4 Signs You Need Emergency Dental Care
Damage to teeth and gums can’t be ignored. It’s always important to act quickly if something is wrong, but some dental issues are more pressing than others. How can you know the difference between a dental problem that needs to be solved soon and a problem that needs to be solved now?
We never want our patients to put off a dental procedure when it could lead to lasting harm, so we’ve compiled a list of important warning signs that mean you should get your teeth checked out as soon as possible. After all, you’ve only got so many teeth — it’s best to keep them all in good shape.
1. Broken or missing teeth
It goes without saying that obvious physical damage to your teeth is one of the most urgent dental emergencies you can experience. If your tooth has been damaged, rinse your mouth with warm water immediately and call us as soon as possible. If your tooth has come out, gently try to put it back into the socket (without touching the root!) or keep it in your mouth to protect it until we can see you.
2. Dental abscesses
A dental abscess is a small collection of pus inside of a tooth or gums that is caused by a bacterial infection. If your symptoms include shiny red swollen gums, a fever, or pain that spreads to your jaw or neck, you may have an abscess, even if you don’t see it. Try to see us as soon as possible, but, in the meantime, you can reduce the pain of the abscess by avoiding cold drinks. Use a soft toothbrush to very gently clean the area until we can get you into the office.
3. Lost filling or crown
A crown or filling can become loose or even fall out for a variety of reasons. If you lose a crown or filling, it’s important to try to save it — we may be able to reuse it. Rinse the area with warm salt water and continue to brush the damaged tooth (gently!) until we can see you.
4. Significant pain or swelling in the teeth, gums or jaw
Constant pain or swelling in your mouth is never normal! This symptom may seem vague or common, but it could be a sign of major damage or an infection that could have nasty results if left untreated. Don’t tough it out. Call us and we will decide together whether you need to come in for an appointment.
Ignoring any of these four dental problems could result in the permanent loss of teeth. Infections can even spread to other parts of your body and cause serious general medical issues, so it’s extremely important to get your teeth examined if you experience any dental emergency on this list!
We want your tooth pain or mouth pain to stop.
First and foremost, if you are in pain, we want to help you get some relief. Then we can address any underlying causes to solve the problem using dental best practices. If you believe you’re experiencing a dental emergency, call our Sarasota, FL dental office at (941) 927-8287 as soon as possible. We’ll get you an appointment in the near future, so you can go back to your life and leave tooth pain behind.
Sedation: Making Your Dental Procedure as Comfortable as Possible
As we get older, we figure out that many things we didn’t like as children really were for our own good. Sometimes, we even end up liking some of those things, such as vegetables or early bedtime. But let’s be honest – sometimes when you’re sitting in your dentist’s waiting room listening to a poor eight-year-old boy throw a fit, you’re right there with him. Dental visits rarely end up being anyone’s favorite thing to do!
Even if going to the dentist doesn’t terrify you, the idea of a dentist visit can be nerve-wracking and uncomfortable for some people. About 15% of Americans are so intimidated by going to the dentist, they avoid it altogether – unfortunately for their teeth. Waiting to go to the dentist, or never going, can turn small dental issues into bigger, more complicated problems that are potentially more painful, too.
At Sarasota Dental Arts in Sarasota, FL, we want you to know we understand coming to see us can seem intimidating, and we are committed to making your visit as comfortable as possible. Among other things we do to welcome you to our office, we can make most procedures relatively painless, thanks to the power of modern medicine.
Usually, a local anesthetic is enough to manage your pain. However, for some people pain isn’t the only concern. Patients who suffer from anxiety, for example, may be concerned the discomfort of a procedure will cause elevated anxiety. If that’s the case for you, don’t worry! Sedation can make your visit a breeze!
Controlling Dental Pain: Local Anesthesia vs. General Anesthesia vs. Sedation
Dentists use three primary methods to manage patients’ pain and stress during procedures:
- Local anesthesia: numbs the immediate area being worked on
- General anesthesia: makes you unconscious for the duration
- Sedative medication: calms you – dentists can choose different levels of sedative
Local anesthesia is applied with a swab or syringe directly to the skin or muscle in the area the dentist plans to work on. Some sedatives are released into the patient’s bloodstream through a needle or catheter inserted into a vein. Unlike general anesthesia, where the patient is entirely unconscious and may need assistance with their breathing and heartbeat, sedative medication can leave the patient in a semi-conscious state. This means the patient can respond to verbal commands and doesn’t need to be watched as closely.
Many sedatives leave the patient with no memory of the procedure, so they don’t have to worry they will have traumatic memories of the procedure. A combination of local anesthesia and sedative medication makes a patient’s experience both painless and more emotionally comfortable.
Oral sedatives (by mouth) often simply calm a person’s nerves a bit. These sedatives leave the patient fully conscious but help them relax during the dental procedure.
The type of sedation a dentist uses depends on individual needs of each patient.
Going to the dentist may not ever be one of your favorite things, but at Sarasota Dental Arts we have ways (including sedation) to ensure your dental visit is as comfortable as possible. If you have questions about how we can accommodate you during your visit, or if you have specific questions about any procedure, give us a call at (941) 927-8287, and we’ll be happy to ease your anxiety!
Quick and Effective TMJ Pain Relief with Botox®
Relieve TMJ Pain at Sarasota Dental Arts
Many people experience discomfort related to their temporomandibular joint (TMJ). TMJ disorders can be disruptive to your everyday life. At Sarasota Dental Arts in Sarasota, FL, we offer Botox® as a treatment option for TMJ disorders. For people who have already tried other treatment methods, Botox® can be a great solution for pain relief.
Botox® can help relieve several symptoms of TMJ disorders, including:
- Jaw tension
- Pain in the neck and mouth
- Headaches and migraines
- Clenching and grinding your teeth
How does Botox® treatment work?
Botox® treatment involves an injection of botulinum toxin into the clenching jaw muscles to help prevent muscle contraction by attaching to the nerve endings of muscles. It only takes a few minutes to feel the effects for months. You can still function fully, just without the pain. Once we gather important health information, we will determine if Botox® will be an effective treatment option for you. If it is, we will then go over the process itself and schedule an appointment for the procedure. After the procedure, the patient will begin to see improvement in 7 to 14 days.
Is the treatment painful?
Contrary to popular belief, a Botox® procedure is not painful and you will be able to remain calm during the procedure. While the idea of needles near one’s face is not the best mental image, we can ensure that it is not as bad as some might believe. We will use a thin needle and inject small amounts at each site. We can complete this procedure fairly quickly and with little to no pain.
Procedure and Recovery
We will normally schedule about 30 minutes as we take the time to answer any questions. At Sarasota Dental Arts, we like to make all of our patients as comfortable as possible with blankets, pillows, and noise-canceling headphones with the music of your choice and aromatherapy.
Immediately following the procedure, you will be able to return to your daily activities. It is important to avoid rubbing or massaging the areas treated with Botox® as it will cause the toxin to move toward another area of the body. You can also call us at (941) 927-8287 if there are any other odd health issues you begin to notice following the procedure. The results can take around 7 to 14 days to fully take effect. People will not be able to notice that you went through a Botox® treatment, but you will notice your jaw and teeth feeling much better!