Weekend Dental Emergencies

Are you really more likely to have a dental emergency on the weekend, when most dentist offices are closed? It sure seems that way. At OnCall Dental in Fresno we don’t have any statistics to support that one way or the other, but we definitely have some ideas about it.

It could be that you’re more likely to have a dental emergency on the weekend, for the simple reason that we’re more active on those two glorious days between work weeks. The kids are in soccer leagues, and so are some of the adults. We try to get to the gym, or out on our bicycles for a quick twenty miles. And is there a better time for a pickup basketball game?

We get out to the movies more on weekends, too. That might not seem like a recipe for a dental emergency, but try telling that to someone with a popcorn shell hopelessly wedged between their teeth.

And then there are the toothaches. A weekend may only be two days long, but when your tooth is throbbing it can seem like two centuries.

There is no substitute for professional dental care. But there are some home remedies you can try that might bring you some short-term relief. For pain from a toothache, over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can take the edge off.

There are anesthetic gels you can find at any drugstore, too. These also work, but they must be used with care, because they can irritate your gums. Follow all label instructions carefully.

For those who prefer natural treatments, placing cloves in the side of your cheek is said to work wonders. Use a whole clove, and put it right next to an aching tooth. Clove oil can naturally settle down inflamed nerves.

Of course, there is always a good-old-fashioned ice pack. Wrap ice in a towel  and put it on the side of your face. It’s also a good idea to rinse your mouth out with warm salt water. Just be sure to spit, not swallow.

But seeing a dentist is the best course of action. On weekends, and after-hours during the week, your best bet is OnCall Dental in Fresno. We’re here 24/7 and specialize in emergency dentistry, including toothache relief. Walk-ins are always welcome.


Toothache! What To Do Until You Get Here

Your gums and jaw are tender and throbbing from a toothache, and the pain seems to radiate throughout your head. It’s nearly your bedtime, too – after hours for your usual dentist, and most other dentists, too. But OnCall Dental in Fresno is open, and we treat toothaches and other dental emergencies.

Driving here is out of the question, however, and it’s going to be a little while until your ride shows up. Meanwhile the pain is relentless. What can you do until you get here and get some proper treatment?

Here are some home remedies for toothache pain, and after gulping down an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofin, you might want to give one of them a try. They’re no substitute for the dentist, but if they make the next half hour more bearable, what is there to lose?

  • Saltwater rinse. This one is tried and true, and good for the short term. Mix about half a teaspoon of ordinary table salt into eight ounces of warm water. Switsh it gently around your mouth and then spit it out. Repeat.
  • Ice, or a cold compress. Wrap it in a soft towel and hold it against the side of your face. It can help ease the pain. If there is any swelling, it could indicate an abscess. We’ll figure that out when you get here; just be sure to get here without delay.
  • Garlic. You read that right. Take a clove of garlic, crush it, and place it against the sore tooth. There is no science to this, and it may be nothing more than an old wive’s tale, but the allicin released by crushing is said to be a natural disease fighter. It may or may not help – but it will do a number on your breath. You probably knew that already.

The most important thing is to get to OnCall Dental in Fresno as soon as you can. We specialize in emergency dentistry, including toothache relief, and we’re here 24/7. Walk-ins are always welcome.


Dental Emergencies and Pain Management

An emergency dental procedure isn’t something you can plan for. One minute you’re shooting baskets with your friends, and the next you’ve taken an elbow to the jaw and are standing there with a bloody tooth in your hand. When  that happens, make a beeline to OnCall Dental in Fresno.

Dental emergencies are our specialty. In the case of a knocked out tooth, time is of the essence. If you get here within about an hour, there is a very good chance that the tooth can be successfully re-inserted into your jaw. If it can’t be saved, you may want to think about a dental implant – but we’re getting ahead of things.

In a dental emergency one of the first things we think about is pain management. We provide several sedation dentistry options. One of them, oral conscious sedation, is not really good in an emergency situation, since it involves taking a sedative and waiting for it to take effect.

We use a local anesthetic to numb the affected area. Beyond that, nitrous oxide is an excellent choice. It’s been used in dentistry for more than a century and is known to be highly effective. You know it by its common name, laughing gas.

