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How do I know if something is an emergency?
When you have a dental health concern, you have a decision to make. Is it a concern that can hold a few days, enough to book a regular appointment at Antoine Dental Center, or is it an emergency, requiring immediate action? We’ve provided a set of guidelines below, which represent a variety of situations that we consider to be emergencies. If you fit any of these criteria, we recommend you come into our Houston office for our top-notch, highly accessible emergency services.
- Bleeding or lacerated gums due to trauma sustained to the mouth
- Teeth that have been knocked out or noticeably loosened
- Teeth that are severely cracked or fully broken
- Remember that mouth injuries can affect your jaw as well as your gums and teeth. If you have trouble closing your mouth or if bringing your upper and lower jaws together causes you pain, you should seek immediate medical attention.
- If you sustain any trauma to the mouth, it’s best to come in immediately so your dentist can examine you for any problems you may not be able to detect on your own.
If you aren’t sure whether your problem qualifies as a dental emergency, give Antoine Dental Center a call to explain your situation. We will give an individualized recommendation for the appropriate timeline of care.
At the Antoine Dental Center, we want you and your family to be prepared. We offer a whole host of services to get your mouth healthy, and to keep your smile looking shiny and white. From Professional Teeth Whitening to Short-term Adult Orthodontics, you have many options. But one of the most vital services we offer is Emergency Dental Care.
What should I do if part or all of my tooth falls out?
Keep it! Our preference for dealing with missing or broken teeth is to save your natural tooth if we can. We recommend you have a dental emergency kit, so you can have a Save-A-Tooth solution on hand in an emergency like this. If you don’t have Save-A-Tooth, rinse the tooth to remove any debris and place it back in your mouth—the saliva will help it remain salvageable for longer. If returning the tooth to your mouth isn’t an option, then immediately submerge the tooth in cold milk or salt water.
Remember that time is of the essence when it comes to saving a broken tooth, so immediately after you’ve followed the advice above, head over to our emergency care. Mere minutes can make a huge difference in our ability to successfully re-implant your tooth!
What if I lose part or all of my tooth and can’t recover it?
If you’ve lost all or part of your tooth and can’t find it (this often happens when you lose a tooth while chewing), don’t panic! We have a variety of options to replace permanently lost teeth and will be happy to work through them with you once we’ve administered treatment for any pain you may be experiencing. Possible replacements include bridges, dentures, and implants.
Going without a tooth permanently isn’t a good option. That’s because, beyond aesthetic reasons, having a full set of teeth helps avoid long-term problems down the road; missing teeth can push your remaining teeth out of alignment, cause your jaw to weaken, and lead to disorders like temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), which is caused by uneven chewing. A missing tooth can also impact your speaking and chewing abilities.
What if my filling falls out?
If your filling falls out, call Antoine Dental Center and head in to our Houston office for emergency care. This doesn’t mean you should panic! Our dentists are highly experienced in treating lost fillings and will start their examination immediately, taking an X-ray to decide on the best treatment.
Treatment for a lost filling varies according to the situation. Sometimes we can replace it with another filling, and our experts will guide you through your filling material options. Other times, we may choose a root canal procedure and use a fix like a crown or a cap to restore your tooth. Very rarely, your dentist might decide than an extraction is the best option.
Why has my filling fractured?
Fillings can be chipped or broken without being completely knocked out of their socket. This can happen when grinding leads to tooth wear over time, when bacteria infects the area around the fillings and leads to a serious infection, or when your fillings are past their expiration date.
A restoration like a filling needs to be replaced over time. Regular visits to your dentist will help anticipate the point at which it’s time to switch out your fillings. Routine check-ups will help you avoid a situation in which a filling falls out unexpectedly. Remember that your fillings require the same standard of care you apply to your natural teeth; regular flossing and brushing will help you keep your filling healthy for longer.
How do I know if I have damaged my tooth?
Knowing you have sustained damage to your tooth can be as obvious as chipping one of your front teeth or knocking out a tooth entirely. But damage can also be much less noticeable. Cracks can be slim and not visible to the naked eye while still causing short- and long-term problems if left untreated. Keep an eye out for the following symptoms and remember, if in doubt, give us a call to explain your situation and we’ll provide you with expert advice. Symptoms may include:
- Sensitivity to cold and hot food and liquids
- Sensitivity to air
- Pain that worsens over time or doesn’t abate
- Pain while chewing or when otherwise touched
What can cause a tooth to crack, break, or be knocked out?
There are many possible reasons for a broken, fractured, or missing tooth. Sports-related injuries are a common source, whether it’s a head-on collision or a dive to get the ball. Commonplace accidents like falls can also damage your teeth. Sometimes, you might just bite on a piece of food that is too hard for your teeth to break through. It’s a good idea to avoid biting ice and other very hard food, like hard candies.
What can I do to minimize the possibility of sports-related injuries?
