Dental emergencies never tend to strike at a convenient time – quite the opposite. If you or a loved one is struggling with a sudden, serious oral injury or a painful “toothache,” Kirlough Family Dentistry is here to offer support and relief when it’s needed most. Dr. Jon Kirlough has over two decades of experience in the field, and he makes time for urgent care as soon as possible. In many cases, he can even accommodate you on the same day as your initial call! Contact us today in the greater Middleburg Heights, OH area to schedule an emergency visit.
There are two major types of dental emergencies. One is caused by physical accidents and/or facial trauma, which can result in dental breakage, serious fractures, and even the loss of natural teeth. The other type occurs when good oral hygiene practices are neglected, leading to severe, painful infections in one or more teeth. Our team can provide valuable assistance with a wide variety of emergency situations, but here are some tips for what to do when faced with the most common issues:
Significant, lingering dental pain is typically caused by an advanced infection underneath the tooth enamel. It’s important to contact a trusted dentist for help right away – we can often relieve the discomfort and even rescue the tooth from extraction through root canal therapy. In the meantime, it is fine to take a painkiller like Aspirin to manage your symptoms, although it’s important to NOT place the medication directly on the oral tissue. This may cause a burning sensation.
Facial swelling is likely after fracturing a tooth, but the use of a cold compress can help keep this symptom under control. If any large pieces of the dental structure have come loose, gather them and plan to bring them with you to our dental office. If the damage isn’t too severe, a dental crown can often bring back your tooth’s original strength and appearance. Alternatively, an extraction may be the only option for preserving the patient’s wellbeing and relieving their pain, although rest assured that we will always do everything in our power to keep your natural smile intact first.
If a tooth has been entirely dislodged from the mouth, stay calm. There is a very small window for successful reattachment, so don’t wait to contact Kirlough Family Dentistry. If you are able to, place the tooth gently back into its original socket and hold it there. If this isn’t possible, place the tooth in a container of milk to keep it moist until you’re able to reach our Middleburg Heights dental office.
Losing a filling or crown isn’t necessarily an urgent emergency, but the damage should still be remedied as soon as possible. If you still have the crown, you can try to slip it back over the tooth after cleaning the inside; some tooth “cement” (available in most pharmacies) or denture adhesive can help hold it in place until you’re able to see Dr. Kirlough.
While it’s not possible to avoid dental emergencies with 100% certainty, there are good ways to decrease you and your family’s odds. Here are some helpful tips:
Dental emergencies, like people, tend to be very unique in nature. Treating one may be as simple as prescribing pain medication or as serious as needing root canal therapy, extensive tooth replacement, and more. Your first step should be to schedule a dedicated appointment with Dr. Kirlough so he can assess your symptoms with digital X-rays, provide immediate relief from discomfort, and then create a confident estimate for further care.
Do you want to know more about how to respond to a dental emergency in Middleburg Heights? Our expert staff has answered some of the most common questions about emergency dentistry below. From sleeping with tooth pain to when you should visit the ER, we cover it all! If you don’t see your question or concern addressed here, do not hesitate to contact our office.
Unfortunately, most emergency rooms are not able to address dental emergencies effectively. In some cases, ER doctors may be able to prescribe antibiotics or pain medication, but they will likely not be equipped to deal with the deeper issue. However, there are three main exceptions where an ER visit is a better option, including:
In virtually all other circumstances, you should visit a dentist first. At Kirlough Family Dentistry, we offer same-day emergency appointments and have evening and weekend availability. So, if you ever need urgent dental care, we are just a phone call away!
If your child’s tooth comes out, don’t try to put it back in the open socket. After all, baby teeth are meant to fall out eventually. However, it is possible for baby teeth to come out too soon, which is why you should schedule an exam for them to ensure no damage has occurred. Permanent teeth can erupt too early if a baby tooth comes out too soon. If bleeding does not stop or you believe they have a damaged jaw, take them to the emergency room.
Enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). However, it does not have the ability to heal on its own. If your tooth becomes chipped, fractured, or otherwise broken, only professional treatment will prevent further damage. It’s especially important to visit an emergency dentist in Middleburg Heights if your tooth is sharp or jagged as this can lead to you cutting your gums or oral tissue by accident. Depending on the severity of the damage, Dr. Kirlough has multiple solutions.
When dealing with a toothache at night, it’s best to keep your head elevated. Supporting your upper body with a stack of pillows prevents blood from rushing to your head and intensifying your toothache. In addition, you can take over-the-counter pain medication as needed and use a cold compress to reduce your discomfort. Finally, if you are experiencing tooth pain, avoid foods that are acidic, cold, or hard right before bed for improved comfort.
If you accidentally drop your dentures and they break, you should not use superglue to try to fix them. The chemicals in superglue can be toxic and result in allergic reactions in some patients. It can also affect the way food tastes – and not in a good way! Additionally, superglue does not do well in damp environments, so chances are it won’t last for very long after it’s applied to your dentures.