Emergency Dentistry

Dental problems can arise at any time, often outside of typical office hours. An unexpected blow to the mouth while playing sports or because of another form of trauma can chip or crack teeth or knock them out entirely. A niggling sensation in a tooth can develop into a full-blown toothache, a painful condition that is impossible to ignore. Luckily, we are here to help you at Dr. Eric Yao’s office.

Our dentist, Dr. Eric Yao, makes every effort to see patients in pain or discomfort as quickly as possible, providing an initial diagnosis and pain relief. Even when we can’t see you immediately, you will find our dental team has a wealth of useful information to offer you over the phone. We can talk to you about how best to cope with the problem until you can get to see us, and we can offer vital reassurance as we understand dental emergencies are often upsetting and even a bit scary. Here are some other advantages benefits of emergency dentistry.

Discovering the Extent of the Damage

You know something is wrong with a tooth or another part of your mouth, but until you see a dentist, you don’t really know the extent of the damage or infection. Sometimes things can seem much worse than they are, but conversely, a tiny problem may mask a bigger issue that requires urgent care. Seeking emergency dentistry helps provide you with all the information you need. We can discuss all possible options for treatment with you, so you know exactly where you stand and what needs to happen next.

There’s a Better Chance of Saving the Tooth

Often, when a tooth is badly infected, is dislodged or knocked out in an accident, the chances of saving it are much better when you seek emergency dental care straightaway. When a tooth is severely infected, immediate treatment can help to prevent the infection from spreading, at which stage it may be necessary to remove the tooth, an event we want to avoid whenever possible! You should never delay emergency dental care is a severe tooth infection is causing facial swelling or you have developed a fever, or generally feel unwell. Sometimes the bacteria causing the infection can spread beyond the tooth, affecting overall health.

A dislodged or knocked out tooth requires urgent emergency care as there is only a small window of opportunity where we can potentially save the tooth. If you do dislodge or knock out a tooth, contact us immediately so we can talk you through what to do next and how to care for your mouth and the tooth until you can come into see us. If you do knock out a tooth entirely, retrieve the tooth carefully, avoiding touching the root area, and rinse off any visible dirt. Ideally, try to reinsert the tooth into the empty socket, ensuring it faces the right way around. You will need to hold the tooth in place with a clean finger or bite biting down gently on a clean tissue until you can come to see us. Only try to reinsert adult teeth, as children’s milk or primary teeth should never be reinserted, but they will still need to see a dentist urgently. If you can’t face reinserting the tooth, store it in a little milk or saliva or you can buy an over-the-counter soaking solution, especially for this purpose. It is better not to use plain water, but if you have to, add a pinch of salt.

Get Pain Relief More Quickly

When you first come to see us, our immediate concern is to eliminate pain and to help you feel more comfortable while diagnosing the problem. Although you may be able to dampen the pain with over-the-counter painkillers, these won’t address the underlying problem and won’t always work.

Stop Your Imagination Working Overtime

When you have a dental emergency, it’s tempting to imagine the worst-case scenario and to think a situation is possibly direr than it is. Whatever the emergency, there is always a solution and once you receive emergency dental care, you will know the exact cause of the problem and how to deal with it next. It eliminates the ‘what ifs’ and allows you to concentrate on what needs to be done. After diagnosing the problem, we can talk to you about all possible treatment options. There may be more than one solution to discuss so we aim to make sure you have all the information you need to take back control of your dental health.

The Faster You Seek Treatment, the Quicker Your Recovery

The sooner you see a dentist and get a diagnosis and receive initial treatment, the sooner you can look forward to a complete recovery. It is common sense, but emergency dental care will help you get back to normal more quickly so you can bite, chew, and smile in comfort and with confidence.

Peace of Mind

Trying to get a good night's sleep with a severe toothache is nearly impossible, and when you have an untreated dental emergency, it is tricky to rest comfortably. Now contrast that with seeing an emergency dentist quickly, addressing the cause of the pain, and receiving immediate dental care. You will be able to rest far more comfortably knowing everything is under control.

Avoiding the Need for Emergency Dental Care

Often, dental emergencies can be avoided, or the damage is minimized through ongoing preventive dental care. When you routinely see Dr. Yao for checkups and cleanings, it reduces the risk of severe dental infections as any problems are more quickly detected and treated, sometimes well before they cause pain and discomfort. However, if it’s been a while since you last saw a dentist, then please don’t worry. We treat everyone with kindness and compassion and realize many people avoid regular dental care because of fear or anxiety. Our caring dental team can help you overcome issues with anxiety, and if needed, can use sedation dentistry to keep you comfortable and relaxed during treatment.

Each year, thousands of teeth are knocked out during sporting accidents, and wearing a custom-made mouthguard can reduce this risk. A custom mouthguard is specifically made to fit comfortably over your teeth and gums, providing the maximum level of protection without hindering breathing or speech. It’s far better than anything you can buy over-the-counter.