time, toothpaste or denture cream can be placed inside the crown before it is gently put back into place.

Toothache:
Rinse your mouth with a warm salt water* rinse (see below). Gently floss and brush the area to remove any debris or trapped food. If you can take Ibuprofen or other over the counter pain medications, this may help to sooth the pain. Sometimes Orajel or similar topical gels can help, but usually it will only sooth the pain for a short time. Even if the pain goes away, please call our office to see Dr. Kimes, because without proper dental care your condition could return or even get worse.

When you are in need of emergency dental care:  If it is after regular business hours, please call 913-647-8700. The more time that passes, the less likely your tooth can be re-implanted successfully. If you are out of town, visit the nearest Emergency Room or Urgent Care or contact a dentist in the area.

*To make salt water rinse: mix 1 teaspoon table salt with 1 cup warm water

For additional patient resources and frequently asked questions, please click here.

While you might not be able to anticipate when a dental emergency will happen, you can rest assured that you will receive swift, expert, emergency care when you call our office.

We look forward to having the opportunity to be help you with any restorative or cosmetic care in the case of a dental emergency. If you need to schedule an emergency dental appointment, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.