Emergency Dentist: What is a Dental Emergency?

Emergency Dentist Fairfax VA

Whenever you are faced with any dental problem outside normal working hours, you’ll need an emergency dentist. But how will you know whether the problem is a normal dental problem that can wait or it is an emergency issue that needs to be dealt with immediately? You are faced with a dental emergency if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Bleeding of the mouth 
  • Severe dental or gum pain
  • Have a loose tooth (or loose teeth)
  • Someone or something has hit you hard in the face, particularly the mouth and you are in great pain
  • You have swelling in your facial area, particularly around or in the mouth
  • Gum bleeding or swelling

Generally, any dental problem is regarded as an emergency if it needs immediate action to save your tooth, relieve strong pain, or stop bleeding. Severe infections are also emergency cases if they are life-threatening. 

Some cases may be mistaken as emergency cases but they aren’t. For example, if a problem can wait for a few days before your dentist sees you, then it isn’t an emergency case. There are also some dental problems you can take care of at home and may not necessitate seeing a dentist.  

emergency dentist with patient

What is Considered a Dental Emergency?

A dental emergency needs immediate attention from an emergency dentist. This is because when left unattended, they may lead to bigger problems. For example, a dental infection can be fatal if not treated forthwith. Some of the common dental emergencies include:   

Severe Toothache

A toothache can be as a result of exposed roots, tooth abscess, tooth decay, infected gums, or another reason. A toothache is considered an emergency only if the pain is unbearable. 

When you have a toothache, use warm water to clean your mouth. You can then place an ice pack or a cold piece of cloth on the cheek with the painful jaw and let it stay there for about 20 minutes. This will help alleviate the pain. You can also use some recommended painkillers. 

While doing this, you should be on your way to your emergency dentist’s office. Do not put any medication directly on your gum as this may lead to the inflammation of the gum and cause you more problems. 

A Loose or Damaged Crown or Filling 

Crowns or fillings can last for several years but eventually, they will wear out and can fall off. When this happens, you need to treat it as an emergency issue and see your dentist as soon as possible. The falling off of the crown or filling could mean there are other problems like cavities forming in your teeth. 

Secondly, if your crown or filling has fallen off, your tooth will become very sensitive to temperature variations and it may begin to deteriorate. In case you are faced with this problem, clean your mouth immediately using warm water then use clean cotton wool to fill those cavities before heading to your dentist’s office. 

Breaking or Chipping a Tooth

Breaking of chipping of your tooth is a very serious dental emergency. It usually happens when your tooth is hit hard by an object. 

When your tooth gets broken or chipped, try to save it as soon as possible. Leaving it to stay longer may lead to further complications including infections. 

Visit your emergency dentist as soon as possible to have your tooth checked. If the tooth can’t be saved, your dentist can recommend implants or dental bridges.  

Broken Jaw

A broken jaw is another case that needs urgent attention. Even though your jaw can get broken without your teeth being affected, a broken jaw may lead to difficulty in breathing and eating and this may harm your health. 

The broken jaw itself and the surrounding area can become very painful and if there’s an open wound, an infection may take place. That’s why when faced with this problem, you need to call or see your emergency dentist immediately. 

Oral Infection

Some oral infections can be regarded as emergencies. Infections like gingivitis or cold sores require medical attention but they are not emergencies. 

If you notice a swelling in your mouth or around the jawline and some difficulty in swallowing or breathing, then you need to see your emergency dentist right away. 

Infections are dangerous because they can spread to other parts of the body. Some also lead to severe pain that can interfere with your sleep. Try to contact your dentist the moment you notice any signs of dental infection.

Knocked-Out Tooth

When your tooth gets knocked and falls off, you’ll have to act fast to save it. Put the tooth into a closed container with salty water or milk then rush with it to your dentist. Your tooth may be saved if you can do this within an hour. Beyond that, you may need an implant. A knocked-out tooth is also accompanied by bleeding and lots of pain. All these require immediate attention. 

Learn More

Contact Breeze Dental for urgent dental care. We offer a variety of dental treatments to assist everyone. Call Breeze Dental at (703) 273-5545 or book an appointment online.     

Perfecting Your Smile with a Cosmetic Dentist

Cosmetic Dentist Fairfax VA

The popularity of cosmetic dentistry has dramatically increased in the past few decades. This is because many people have become more sensitive about their looks, particularly their smiles.