As it’s used in dentistry, nitrous oxide is really a mix of nitrous and oxygen. You breathe it in through a mask over your face. It works very quickly to put you in a very relaxed state. You may not laugh, especially if you’re worried about your emergency. But your anxiety will drop off considerably.

It works quickly, and wears off quickly too. Most patients have no side effects from nitrous oxide, although they do occur in rare cases. The most common include a headache, nausea, and/or fatigue.

If you’ve had a dental emergency, the team at OnCall Dental in Fresno wants to address it immediately and restore your teeth. And with sedation dentistry we can minimize, even eliminate, your discomfort. We specialize in emergency dentistry, and are here 24/7. Walk-ins are always welcome.


Fixing Chipped Teeth

Even when you do everything right, things can go wrong. That’s why we call those things accidents. In spite of your best efforts you can still find yourself with a chipped tooth. If that happens, don’t delay: head over to OnCall Dental in Fresno, where no appointment is necessary.

A chipped tooth is bad news. The good news is that it’s a pretty straightforward repair. We actually have several options when it comes to fixing a chipped tooth, and the one we go with will depend on the nature and severity of the chip.

The quickest way to fix a chipped tooth is with cosmetic bonding. This involves applying a composite material that we can not only shape to match the tooth; we can match the color, too. In many cases there is no need to remove any of the existing tooth surface.

Were you able to find and save the chipped-off part of the tooth? Even better. We can use bonding to reattach it. Chances are it won’t be at all noticeable when we’re finished. If you don’t have the chipped off part we can use the bonding material to replace it.

Another option for fixing a chipped tooth is a porcelain veneer. Veneers are thin shells that are attached to the front of a tooth. They’re great for covering small areas of missing tooth.

A dental crown might be considered the ultimate repair, because crowns cover everything. They’re the best option if there are large pieces of tooth that are missing.

Doing everything right to avoid chipping a tooth means different things:

  • Always wear a mouth guard when playing sports
  • Don’t use your teeth to open bottles or anything else
  • Don’t chew on ice, hard candy, or any other hard object
  • Do not grind or clench your teeth

At OnCall Dental in Fresno we specialize in emergency dentistry. We also offer a range of general dentistry procedures. We are here seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. Walk-ins are always welcome.


Emergency Tooth Extractions

If you have a toothache, it is a clear sign that there is something wrong. It may be something as minor as a cavity that needs filling. But it could be a sign of something more serious, like an infection that needs immediate attention. If there is any doubt, remember that OnCall Dental in Fresno is here, 24/7.

Our impulse is always to try to save your tooth. But an extraction may be unavoidable. This is especially true if you have wisdom teeth coming in. Wisdom teeth are the most common extractions.

When wisdom teeth become inflamed it could be a sign of pericoronitis. Most often, this is caused by a bit of food that gets trapped beneath the gums. Food debris is easily caught beneath partially-erupted wisdom teeth.

In other cases, teeth need to be pulled because of severe decay, disease, or trauma.

We will also do our best to keep you comfortable during the procedure. It’s common for patients to feel at least a little uneasy at the prospect of having a tooth extracted. Let us know if you fall into that category. We have sedation dentistry options that can get you through your procedure without needless stress.

If we extract one of your teeth, there are going to be changes in your mouth. We will have instructions for you afterward, in order to promote healing and prevent complications.

In most extractions we place a gauze pack on the socket to help a blood clot form. Do not chew on it! You’ll need to leave it in place for about forty-five minutes. We’ll supply you with some fresh gauze to replace the initial gauze pack.

Also:

  • Do not clean your teeth around the healing socket for at least 24 hours
  • Brush the rest of your teeth, however
  • Gently rinse out your mouth with warm sal water after eating
  • Do not use mouthwash
  • Take pain medication only as we  direct
  • Swelling and pain are normal; an ice pack can help
  • Avoid hot liquids and alcohol
  • Don’t use a straw

If you have any issues like fever, nausea or vomiting afterward, call us right away. In most cases you’ll be able to eat solid foods by the next day, although you must chew carefully, and not on the extraction site.

At OnCall Dental in Fresno we specialize in emergency dentistry, including extractions. We are here seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. Walk-ins are always welcome.


