A dental emergency is an extremely stressful and scary experience. The good news is that at Heck Family Dentistry of Lawrence, you have two kind, knowledgeable dentists to turn to in the worst-case scenario. Dr. Heck and Dr. Beshore will make time to see you quickly for emergency dentistry in Lawrence, KS, and they’ll use the state-of-the-art technology at their disposal along with their extensive experience to narrow down the root of the problem and provide a successful treatment.
No one definition properly describes all dental emergencies, but in general, you should take persistent oral pain and noticeable dental damage as warning signs that something is wrong with your mouth. The issue might be due to prolonged dental decay or a sudden accident. You’ll need to follow certain steps to take care of your teeth before it’s time for your appointment. The following tips can help you during specific common emergencies.
Rinse and floss thoroughly to get rid of anything trapped between your teeth. Ibuprofen and other kinds of pain medication can be used to control the pain while you’re waiting for an appointment. (Avoid aspirin; it could cause a burning sensation if it touches the tooth or the gums.)
Some chips and cracks are relatively minor, and others are serious enough that they could lead to an extraction. Protect what remains of the tooth’s structure by not chewing on the affected side of your mouth. You can hold a cold pack to your cheek to reduce swelling around the tooth.
You have about an hour to get to our dental office if you want us to successfully replant the tooth. Handle it by the crown at all times, and try to put it back in its socket if you can. You can hold it in place with your tongue. If it won’t go back in, you can keep it in a glass of milk instead. Make sure that it stays moist at all times so that the living cells attached to the root stay alive.
A lost restoration can temporarily be reattached to the tooth with a denture adhesive, sugar-free gum, or a dab of toothpaste. That should help hold it in place until we can either permanently reattach it or place a new one. The tooth will probably be sensitive, so take care to avoid any foods that are hot, cold, or hard to chew.
Changing your daily routine in certain ways can make it easier to avoid a dental emergency. Take note of any bad oral habits like chewing your fingernails or opening packages with your teeth, and try to drop them altogether. Do not bite down on peppermints, popcorn kernels, or other foods that can crack enamel. Always wear a mouthguard when playing sports or if you grind your teeth at night. Keep your teeth and gums safe by brushing and flossing twice every day.
There are many different kinds and degrees of dental injuries and oral pain. The kind of treatment that you’ll need will vary based on your situation. A complete examination is needed before we can give you an estimate for the services that we believe are necessary to save your smile. In the meantime, you can read on to learn about some of the factors that contribute to the price of your dental emergency below.
An emergency dental visit is usually relatively inexpensive. Our team will examine your smile, assess your needs, and determine what treatment will repair your teeth and get you out of pain. That said, it’s essentially impossible to predict the cost of your dental emergency without checking out the affected area in our office first to address the root of the problem. This will often require X-rays to get an inside look at the issue. Some of the most common emergency services we have to offer include:
We will always explain our findings and recommendations as well as the associated cost, so you’ll know exactly what to expect.
While some sudden dental emergencies can never be completely avoided, most issues occur due to unchecked infection and damage. That’s why maintaining a good oral healthcare routine on your own can potentially save you thousands of dollars in the future from avoided emergency dentistry.
If an emergency does occur, it’s vital that you get it treated right away. Dental problems will only get worse with time, so any associated costs you may be worried about will only get higher the longer you wait. For example, a simple root canal to remove infected tissue could easily turn into a tooth extraction if left to fester. Extractions are much more costly because you’ll need a replacement.
Most dental insurance providers do offer some form of coverage for dental emergencies. Your plan may include coverage for one emergency exam each year, and the treatments associated with urgent care will usually get partially covered by 50% to 80%. Remember that every plan is different, which is why it’s important to confirm with your provider first. We are always happy to speak with them directly to learn more about your coverage.
We proudly accept dental insurance, but we also have other ways to make our quality emergency dentistry affordable for all budgets. We have alternative financing in the form of CareCredit, where patients can make low to no interest monthly payments. The best part is that you can pick your payment schedule based on your specific needs. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly front desk staff.
Still curious about emergency dentistry? For any specific concerns, please don’t hesitate to call us and speak to one of our friendly staff members. However, if you have a busy schedule, or you just like doing your own research, we’ve included the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about dental emergencies below. Read on to learn more!
There are a variety of dental emergencies that can occur, so how do you know when you’re having a real one? The easiest way to tell is if you’re experiencing pain that is distracting you from your normal daily tasks. If so, your first step is to floss around the area and rinse your mouth to eliminate the possibility of an irritating piece of food. If your pain persists, contact our office right away for necessary treatment.
If you’re having an emergency that is potentially life-threatening, you should always go to an urgent care facility for medical attention. These injuries include jaw fractures, deep facial wounds, difficulty breathing, and much more. However, for any other dental emergency like a broken or knocked out tooth, it’s best to visit our office. Our emergency dentist, Dr. Heck, has the training and technology necessary to repair your smile and get you out of pain, whereas an ER will have limited dental resources. When in doubt, please don’t hesitate to contact our office for assistance.
While there is absolutely no substitute for proper emergency treatment, there are some steps you can take to provide yourself with temporary relief. There are obviously over the counter pain medications to make yourself more comfortable, and you can use a cold compress to numb pain. However, if you’re in a real bind, used tea packets and crushed garlic have properties that can ease discomfort and sensitivity. Remember, as soon as you notice a problem with your smile, contact our office before it gets worse.
Root canal therapy is one of the most important treatments we have to offer because it can effectively save your damaged, decayed, or infected tooth from extraction. If you experience serious trauma, or you have decay that progressed into a toothache, a root canal is our last line of defense before extraction. We can remove the affected tissue while keeping the rest of your tooth intact. Before root canal therapy, the only way to provide patients with relief was to have the tooth extracted.
Are your teeth sensitive when you eat or drink items that are hot or cold in temperature? Tooth sensitivity is an issue that affects about 1 in 8 Americans, and it’s only an emergency if it occurs suddenly and painfully. There are steps you can take to minimize your sensitivity, including the use of desensitizing toothpaste and wearing a nightguard to prevent nighttime teeth grinding.
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