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Dental Emergencies

Emergency Dentist Serving Rockford, IL Patients

Dental emergencies can be frightening and painful, but prompt treatment minimizes pain in the long run. Even if you're nervous about dental procedures, it's much better to address problems as soon as they arise. Many minor dental problems can lead to severe infections if left untreated.

Teeth can become fractured by trauma, grinding, or biting hard objects. For some patients, fillings, crowns, and other restorative devices can be damaged or fall out of the mouth completely. If there is severe pain, it is essential to make an appointment with the dentist as quickly as possible. The pain caused by dental emergencies almost always gets worse without treatment, and dental issues can seriously jeopardize physical health.

Here are a few common types of dental emergencies and how to deal with them.

Avulsed Tooth (Tooth Knocked Out)

If a tooth has been knocked out of the mouth, it is essential to see a dentist immediately. When a tooth exits the mouth, tissues, nerves, and blood vessels become damaged. If the tooth can be placed back into its socket within an hour, there is a chance the tissues will grow to support the tooth once again. The dentist will try to replace the tooth in its natural socket. In some cases, the tooth will reattach, but if the inner mechanisms of the teeth are seriously damaged, root canal therapy may be necessary.

If you or your child has an avulsed tooth, please call us at (815) 633-3865 for assistance.

Lost Filling or Crown

Crowns or fillings may come loose while eating. Once they are out of the mouth, the affected tooth may be incredibly sensitive to temperature changes and pressure. Crowns generally become loose because the tooth beneath is decaying. The decay causes shape changes in the tooth, meaning that the crown no longer fits.

If a crown has dropped out of the mouth, make a dental appointment as soon as possible. Keep the crown in a cool, safe place because there is a possibility that the dentist can reinsert it. If the crown is out of the mouth for a long period of time, the tooth may shift or sustain further damage. The dentist will check the crown to see if it still fits. If it does, it will be reattached to the tooth. Where decay is noted, it will be treated, and a new crown will be made.

If you have a lost filling or crown, please call or visit us today for emergency dental care.

Cracked or Broken Teeth

The teeth are strong, but they are still prone to fractures, cracks, and breaks. Sometimes fractures are fairly painless, but if the crack extends down into the root, it is likely that the pain will be extreme. Fractures, cracks, and breaks can take several different forms, but they are generally caused by trauma, grinding, or biting. If a tooth has been fractured or cracked, there is no alternative but to see the dentist as quickly as possible.

The nature of the break or fracture will limit what the dentist is able to do. If a fracture or crack extends into the root, root canal therapy may be the only effective way to retain the tooth. In the case of a complete break, the dentist will usually affix the fragment back onto the tooth as a temporary measure.

In the event of an emergency, please contact us right away for assistance.

Dislodged or Loose Teeth

When a tooth has been dislodged or loosened from its socket by trauma or decay, it might be possible to save it. If the tooth remains in the mouth and attached to the blood vessels and nerves, there is a good chance root canal therapy will not be necessary.

It is important to call the dentist immediately to make an appointment. In the meantime, use a cold compress and over-the-counter medications to relieve pain. The dentist will reposition the tooth and add splints to stabilize it. If the tooth fails to heal, root canal therapy may be required.

If you have questions or concerns about dental emergencies, please contact Dr. Herlihey.