If you play a sport with a high likelihood of collisions, you should think about investing in a mouth guard. Mouth guards help prevent cracked or broken teeth. While you can buy them at most sporting goods store, we recommend you come into Antoine Dental Center for a consultation—we can help make a mouth guard custom-made for your teeth, including special mouth guards for those who wear braces. Fit matters! And a custom-fit mouth guard is much, much less expensive than procedures you might need to fix or replace a lost tooth. An important thing to remember about mouth guards is that you need to keep them clean—both the mouth guard and its container should be cleaned regularly. Helmets, especially helmets with face guards, can also provide an extra protective measure.
Even if you follow the above precautions, remember that accidents happen, no matter how careful or expert an athlete is. Don’t let this stop you from enjoying your favorite sports, though. Our emergency services will take good care of you in the event of a sports accident!
What counts as an emergency-level cracked, broken, or missing tooth?
If part of your tooth has broken off or if the whole tooth is missing, you should head straight over to our Houston-based emergency specialists at Antoine Dental Center. Even if the breakage site isn’t painful, you should seek immediate medical evaluation and treatment—bacteria can get into sensitive areas exposed by broken or missing teeth and cause infections that may have long-term consequences or require long-term treatment.
Whether you should seek out immediate medical attention for a cracked tooth depends on the severity of the fracture. If it’s a severe fracture and causing you substantial pain, that’s a sign that you should head straight to Antoine Dental Center. If the crack is more like a chipped tooth and isn’t causing you pain, you can schedule an appointment for the next couple of days. If you’re in doubt, it’s probably best to seek emergency care. Better safe than sorry!
What are other sources of dental pain?
Not all tooth pain comes from a tooth being fractured, broken, or knocked out. One potential source of pain is a dry socket, which qualifies for emergency treatment. A dry socket is an inflammation of a tooth socket and it can happen after a tooth extraction if the healing process is disrupted. Dry sockets can cause both sharp and dull pain and require professional treatment in order to heal.
An abscess tooth is another possible source of oral pain—it stems from a bacterial infection inside of the tooth itself. There are both tooth abscesses and gum abscesses. In the former, an abscess can develop in response to periodontal (gum) disease, cracked teeth, or tooth decay. Gum abscesses, on the other hand, can cause sharp pain and look like red and swollen lesions. Periodontal abscesses can also form for those with periodontitis; they consist of a bacterial infection in a periodontal pocket that forms in response to periodontitis inflammation. Untreated abscesses can lead to a serious infection so, if you suspect you have an abscess, it’s best to seek dental treatment quickly.
What are the symptoms of an abscess?
In addition to pain, which can range from a low level to a very high level, abscesses may cause any of the following symptoms:
- Swelling and redness in the gums
- Extreme dental sensitivity to temperature
- Swollen lymph nodes in your jaw and neck area
- Bad taste in your mouth
If you’re in severe, significant pain, you should head over to Antoine Dental Center for one of the best emergency dental care offices in Houston.
What can I do to relieve pain before visiting the emergency clinic?
If a tooth is causing substantial pain, either because it’s fractured or broken, you may take over-the-counter pain medication. If there’s substantial bleeding due to the injury, you can use a cold, wet compress to help staunch the blood flow.
What kind of treatment do Antoine Dental Center’s emergency services provide?
Our emergency dentists are trained to evaluate a situation quickly and accurately and develop treatment plans for each individual patient that comes to our Houston office. Treatment for broken, fractured, or missing teeth will vary. If you have a severe infection in your dental pulp, we may have to conduct a root canal procedure to remove and replace it with a filling. We may hold off on taking that action right away if it looks like your dental pulp can recover naturally without infection; short-term solutions include placing a temporary crown over the tooth while we assess the best long-term option. Crowns also restore chipped teeth to their original smooth appearance, so you don’t have to worry about permanent damage to your smile. To care for severely broken teeth, we may pursue a root canal procedure or decide on tooth extraction, depending on the situation.
The calm and expert dentists at Antoine Dental Center’s emergency services will explain treatment options and the best short-term and long-term treatments to make sure you are comfortable with and understand your care.
Make an Appointment!
If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, call us at the Antoine Dental Center in Houston, TX to schedule an appointment. Our number is 713-766-6915. We have same day appointments available. Your emergency is our priority! We like to keep it simple!
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Dr. Nazari teaches that oral health is best facilitated with comprehensive preventative care. He believes it is never too late for a healthy, beautiful smile. His dedication to excellent care has led him to complete over 1,800 hours of continuing education, with more than 500 hours in orthodontics, occlusion and TMJ correction alone. He is a proud member of the American Dental Association, the Texas Dental Association, the Greater Houston Dental Society and the Academy of General Dentistry. He holds certificates in orthodontics, implant dentistry and cosmetic dentistry, and he is a Kois Center graduate. When he is not in the office, Dr. Nazari can be found reading or swimming with his wife and two children, Camyar and Ava. They also enjoy a good movie from time to time.