Emergency Dentistry

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Are you experiencing a painful toothache? Do you have a cracked or knocked out tooth? Decatur Woods Dental is here to help! We prioritize dental emergencies to help you find relief from pain. In 2019, the journal Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America found that, on average, Americans visit the ER 750,000 times each year due to dental emergencies. Many of these emergencies can be handled by family dentists such as Dr. Keller at Decatur Woods Dental.

If you have a knocked out tooth or other dental emergency, please call us on your way so we can be ready for your arrival.

Handing a Knocked Out Tooth

It can be a traumatic experience for a tooth to become knocked out. In many instances the tooth can be reinserted so long as you follow a few steps to keep the tooth alive:

Do not attempt to sanitize the tooth.

Even if the tooth has fallen on the floor or soil, you should not attempt to wash the tooth.

Hold the tooth by the crown, not the root.

The roots of the tooth are very sensitive and are prone to damage. Therefore, only handle the tooth by the crown.

Try to reinsert the tooth into its socket.

In some cases, a tooth can be reinserted into the socket. If you are able to do this, you should still visit your dentist as soon as possible.

If you cannot reinsert the tooth.

If you find it difficult to reinsert the tooth into its socket, the next best option is to keep the tooth in an environment that is moist and has a pH similar to your saliva. Adults can keep the tooth under their tongue or in their cheek so long as this doesn’t pose a choking hazard. For children with knocked out teeth, it’s best to keep the tooth in a spit-moistened paper towel or even a cup of milk.

Visit your dentist ASAP!

When a tooth becomes knocked out, the sooner you seek help, the better the outcome will be. A tooth can only survive up to an hour outside of the mouth, so make sure you visit the dentist as soon as possible.

What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?

Not all dental pains and chipped teeth constitute dental emergencies. Here are a few instances of when you should seek emergency treatment for dental pain or trauma:

Nerve is exposed. When a tooth has become cracked or chipped and the nerve of the tooth has become exposed, you will most likely experience quite a bit of pain and sensitivity. If you have an exposed nerve, save yourself the pain and visit with a dentist as soon as you can.

Pain or sensitivity accompanied by foul taste. If you are experiencing lingering tooth pain that is accompanied by a foul taste, it likely means an infection is present. A tooth infection can lead to an abscess, which can be life-threatening.

Chipped tooth. If a piece of tooth has become chipped off, there is still a chance that the piece can be reattached. Keep the piece in a saliva-moistened paper towel and bring it to the dentist.

Is a Loose Tooth a Dental Emergency?

Surprisingly, most cases of loose teeth resolve themselves, especially in cases of dental trauma. When a tooth becomes loose due to dental trauma, it usually means the fibrous connective tissues have become stretched. This soft tissue should heal on its own and the tooth should become firm in the socket. It’s actually more concerning for a tooth to become loose in the absence of dental trauma.

When a tooth becomes loose (or “wiggly”) and the looseness is unrelated to any type of dental trauma, it could indicate periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can cause the connective tissues to die, ultimately resulting in tooth loss and loss of jawbone material.

Visit Us for Dental Emergencies in Indianapolis

If you have a dental emergency that can’t wait, come visit Decatur Woods Dental. We are located on the southwest side of Indianapolis at 3715 Kentucky Avenue (Suite A). From 465, take the Kentucky Avenue/IN-67 exit heading into the city. We are located near the CVS. Check our hours for further details.

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