Dental emergencies come in many different forms. They may strike at a moment’s notice, such as if you fell and cracked a tooth on the sidewalk, or they may gradually develop over time in the form of a bad toothache until the pain is unbearable. Whatever your situation is, one thing is certain – you have Jacksonville Complete Dentistry’s support through and through. Please don’t hesitate to contact us right away for emergency assistance; our doctors will do all they can to make time to see you so that you receive much-needed relief from your injury and/or pain.
Our experienced dentists always trust your judgement when you call in with an urgent need, and we will provide personalized dental care to relieve pain and renew your oral health. However, if you’re still unsure whether or not you need fast attention, our office is happy to go over the most common dental emergencies that we treat.
Most toothaches are typically not emergencies, however, they may indicate that a serious dental emergency could be present. In other words, if you’re experiencing some dental pain, it probably doesn’t need immediate attention. If you do happen to notice any of the following symptoms, it’s more likely a dental emergency and you should give us a call:
How you should handle your toothache: Make an appointment today to avoid any potential complications later. Floss around the tooth to remove any potential food and rinse your mouth out with warm saltwater. Apply a cold compress to reduce any swelling and take a painkiller (such as ibuprofen) to alleviate discomfort. Do not attempt to pop any pimple-like bumps or apply aspirin directly to the tooth.
How we treat toothaches: We’ll perform a detailed exam to confirm the cause of your toothache. Depending on the reason for it, such as cavities, tooth or gum infections, damage you can’t see, gum disease, or injury inside the tooth, we may recommend a dental filling, crown, antibiotics, periodontal therapy, root canal therapy, or an extraction.
Cracked teeth can happen seemingly out of nowhere, whether you’re eating popcorn during a movie, playing your favorite sport, or experiencing a bad fall while going for a walk. The moment you notice any sensitivity or pain while biting down, especially after a recent facial injury, there’s a chance your tooth is damaged.
How to handle a cracked tooth: Locate any pieces of the tooth you can and rinse your mouth out with warm water. Place a cold compress on your cheek to reduce any swelling and take an over-the-counter painkiller. Try to avoid chewing anything until you get to our office and cover the tooth with dental wax if it appears sharp.
How we treat cracked teeth: When damage is relatively minimal, we may be able to use direct cosmetic tooth bonding or tooth-colored composite resin to replace missing enamel and reshape it. More severe damage may need a dental crown or tooth removal, but we will only suggest extraction as a last resort.
More often than not, chipped teeth are not exactly an urgent emergency. However, you should still get an appointment scheduled at our office as soon as it occurs. Even small chips can break down further or cause major decay due to the inner layers of the tooth becoming exposed.
How you should handle a chipped tooth: According to the American Dental Association, you should start by rinsing your mouth out with warm water first to remove any pieces of tooth that could potentially be swallowed, causing you to choke. Keep the area clean and cover the chipped portion with sugarless gum or dental wax, especially if you notice sensitivity.
How we treat chipped teeth: We can usually fix chipped teeth with tooth-colored composite resin, but this depends on how large the chip is and which tooth was damaged. For example, if you chipped a tooth that’s visible in your smile, a porcelain veneer may be a better option.
Fixing your smile and stopping your pain should be your primary goal when you call our office for emergency care. You can start thinking about the cost once we’ve examined your smile and recommended a treatment plan. No two emergency visits are likely to cost the same, but you’ll have our team at Jacksonville Complete Dentistry to walk you through the process and help you find the best strategies for reducing costs as much as possible.
Some emergency visits involve root canal therapy to save a tooth, while in other cases an extraction is performed to remove it altogether. Crowns and other restorations might be placed to reverse dental damage. We may even have to address TMJ-related pain. The overall cost of your emergency visit will be impossible to determine before we’ve had a chance to diagnose the problem and confirmed which treatments will be most effective in your case. We’ll make sure that you fully understand our findings and our treatment recommendations (as well as the estimated costs involved) before asking you to commit to a specific service.
If you’re worried about your financial situation, your first reaction to a dental emergency might be to try and ignore it. While cracks, toothaches, and other forms of dental damage might seem manageable at first, ignoring them gives them a chance to turn into larger problems. A small cavity that could once have been filled in can develop into a severe infection that forces us to remove the entire tooth and replace it with a dental implant. In the long run, waiting too long to have a dental emergency treated will cost you more money than having the problem taken care of in a timely manner.
On a similar note, if you want to avoid having to pay for a dental emergency altogether, it’s best to maintain a solid at-home oral hygiene routine and regular appointments. Good preventive care has been shown to potentially save people thousands of dollars in the long run.
Many plans will have some coverage set aside specifically for emergency situations, with at least one emergency exam often being fully covered each year. The most common emergency services such as root canal therapy tend to be covered under most plans, with said coverage ranging from 50% to 80% depending on how complex it is. One thing to keep in mind is that your plan does have a yearly maximum that limits the amount of coverage you can receive during a given year. It’s a good idea to contact your insurance company to confirm the benefits that are still available.
Uninsured patients can apply for CareCredit, which offers plans that allow you to pay at a rate that’s comfortable for your budget. Third-party financing plans can be used for all services, including those not covered by insurance, so don’t be afraid to ask how to apply during your emergency visit.
After reading the above information, you know what counts as a dental emergency, a few common causes, and how our team can help restore your pain-free smile. If you’d like to continue your research to be as prepared as possible should a dental injury arise, we want to help! In addition to scheduling an appointment with our team, you can also keep reading for the answers to a few frequently asked questions.
When a dental emergency strikes, your first thought may be to head straight to your local ER. However, since they typically don’t have a dentist on-staff, the most they can do is ease your pain and recommend visiting your dental team. Therefore, it’s best for your smile, wallet, and time to visit our emergency dentist in Jacksonville first. With that being said, if your dental injury results in a life-threatening condition, like difficulty breathing or a broken jaw, then you should call 911 right away. Once you get the medical attention you need, give us a call so we can treat the root cause of the issue as soon as possible.
Yes! There is a popular misconception that a once problematic tooth that has gone radio silent is a good thing. In reality, it could mean the infection has completely killed the pulp of your tooth, necessitating root canal therapy. If treatment is put off long enough, then a tooth extraction and replacement may be in order. So, you definitely should give us a call, even if your toothache goes away.
Dental emergencies are often inconvenient and anxiety-inducing, which is why being prepared is so important. To ensure you can act quickly and get the fast, effective relief you deserve, keep the below items close by at all times:
The answer really depends on the fine print on your dental plan. Typically, both diagnostic care (like X-rays) and restorative services (like dental crowns) are eligible for coverage. If you don’t have dental insurance or need extensive dental work, then low-to-no interest financing is also available through CareCredit. Whichever financial option makes the most sense for you, we will ensure that handling that portion of your care is as stress-free as possible.
Whether you have sustained a dental injury or are interested in learning more to be as prepared as possible, we are here to help! Give us a call to speak directly with our team.