Nothing can spoil holiday plans like a painful dental emergency. If you're experiencing a dental trauma, such as a cracked, broken or knocked-out tooth, or perhaps suffering a severe toothache or swelling, don't worry. The team at South Anchorage Dental Center is available to provide you with solutions - 24 hours a day, every day - even on holidays. Here's what you need to know.
Need help now? Reach our on-call emergency dentist here.
What Is a Dental Emergency?
One of the most common questions we get related to emergency dental care is what actually constitutes an emergency? Dental emergencies are traumas involving the face and mouth that require immediate medical attention. As a general rule, if you need immediate treatment to stop bleeding, alleviate severe pain, or save a tooth, it counts as an emergency. Make sure the patient is safe, then call an emergency dentist.
- Severe pain inside the mouth, including debilitating toothaches
- Cracked, broken, or knocked-out teeth that need treatment to save
- Anything affecting breathing or swallowing
- Persistent bleeding inside the mouth
- Jaw fractures or jaw dislocations
- An abscess or infection
These are serious conditions that require urgent treatment. If you can't connect with an emergency dentist, then please go to your nearest walk-in clinic or hospital emergency room.
Do I Need to See an Emergency Dentist?
Many dental emergencies may not be considered life threatening, but still may require immediate care. Though the pain of a decayed, broken or abscessed tooth may seem unbearable, unless it is affecting your ability to breathe or swallow, or accompanied by profuse bleeding, please give us a call.
We will advise you as to next steps, so if you are not facing a life-threatening emergency, we recommend you call us before visiting a hospital room. This can save you a lot of unnecessary stress and frustration, because hospital emergency rooms can be very expensive and extremely slow. Even when you do manage to get a consultation, they may not be able to provide the specialized dental care you need.
What To Do If You Have a Dental Emergency?
Only a dentist can accurately determine what type of emergency dental care is needed. However, depending on the situation, there may be things you can do at home to help ease the pain and improve the outcome.
One of the most important things you can do is remain calm. Anxiety triggers a number of automated responses that may worsen symptoms, so remember to breathe while seeking the assistance you need.
Here are some things you can do while you're waiting to see the dentist:
- Put pressure on any areas that are bleeding with a clean cloth to stem the flow.
- Put a knocked-out tooth into a glass of milk. Time is of the essence in saving it!
- Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a mug of hot water and use it as a warm mouthwash to relieve irritation.
- Floss! If you are experiencing pain surrounding one specific tooth, it is possible that something has gotten stuck between your teeth or inside the gum tissue. This can sometimes offer significant relief.
- Use a cold compress to help reduce swelling, relieve irritation, and stop any bleeding that may occur.
- Take the prescribed dose of an over-the-counter pain medication to help alleviate discomfort.
How Can I Afford Emergency Dental Care?
We care about your dental health and we understand that dental emergencies are unplanned. South Anchorage Dental Center accepts cash, check and credit cards. We also accept most major health insurances. If you would like to extend payments over a longer period of time, we are proud to offer CareCredit, Proceed Financial and our own Dental Savings Plan designed to save you and your family up to 20% off all treatments such as extractions, root canals, crowns, bridges, dentures, and more.
Toothaches and dental traumas may not care whether it is after hours, the weekend or a holiday, but the on-call emergency dentists at South Anchorage Dental Center do and are available every day of the year to ensure you receive the best possible care. Remember, if you have an emergency, call (907) 602-3136, during office hours, or (907) 248-7275 out of hours, to reach our on-call emergency dentist!
Need emergency dental care? Call us now.