A perfect smile is very important for your day-to-day interactions. For example, a great smile can help you feel confident at work and during presentations.

If you feel like your smile isn’t as perfect as it should be, then request a consultation with a cosmetic dentist. Cosmetic dentistry uses modern techniques and tools to improve your smile.

Here are the top 8 procedures a cosmetic dentist can use to improve your smile.

Dental Bridges

If you are missing some teeth, you can never have a perfect smile. Bridges can restore your confidence by using artificial teeth to replace your missing teeth. Bridges are usually made of porcelain, alloys, or gold. 

In short, bridges are anchored onto the existing teeth after being prepared for crowns. So, you have to maintain good oral hygiene for your existing teeth to remain healthy to support the bridges. Fixed bridges can only be removed by a cosmetic dentist.

cosmetic dentist with patient

Dental Implants

Implants are made of titanium metal and are used to replace missing teeth. The procedure is quite expensive and involving but once completed, your attractive smile will be restored. 

Just like bridges, implants also anchor on the adjacent existing teeth and are implanted surgically into your jawbone. These implants can work even if you’ve lost several teeth. In case you are missing a jawbone as a result of periodontal disease, your dentist will have to graft a bone where the implants can be secured to. 

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns restore the natural appearance, shape, size, strength, durability, and functionality of a tooth. Crowns are necessary to:

  • Protect weak teeth
  • Cover discolored or misshapen teeth
  • Cover teeth after root canal process
  • Restore worn out or broken teeth
  • Cover dental implants
  • Hold dental bridges in position

Crowns are usually made from ceramic materials, porcelain, or metal. Your cosmetic dentist will only recommend crowns when other procedures can’t produce the desired results. This is because crowns are a bit costly compared to other cosmetic dentistry procedures. Crowns can last for several years, provided they are cared for well.  

Dental Bonding

Bonding is necessary if there are excess spaces between your teeth or if your teeth are cracked, stained, broken, or chipped. Your dentist will use bonding material to fill the cavities in your teeth and for protecting the roots of your teeth in case they are exposed.  

This is a one-off procedure in which the cosmetic dentist will apply an etching chemical to your teeth followed by the application of composite resins on the surface of your teeth. Even though the bonding material lasts long, it will eventually get stained or chipped and may need to be replaced.  

Dental Veneers

Veneers are usually made of plastic or porcelain. They are custom-made shells that a dentist can use to change the shape and/or color of your teeth by covering their front sides. Veneers provide better smiles and are more durable than bonding. Veneers are used when:

  • There are spaces between your teeth
  • Your teeth have become worn out or chipped
  • Your teeth are crooked or poorly shaped 

The cosmetic dentist will clean your teeth before the veneer is cemented in place. Since porcelain veneers are laboratory-made, the impression of your teeth will have to be taken during your first visit then the veneers will be inserted in your second visit.

Teeth Whitening

Over time, your teeth can get discolored or stained, especially if you like consuming beverages like tea or coffee. Smoking and the use of some drugs can also discolor your teeth. With discolored or stained teeth, your smile won’t be stellar. 

Your cosmetic dentist can bleach your teeth to return them to their original white color. The procedure can be carried out in the office or you can be provided with all the materials you need so you can do it at home. 

Contouring and Shaping the Enamel 

Contouring and shaping of the enamel can be combined with bonding. This procedure involves the contouring or removal of dental enamel. It makes the teeth more attractive for a perfect smile. In addition,  if you have some bite problems, or if your teeth are irregular or chipped. It also works well with overlapping or crooked teeth. 

Braces

Braces work wonder when it comes to improving your smile. If your teeth are crowded or crooked, your dentist can use braces to straighten them up. Braces can also be used to correctly position your jaws and to eliminate disorders in your jaw joints. 

The pressure from the braces is what re-positions your teeth, so you’ll need to wear them for some months for better results. You will need to visit your dentist regularly to tighten them because they usually become a little lose as your teeth straighten up.  

Learn More

Breeze Dental offers many dental services, including cosmetic dentistry. If you are interested in perfecting your smile, contact us today. Call Breeze Dental at (703) 273-5545 or book an appointment online.