Knockout: A Dental Emergency

Teeth can be knocked out in many different ways: an accidental elbow to the mouth, a fistfight, or a fall at home are among the more common causes. However it happens, a knocked out tooth is a dental emergency, and you should go directly to OnCall Dental in Fresno for treatment.

When a tooth is knocked out, time is of the essence. If it can be treated within an hour or so, the chances of saving the tooth are very good.

That depends, of course, on the condition of the tooth, and the condition of the patient’s jaw. The most important thing is to keep the tooth moist. A common piece of advice is to place it in some milk. But a carton of milk isn’t always going to be available.

It’s just as effective to put the tooth into some kind of protective container, and spit on it. A cup or a baggie will do just fine. Handle the tooth with care, and do not touch the root. If there are tooth fragments, gather them up.

If the tooth is intact and moist, and if you get to OnCall Dental quickly, there’s a good chance it can be saved. While walk-ins are always welcome, it’s a good idea to phone ahead so we can be ready for your arrival.

Once you’re in the chair, a dentist will clean out any debris from the socket and then try to place the tooth back in it. If the tooth is intact then the chances of success are good. There are no guarantees, of course: positioning it correctly can be difficult. But sometimes it can be a straightforward process.

There are no two ways about it: a knocked out tooth is a genuine dental emergency. At OnCall Dental in Fresno, emergency dentistry is our specialty, as are dental implants. We are here seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. No appointment is necessary.


Emergency Root Canals

Most people do not think of a toothache as a dental emergency. Painful, yes; even inconvenient, especially when it happens on the weekend, when most dental office are closed. But an emergency? No way. When it’s your toothache, though, the sense of urgency grows. And if the tooth is abscessed, it could require an emergency root canal from OnCall Dental in Fresno.

An abcessed tooth is when a tooth’s nerve has become infected. The most common cause of this is a cavity that has gone untreated, and spreads deep into the tooth.

But cavities aren’t the only cause. A tooth can become abcessed after it cracks or breaks, and the nerve (dental pulp) is exposed. Bacteria can get in and cause infection to spread down the roots and into the bone tissue.

Infection can also happen between the gums and the tooth root. This is known as a periodontal abscess.

A root canal can correct this issue. We know from experience that the words “root canal” can strike fear into the bravest of hearts, because they are associated with great pain. But the facts are this: with modern dentistry, root canals are painless. In fact, since they fix an abscessed tooth, root canals don’t cause pain, they relieve it.

Sedation dentistry is always an option. We offer nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation.

With a root canal, we removed the damaged pulp, and then fill and seal the tooth with a crown. The root may be gone, but the tooth has been saved, and with proper care should last for many years to come.

At OnCall Dental in Fresno we specialize in emergency dentistry, including root canals. We are here seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. Walk-ins are always welcome.


Toothache Relief

There is never a good time to have a toothache. The sensation can be anything from a dull ache to sharp pain. It might be throbbing and persistent, or only there when you bite into something. You may need immediate attention, and if you do, OnCall Dental in Fresno is your go-to resource.

The most common causes of toothache pain include the following:

  • Tooth Decay. The most common cause of a toothache, by far, is tooth decay. That means a cavity, or a whole in the enamel of the tooth. Once tooth decay reaches the middle layer of a tooth, it causes increased sensitivity to touch and temperature.
  • Pulpitis. Another common cause of toothache pain is pulpitis. This is when the pulp at the center of a tooth has become inflamed and irritated. If it is reversible, we can do a drill-and-fill. If it isn’t, then a root canal is probably in order.
  • Abscess. When bacteria builds up inside a tooth’s pulp chamber and becomes infected, it causes an abscess.  The infection tries to drain itself out of the tip of the tooth root. The pressure associated with it can be very painful. Once again, a root canal may be in order.
  • Impacted tooth. This means a tooth is unable to move into its proper positiion in the mouth. It happens because other teeth or bone is in the way. The most common teeth to become impacted are the wisdom teeth, which for most people come in in the late teens or early twenties. An extraction is usually in order.
  • Sensitive Teeth. This usually means that your teeth are extra-sensitive to temperature. You don’t have a toothache in the usual sense. Fluoride treatment and brushing with sensitive-teeth toothpaste can alleviate the pain. Most toothpaste brands have a line of sensitive teeth pastes.

