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Emergency Dental Care

Dental injuries and tooth damage can happen any time, even with the best preventative care or precautionary measures, and they rarely happen when it’s convenient. Teeth are knocked out or broken during a game or a practice, fillings and crowns come loose or crack, and that throbbing tooth pain you’ve had for a week suddenly gets worse.

Dental emergencies are always unexpected and can be stressful to navigate. Can you find a dentist who’s open, and how close are they? Will they take your insurance or will you even be able to get an appointment?

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Emergency Dental Services at Bright Now! Dental

Bright Now! Dental understands you don’t plan for dental emergencies and we understand that providing quality care as quickly as possible greatly increases your chances of a better outcome. That’s why we’re committed to handling dental emergencies with the compassion, urgency, and professionalism they deserve. In general, we can see emergencies same-day and with plenty of locations—many even open on Saturday and evenings –there’s a fully-staffed Bright Now! near you and ready to help.

Bright Now! Dental accepts call-ahead and walk-in emergencies and depending on the type and extent of your injury, we’ll either get started on your treatment right away, get you comfortable or schedule you for a full appointment as soon as possible.*

New patients, existing patients, or simply a walk-in, you can be confident you’ll receive the best in emergency care and treatment, no matter what brings you to us. Bright Now! Dental also accepts more major health insurance plans than most private practices, so there’s a good chance we take yours.

*Please be aware that even emergency appointments must be added to our existing schedule, so there may be some wait time. However, we will do everything we can to schedule you with minimal wait time and we’ll make sure to keep you both updated on your appointment time and comfortable in the meantime.

How do I take care of a dental emergency?

Dental emergencies and injuries can be scary and unexpected, but they can nearly always be remedied and they are rarely life-threatening. It’s important not to panic and to seek emergency care as soon as possible. There are also several things you can do to help minimize discomfort or pain and improve your outcomes while you wait for treatment.

If you’ve knocked out a tooth:

  • Try not to touch the tooth by the roots to avoid introducing any bacteria or other pathogens to the tooth. Hold it only by the crown.
  • You can rinse it under some clean, cold water, but do not dry it.
  • Store the tooth in a glass of milk or Save-a-Tooth solution (which you can find at most grocery stores or pharmacies) until you can get to the dentist.

If you are bleeding:

  • Control the bleeding by placing gauze inside your mouth and applying a cold compress or ice pack

If you have a toothache, swelling, or soreness as the result of an injury:

  • Apply an ice pack or cold compress to your jaw
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever and avoid eating chewy, hard, or crunchy foods

What are dental emergencies vs. urgent dental injuries?

What is a dental emergency?

Dental emergencies demand immediate care and you should be seen by a dentist as soon as possible. Dental emergencies include:

Lost or knocked-out tooth. If you can be seen by a dentist within an hour, there is a high likelihood the dentist will be able to re-insert the tooth into the socket and save it. A wire or special splint may be used to hold the tooth in place for several weeks while the jaw bone re-fuses to the tooth.

Infection or abscess. A dental abscess is an infection that occurs in or around a tooth root. Abscesses can cause serious dental pain, and they can be dangerous if they spread into the jawbone, adjacent teeth, or even the bloodstream. Seek treatment right away helps reduce the chance of the infection spreading. If you have severe tooth pain accompanied by a fever, seek emergency dental care as soon as possible. If you do not have a fever and can manage your pain with over-the-counter pain relievers, you can call your dentist first thing in the morning for a same-day or next-day appointment.

While you wait for treatment, minor abscess pain can be managed with salt water rinses, cold compresses, pain relievers, and a soft diet. Abscesses are typically treated with a root canal procedure and you will likely be prescribed an antibiotic to prevent reinfection. Badly infected teeth may require an extraction.

Facial trauma or oral injuries. Severe tissue damage and bleeding in your mouth and swelling in the gums or around the mouth constitute a dental emergency. A hospital emergency room should be your first option, where doctors can stitch any external cuts and help get excessive bleeding under control. From there, you can be referred to an emergency dentist. While you wait for care, you should be able to control pain, bleeding, and swelling with a cold compress, and rinse your mouth with cool water at regular intervals to keep the area clean.

What is an urgent dental injury?

Urgent dental injuries can still be painful and scary, but they pose little or no immediate risk to your health. They can often wait until the first available appointment to be treated. Urgent dental injuries include things like:

Lost or broken crown. A lost or broken crown isn’t necessarily an emergency, but it can cause pain and sensitivity in the newly-exposed tooth tissue. If you can save the crown, keep it as clean as possible and in a safe place until you can get to the dentist. You can try over-the-counter pain relief to manage any pain or discomfort, but try to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Putting off treatment could lead to additional damage to the tooth.

Lost or damaged filling. Similar to a lost or broken crown, a failed filling can also cause some pain and sensitivity, but it is not an immediate emergency. Try to keep the area as clean as possible and manage any pain with over-the-counter medication until you can see the dentist. As with a broken crown, seek treatment as soon as you can; waiting can cause more problems to the tooth and more pain.

Loose braces brackets. Loose brackets or wires can be uncomfortable and painful, but they can also wait until you can see an orthodontist or dentist, who will need to either re-attach the piece or replace it entirely. While you wait for care, you can place orthodontic wax over the piece to secure it and keep it from irritating your cheeks or gums. Try to keep a soft diet, avoid very hard or crunchy foods, and be careful when you brush so you don’t dislodge it more.

Broken, cracked, or chipped tooth. Broken, cracked, or chipped teeth can be painful and can worsen into a fracture if not treated promptly. Save any pieces of the tooth if you can and keep them in a cup of milk or Save-a-Tooth solution until you can get to the dentist.

Persistent mouth pain and/or toothaches. Mild to moderate tooth pain or mouth pain can generally be managed with over-the-counter medication until you get to the dentist and they can take an x-ray and examine your mouth to determine the cause. You can also apply an oral numbing gel—found in most pharmacies—to the area and rinse your mouth with warm salt water to clean the area and reduce inflammation. Severe pain accompanied by a fever, however, may indicate a dental abscess, for which you should seek emergency dental care.

Emergency Dental Care at Bright Now! Dental

Bright Now! Dental is your family’s choice for fast, affordable, and convenient emergency dental care. With multiple locations, flexible hours, and a full staff of experienced dental professionals, we’re here to help you get the care you need so you can get back to your busy life. Find a Bright Now! location near you by visiting us here.