Dental emergencies are typically few and far between, but when they do happen, you want someone who’s going to be on your side and ready to get you out of discomfort as quickly as possible. With Dr. Tijerina guiding you and providing comprehensive treatment, you can stop oral discomfort and even potentially save your tooth. That’s why, if you’re experiencing a dental emergency, you need to call our McAllen dental office right away for emergency dentistry in McAllen, TX!
Why Choose Tijerina Family & Cosmetic Dentistry for Emergency Dentistry in McAllen?
- Multiple Forms of Sedation Available
- Always Prioritizes Your Comfort
- Makes Time to Get You Into the Dental Office
Start by flossing any food debris from in between your teeth. If discomfort remains, take an over-the-counter painkiller like ibuprofen until you get to our dental office. If swelling is present, apply and remove a cold compress to and from your face in 10-minute intervals. Depending on the case, we may need to remove decay and place a restoration or schedule you for root canal therapy.
Keep any pieces of your tooth that you can and bring them to our dental office. If the tooth is sharp or jagged, cover it with dental cement to prevent cutting yourself accidentally. Take painkillers as needed, but avoid aspirin as direct contact to the tooth can lead to a burning sensation. We’ll do our best to cover the tooth with a crown.
Locate the tooth and pick it up by the crown portion only. Do not touch the root or remove any tissue that might still be attached. Rinse your mouth, gently rinse the tooth of any debris, then place it back into your open socket. You can also place it in milk or saltwater to keep it preserved for up to one hour. Get to our dental office right away to get it reimplanted!
If you still have the restoration, clean it of any debris and use dental cement, denture adhesive, or sugar-free chewing gum if nothing else is available to reattach it temporarily. If you’ve lost the restoration, avoid chewing on that side of your mouth for the time being. We will likely need to replace it once you arrive, especially if it is a very old restoration.
I Have Pain or Clicking in My Jaw
Take ibuprofen throughout the day as needed and apply either a warm or cold compress to relieve muscle pain. Do so for about 10 minutes at a time, removing and reapplying every 10 minutes for up to one hour. Our dental office can pinpoint the specific cause of your jaw clicking and discomfort as well as provide comprehensive treatment.
How to Prevent Dental Emergencies
Most dental emergencies can be avoided when you practice basic prevention on a daily basis. This includes:
- Brushing twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste
- Flossing at least once a day
- Maintaining routine dental checkups and cleanings every six months
- Wearing protective mouthguards while playing contact sports
- Wearing a nightguard if you have to deal with chronic teeth grinding and clenching
- Avoiding habits that involve chewing on hard inedible objects (chewing a pen, biting fingernails, etc.)
- Never using your teeth as a tool
The Cost of Treating Dental Emergencies
Every dental case is unique, which means depending on the type of dental emergency you have, your costs could vary. For example, removing decay and placing a crown will cost less than scheduling you for root canal therapy or extracting a tooth outright. Of course, you won’t know what your treatment will be in the first place if you don’t visit! Regardless of the cost, we’ll do everything to get you out of discomfort before you leave and build a treatment plan that’s within your financial means.
Frequently Asked Questions
We understand that dental emergencies are not particularly common, so you may not know what needs to be done if you experience one. As a result, we get many questions at our practice regarding what to do during a dental emergency. For your convenience, we’ve included a handful of the most common questions we’ve heard as well as our detailed answers. If you’re in need of emergency care or you have additional concerns to address, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly!
Should I visit the ER for a dental emergency?
It’s very rare that an emergency room will be able to help you resolve a dental emergency, largely because they don’t have the expertise or qualifications to do so in the first place. While most dental emergencies can be handled right here in our office, you should go to the emergency room if you experience severe oral bleeding, have a broken jaw, or believe that an oral infection is preventing you from breathing properly. After you have stabilized, call our office and we’ll performed a detailed exam to confirm no other problems are present as a result of your emergency.
Does keeping a knocked-out tooth in milk really help?
Yes! When teeth are placed in water, the cells in the root surface of teeth begin to swell up and burst, making it more difficult to place the tooth back into the open socket. Milk does not cause this phenomenon. Since milk contains proteins that keep a constant acid-to-alkaline ratio and has anti-bacterial properties, it keeps root cells growing and provides a more favorable environment for reimplantation. Even if you do not have milk available, you can also place the tooth in saline solution, salt water, or saliva. You may also store your tooth between your cheek and remaining teeth, but this is not recommended for young children who may accidentally swallow the tooth.
What happens if my toothache goes away on its own?
While toothaches can go away on their own, that does not mean you should skip a visit to our office. This is largely because dental emergencies tend to get worse the longer they go untreated. Furthermore, there’s a very high possibility that your toothache will come back anyway, and the last thing you want is surprise discomfort when you simply want to go about your day. Call our office the moment you start to notice tooth discomfort, regardless of how often it occurs.
Will I need an extraction or root canal?
Not necessarily. Keep in mind that a toothache could be a result of decay that has reached through multiple layers of enamel, but not caused an infection. If we recommend a root canal, it’s because an infection has developed inside of the tooth and the only way to save the tooth (as well as protect neighboring teeth) is by removing the infection through a detailed root canal. If a tooth needs to be extracted, it’s because it became so damaged that it cannot be saved with any treatment. This is never our first option when it comes to emergency care.
Can I take anything for pain during a dental emergency?
Yes you can. While we recommend over-the-counter products like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, we discourage patients from taking aspirin as it can lead to a burning sensation of the surrounding tissue if it comes in contact with your gums.