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Columbia Emergency Dentistry

Woman holding jaw in pain If you or a loved one are suffering from a severe dental injury or toothache pain, don’t hesitate to contact Columbia Healthy Smiles right away to schedule an emergency dentistry appointment. In most cases, we should be able to see you on the same day as your initial call, and in the meantime, we can provide instructions for how to effectively manage your situation until you reach us. Our dental team here in Columbia, MO is dedicated to always treating patients with focus, compassion, and personalized attention. We also welcome emergency dentistry patients from Ashland, Centralia, Fulton, Hallsville, and beyond. Let us know right away if you’re in need of assistance! It’s always best to get to work repairing damaged smiles right away.

Common Dental Emergencies

Man receiving dental careWhat constitutes an emergency? Many patients hesitate to reach out to us when they experience decay, damage, or toothache because they don’t feel completely confident they need emergency dental care. However, whether or not we end up recommending you come to see us immediately, it’s always best to get started repairing dental damage before it has time to spread or worsen. The following are some of the most common cases your Columbia emergency dentist, Dr. Philip Batson, sees that he would consider urgent in nature:

  • Fractured tooth or dental restoration (filling, crown, bridge, etc.)
  • Partially dislodged tooth or restoration
  • Knocked-out tooth or restoration
  • Oral bleeding
  • Jaw or soft tissue injury
  • Something stuck between teeth that can’t be removed
  • Significant toothache and/or severe dental sensitivity

Caring for Your Smile at Home

Smiling woman in dental chairWhen you call our office for dental care, we’ll walk you through first aid and pain management steps over the phone. However, some basics to keep in mind during a dental emergency include:

  • Use cool water to gently rinse out the mouth or clean off knocked out teeth or parts of teeth. Do not scrub or brush damaged tissue or use oral hygiene products unless directly instructed to do so.
  • Use floss to remove objects stuck between teeth. Do not use sharp or pointed items as this may damage soft tissue.
  • Take over the counter pain relievers as directed for discomfort or sensitivity, but do not place an aspirin directly onto the tooth.
  • Apply pressure with gauze or clean cloth to slow bleeding.
  • Use an ice pack or cold compress to slow bleeding, reduce swelling, and relieve pain.
  • Replace a knocked out tooth or dental restoration in the socket it came from whenever possible. If you’re unable to replace the tooth or restoration, store it in a container of water or milk until you reach the office.

Preventing Dental Emergencies

Man holding jaw in painWe focus our patients’ personalized dental care plans on prevention. While you may not be able to plan for or avoid dental emergencies, there are some changes you can make to reduce your risk for an emergency, including:

  • Brush teeth at least two minutes at a time at least twice a day, using a soft bristled toothbrush.
  • Floss teeth at least once each day.
  • Visit our office twice a year for dental checkups and teeth cleanings.
  • Do not use teeth as tools to open packages or crack nuts.
  • Do not eat ice, bite nails, or chew on other hard objects.
  • Wear sportsguards as directed to protect your smile during athletic events and practices.
  • Wear mouthguards at nighttime to protect teeth from grinding and clenching during sleep.
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