When most people think of emergencies, medical issues typically come to mind. What is often overlooked is the need for emergency dentistry. Trauma, injuries, and severe oral health issues occur anytime of day and require immediate assessment, and many times treatment, by a dentist.
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What is Emergency Dentistry?
Knowing when you need an emergency dentist in Beverly Hills s important, as some problems cannot wait for normal business hours. Dental emergencies are defined as problems with the teeth, gums, jaw, and bones that, without immediate intervention, will worsen quickly or cause complications in the future.
Why Emergency Dentistry is Important
In Los Angeles, urgent dental care is important because it helps to keep your teeth healthy and prevents complications, such as bleeding and infections. Some dental emergencies, such as dislodged teeth, make it hard to chew, drink, and talk. Getting these problems evaluated quickly alleviates symptoms and promotes proper healing.
How Do I Know If I Have a Dental Emergency?
Not every problem needs to be evaluated by a 24/7 dentist. Some of the most common symptoms of dental emergencies are:
- Moderate to severe bleeding from a tooth socket or along the gum line
- Broken teeth
- Teeth that are dislodged or loosened due to an impact
- Severe tooth pain
- Signs of infection, such as pus or a strange taste in the mouth
- Swelling in the gums or cheek area
These are just some of the common signs of dental emergencies. When in doubt, it is best to contact Dr. Vafa to discuss your concerns. He will determine if you need to be seen immediately or if the issue can wait until a regular appointment.
What are Some Common Dental Emergencies?
Abscesses, dislodged teeth, sports injuries, tooth pain, and broken teeth are the most common dental emergencies, but there are many others.
Abscesses are pockets of infection that typically develop within soft tissue. The challenge with an abscess is that there may not be an obvious opening on the soft tissue surface. Rather, you may notice tenderness, swelling, and pain. You may feel an unusual lump or bump on the soft tissue, including the gums. Abscesses develop when bacteria infiltrate the soft tissue and causes an infection. Left untreated, oral abscesses can spread infection to other neighboring organs, such as the brain. Sepsis is commonly caused by oral abscesses.
Trauma to teeth can cause the tooth to dislodge from the socket. The tooth may come out in its entirety or the tooth may break into fragments. This most often occurs during car accidents, contact sports, and other types of impacts. Dr. Vafa has also treated dislodged teeth that occurred when a person bit down on a hard object or piece of food. If the tooth is loose, Dr. Vafa may be able to save it with an emergency dental procedure. If the tooth is broken, he will remove the remaining fragments. Teeth that are completely removed from the socket require cleaning of the area, stitches, and, possibly, bone grafts.
Tooth pain that requires emergency dentistry may develop as a dull throbbing or sharp pain. The pain may be persistent or only noticeable when you chew. You may have an abscess, infection, bone loss, loose tooth, and other possible oral health issues that require quick attention.
Most cases of broken or chipped teeth do not require emergency dental care, but you should know when quick treatment is appropriate. If your chipped or broken tooth is accompanied by extreme pain, chances are that the nerve is exposed. An emergency dentist should be contacted right away for an evaluation.
Sports injuries to the mouth are common, especially for teenagers and young adults. Almost 40% of all dental emergencies are linked to sports and extracurricular activities. Oral injuries that happen during sports include soft tissue damage, such as lacerations, as well as broken teeth, dislodged teeth, and chipped teeth.
What are Common Dental Emergencies for Children?
Children can certainly experience dental emergencies. Young teeth are prone to infections, just as in adults and teenagers. Playing exposes children to situations that may cause injuries similar to sports injuries. Your child may also need emergency dentistry as the teeth grow into place. A tooth that presses against another may cause severe pain for your child that requires immediate attention.
What You Should Do in a Dental Emergency
First and foremost, don’t panic. Try to control any bleeding by pressing gauze against the area. If the tooth is loose, do not touch it or try to move it. Contact Dr. Vafa at his phone number, and he will guide you through any remaining steps that are required. He may be able to manage the situation without an office visit, or he may request that you go to his practice for treatment right away.
Treatments for Dental Emergencies
Treatments for dental emergencies vary based on the nature and severity of the problem. Some of the most common treatments that are used for emergency dentistry are:
- Antibiotics for infection
- Prescription or non-prescription pain medications and anti-inflammatories
- Emergency dental extractions
- Root canal surgery
- Dental x-rays
Follow-Up Care After a Dental Emergency
Follow-up care is essential in all dental emergencies. If medications are adequate, Dr. Vafa will schedule an appointment for you to come to his office during normal business hours. If you are seen on an emergency basis, Dr. Vafa schedules follow-up appointments to check the area and see how well it is healing.
Is Emergency Dentistry Covered By Insurance?
Most dental emergencies are covered by insurance. Because the situation requires immediate attention, you may not know the cost of treatment beforehand. Dr. Vafa strives to maximize dental insurance benefits to help patients afford the cost of emergency dentistry. You may want to check with your insurance prior to having an emergency so that you can understand your coverage.
Tips for Preventing Dental Emergencies
Fortunately, you can take steps to prevent dental emergencies.
- Wear a mouthguard when participating in sports
- Watch children carefully during playtime
- See your dentist regularly
- Brush and floss every day
Where Can I Find Emergency Dentistry Near Me?
If you are looking for an emergency dentist in the Beverly Hills and Los Angeles area that is open 24/7 for dental emergencies, contact Dr. Vafa. He will evaluate your situation and help you get in as quickly as possible.