If you have a toothache, there is no reason to wait for your regular dentist. At OnCall Dental in Fresno we treat toothache pain, and we’re here seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. Walk-ins are always welcome.


Do I Have A Dental Emergency?

If there is a sudden problem with your teeth, the first thing you should do is call your dentist to see if you can get in for treatment right away. But dental problems have a way of happening when your dentist isn’t available. At such times, remember OnCall Dental in Fresno.

Walk-ins are always welcome here, and we will be happy to help you. But it’s important to remember that not every situation is going to be a genuine emergency.

If your teeth are giving you pain, here are some things to think about as you gauge how serious your situation is.

  • Is there bleeding? If you are bleeding from the mouth, and you cannot control it, that’s a big red flag. Head in to our office.
  • How bad is the pain? Is your pain severe? Is it the result of an accident, or is there an infection? Severe pain is another red flag that you’ve got a genuine emergency.
  • Are there any loose teeth? Even if there isn’t any pain, a loose tooth is a sign that there is a serious problem.
  • Did you lose a tooth? If you’ve had a tooth knocked out, there is no question: you have a dental emergency. The sooner you get treatment for it, the better the chances that the tooth can be saved. Time is of the essence.
  • Is there an infection? An infection, too, is definitely an emergency situation. An abcess or serious infection can even be life-threatening. It may be accompanied by swelling of the face, or knots on the gums.

Any of the above symptoms can safely be categorized as a dental emergency. OnCall Dental in Fresno is here for you.

Some things, though, are not emergencies. They may be a little frightening, but you should not have a sense of urgency.

  • Chipped teeth. If there is no pain, you can wait a day or so before getting treatment. If, however, there are sharp fragments where the chip is, or if it really hurts, consider it an emergency.
  • Lost Crown or Filling. These, generally, are not emergencies. If a crown has come off, use over-the-counter dental cement to put it back in place until you can see your dentist. You can also use denture adhesive. Do not, however, use an adhesive like super glue. If a filling has come out and it’s bothering you, a good trick is putting sugarless gum in the cavity until you get to the dentist.
  • A toothache. We know that toothaches are no fun, but provided the pain isn’t severe, it does not need immediate attention. If there is severe pain, or if there is swelling in your face, a high fever, or bumps on your gums, it is definitely an emergency situation. Head to OnCall Dental.

OnCall Dental in Fresno sees dental emergencies on a daily basis. Walk-ins are always welcome, but you can also make an appointment. We are here 24/7.


Chipped or Broken Tooth: What To Do

Your teeth are among the strongest parts of your body, but they are not invincible. A fall, a collision, or any number of other accidents can result in a chipped or broken tooth. If it happens to you or a loved one, contact OnCall Dental in Fresno right away.

If a tooth chips or breaks, it may not hurt. It’s a serious matter, but if it doesn’t hurt it doesn’t usually require immediate attention. Even if there isn’t any pain, you’re probably going to feel some sharp edges with your tongue. It’s important that you avoid that area when you chew, because chewing might chip it some more. We may be able to smooth out the chip and repair any damage with composite filling.

If your tooth is giving you pain, call us immediately. There could be a serious crack or fracture, with accompanying damage to the inside of the tooth. The sooner you get into the OnCall Dental office, the better. In severe cases it is not always possible to save the tooth.

There are some things you can do before you get to the office:

  • Clean your mouth thoroughly with warm water, swished gently
  • Apply a cold compress to your face to minimize swelling
  • Take a pain reliever with acetaminophen (don’t take aspirin). Brands with acetaminophen include Tylenol, Alka-Seltzer Plus, and NyQuil, but there are many others.

Once you’re here, we will probably take an x-ray. If there is damage to the tooth’s pulp a root canal may be in order. If not, the tooth may only need a crown.

If you have a chipped or broken tooth, take nothing for granted, even if there is no pain. OnCall Dental in Fresno treats dental emergencies on a daily basis. Walk-ins are always welcome, but you can also make an appointment. We are here 24/7.