Belchertown Emergency Dentistry

Woman holding cold compress to cheekEmergencies can strike when we least expect them, and while most people know what to do during a medical emergency, what to do when you’re in need of urgent dental care isn’t always as clear. Luckily for patients at Valley Dentists of Belchertown, we are here to help whenever you need us, and that includes making ourselves available during dental emergencies. Whatever time you contact us for a dental emergency, Dr. Medaugh or one of his team members will get in touch with you within an hour. We’ll walk you through your situation to determine how quickly you’ll need to come in to see us. A knowledgeable member of our team will also be happy to walk you through first aid and pain management over the phone to ensure your comfort and safety until you reach our office. In most cases, we can provide emergency treatment on the same day you contact us.

Common Dental Emergencies

Below, we’ll review some of the most common dental emergencies, but if you think your situation requires urgent treatment, we encourage you to contact us immediately. Even if we determine your situation doesn’t require immediate treatment, it’s always best to begin restoration right away to prevent further tooth damage, so please call our Belchertown dentistry practice immediately to begin your restorative treatment plan.

Knocked Out Tooth or Dental Restoration

Man in dental chair talking to dentistIf you’ve lost a complete tooth or dental restoration, it’s always best to replace it. Use cool water to rinse out your mouth and remove debris from the tooth or restoration. Replace the dental structure and bite down on clean gauze or cloth to hold it in place and stop any bleeding. If you’re unable to replace the tooth or restoration, store it in a container of milk or water until you reach our office.

Broken Tooth or Dental Restoration

If your tooth or dental restoration breaks, you should still retrieve any broken pieces and store them in a container until you reach our office, but you will not likely be able to replace the broken piece effectively. If there are sharp pieces of tooth or restoration that could damage surrounding teeth or soft tissue, use gauze to cover the sharp edges, or purchase orthodontic wax to cover sharp points and avoid further damage.

Bent or Broken Dentures

Smiling woman in dental chair Bent or broken dentures should not be worn. Wearing these prosthetics can damage remaining teeth, bruise gums, and adversely affect other oral structures. Store your broken denture in water or denture cleanser and contact us immediately.

Toothache & Dental Sensitivity

If you’re experiencing severe toothache or sensitivity to changes in temperature, you may have tooth decay, a fracture, or other damage that has accessed the inner layer of the tooth where the nerve is housed. Avoid chewing with the tooth that aches and don’t consume very hot or cold foods and drinks. If your toothache persists or increases, you should take over the counter pain relievers as directed and seek out oral numbing medications available from most pharmacies.

Avoiding Dental Emergencies

In many cases, dental emergencies can’t be avoided. However, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk for dental emergencies, including:

Man in dental chair giving thumbs up
  • Keep up with your at-home hygiene routine that should include two minutes of brushing twice a day and flossing at least once each day
  • Visit us for dental exams and teeth cleanings twice each year
  • Wear mouthguards during athletic competitions and practices and to protect teeth from nighttime teeth grinding and clenching
  • Do not use teeth to open packages or crack nuts
  • Stop chewing on hard objects like ice, fingernails, and pen caps

Dental Emergency FAQs

When a dental emergency strikes, your first thought might be to panic or go to the emergency room. However, Valley Dentists of Belchertown encourage you to call our office if you need help dealing with a dental emergency. Of course, if you have additional questions about how to handle current or future dental emergencies, take a look at our frequently asked questions section for guidance! If your question isn’t listed, we’re always just a phone call away!

When should I go to the hospital instead?

While our office is largely equipped to handle a variety of dental emergencies, there are some issues that should be handled by an emergency room first before coming to our office. For example, if you are suffering from uncontrollable bleeding, a broken jaw, deep facial cuts or discolorations in your jaw due to physical trauma, get to the emergency room as soon as possible. After you have stabilized, you can come to our office for closer examination and to confirm no other underlying issues are present.

Do I have to visit the dentist immediately for a dental emergency?

When you are dealing with a bad toothache that does not go away, loose, broken, or knocked-out teeth, facial swelling, dental abscesses and infections, or damaged restorations, you should get to our office as soon as you can. Dental issues largely do not get better with time. This means that the longer you wait to seek treatment, the more likely the problem will manifest into something worse. For example, a bad toothache could result in you needing a root canal later. The moment you feel that something is wrong, call our office to schedule an appointment.

How can I be better prepared for a dental emergency?

A great way to be prepared for a dental emergency is to have an established dental emergency kit to pull resources from. These are tools designed to make managing your dental emergency easier to deal with, not prevent a visit to our office. A few of these tools include:

  • Small containers with a tight lid
  • Gauze pads
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Bottle of acetaminophen (you can also carry ibuprofen or naproxen sodium)
  • Contact number to our office for easy reference

What are the best painkillers for a toothache?

There are many painkillers out there that can provide effective relief for your dental discomfort. However, this relief will only be temporary, so you should not be taking them in order to avoid scheduling a visit with our office. Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and acetaminophen both work to reduce discomfort, making them great options for providing relief. However, you should avoid aspirin as it can cause a burning sensation when coming into direct contact with your tooth.

What is the best way to preserve a knocked-out tooth?

We recommend placing your tooth back into its socket in order to keep it preserved for longer. While this is a great way to keep the tooth preserved until you arrive, milk is a great option as well for one main reason: proteins. Milk contains proteins that stimulate the growth of tooth root cells. This makes sure that the roots do not swell or become damaged further.