San Antonio Dentist

Emergency DentistSan Antonio, TX

An emergency dentist is exactly what you need when you find yourself dealing with an unexpected dental issue. These are dentists who regularly see patients with oral issues that require immediate attention.

Seeing a regular dentist on short notice is not always an option. Some family dentists set time aside for patients who are dealing with emergencies, but there are others who require all patients to set an appointment. When you are dealing with excruciating pain or some dental issue that requires immediate treatment like a knocked out tooth, waiting a couple of weeks is simply not an option.

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The other alternative would be to head to an emergency room, but that comes with unbearable wait times. One way patients can ensure they get the treatment they need quickly is by heading to an emergency dentist. Time is particularly important when it comes to dental emergencies given the fact it can be the difference between losing a permanent tooth or having it successfully reattached. Let us take a look at some scenarios that require the services of an emergency dentist:

Common dental emergencies an emergency dentist deals with

1. A tooth that has been knocked out

A tooth can be knocked out of its socket by trauma. This might be a result of an accident or hard contact during sports and other physical activities. It is one of the scariest things that can happen to a person since no one ever expects it to happen to them.

Fortunately, a knocked out tooth is not as bad as it seems. There is a very good chance a dentist will be able to reattach it if treatment is administered within hours after the injury.

Here are some simple steps that increase the odds of successful reattachment when a tooth has been knocked out:

  • Avoid touching the tooth's roots. It should be picked up by the crown
  • The tooth should be rinsed gently until it is clean. Just place it under running water and do not drop it into the drain
  • Try inserting the tooth into its socket. Bite down gently while holding it in place
  • If the tooth does not stay in its socket, place it in a cup of milk. Use saliva if milk is not available
  • Contact an emergency dentist immediately. The longer the period between the injury and the visit to the dentist, the lower the odds of it being reattached

Follow these steps and there is a very good chance the knocked out tooth will be successfully reattached.

2. An infected tooth

A tooth infection is one of the most painful experiences a person can have. It is the result of the pulp chamber of a tooth becoming infected, making it possible for bacteria to reach the soft tissues and nerves of the tooth.

This leads to inflammation around the area and severe toothaches that are sometimes triggered by contact. As the infection progresses, it will begin to spread to other areas like the jawbone and it can become a life-threatening issue.

A visit to a dentist is in order once a person notices a tooth is infected. The dentist can perform a root canal to remove the infected pulp and save the tooth. The affected tooth is normally covered up with a crown after a root canal to protect it from further damage and restore its appearance.

If the infection is already severe, the dentist might decide to extract the tooth to prevent the infection from turning into a life-threatening issue. The infection can make its way from the jawbone into the person's bloodstream. From there, it can reach critical areas like the heart and brain. An infection in either of these areas can be fatal.

Once the tooth has been extracted, it will need to be replaced with an implant or some alternative like partial dentures or a bridge. Implants are the preferred tooth replacement option since they replace the lost roots as well as the visible part of the tooth. This ensures the patient's jawbone continues to get the stimulation it needs and prevents bone tissue deterioration.

An infected tooth should never be ignored. Given the serious consequences of not getting fast treatment, anyone dealing with an infected tooth should head to an emergency dentist as soon as possible.  

3. A loose tooth

A loose tooth might not seem like a dental emergency, but it actually is. It might become loose as a result of trauma or damage that has been done by tooth decay over time. Once a loose tooth has been discovered, try pushing it back to its proper position. Do this gently and do not try to force it into place.

Once you get to a dentist, they can use a splint on both sides to keep the tooth stabilized. The dentist will also address any issue(s) that led to the tooth becoming loose in the first place.

4. Fractured, chipped or cracked teeth

A chipped tooth is not always an emergency. As a general rule, if it does not hurt, it is not really a dental emergency, but the person should see a dentist as soon as possible. If a chip is accompanied by pain or a tooth is cracked or fractured, that requires the services of an emergency dentist.

A root canal might be performed if the pulp chamber has been breached and the tooth covered up with a cap. If the fracture is severe, saving the tooth might not be possible. In that scenario, the tooth would be extracted and replaced with an implant or some other prosthetic.

5. Soft tissue injury around the face and mouth

Injuries around the mouth like lacerations, tears and puncture wounds are classified as dental emergencies. An emergency dentist can repair the damaged soft tissue and provide medication for any pain and discomfort caused by the injury.

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An emergency dentist brings fast relief

Not sure if your oral problem counts as an emergency? Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

  • Is there blood?
  • Are you in pain?
  • Is the tooth loose?
  • Are there knots or bulges on your gums?

  • If your answer is yes to one or more of these questions, you probably need an emergency dentist. Stop by our San Antonio office and get the fast treatment you need.