Tooth Wisdom Blog

How Can I Get an Emergency Dentist Appointment?

If your tooth falls out, your tooth becomes chipped or you experience another dental emergency, you need an emergency dentist appointment with the orthodontic experts at MyOrthodontist in Chapel Hill, NC. Today, we’re discussing how you can schedule such an appointment, when such an appointment is warranted, and steps you can take before your appointment.

How Can I Get an Emergency Dentist Appointment?

To get an emergency dentist appointment, pick up the phone and call the orthodontic experts at MyOrthodontist in Chapel Hill, NC at 1-888-277-0761. If you’re too distressed to speak coherently over the phone, or it’s just more convenient to book an emergency appointment without speaking to anyone, you can schedule an appointment online.

Is Going to the Dentist Safe?

Going to the dentist is absolutely safe. At MyOrthodontist in Chapel Hill, NC, we have always held ourselves to the highest hygiene standards. Our oral hygiene specialists have been using medical-grade personal protection equipment (PPE) for decades, and we have now put new precautions in place to ensure you, your family and our staff remain safe.

For example, we have taken measures to ensure that social distancing is in place to mitigate the risk of any illnesses spread by aerosol droplets in the air. Furthermore, we are offering hand sanitizer approved by the CDC to mitigate the risk of illnesses spread by physical contact. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out. Your oral health is an emergency and should not be neglected.

What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?

Dental emergencies are potentially lethal occurrences that need to be treated immediately to ease pain and potentially save your life. A tooth infection is the most common dental emergency that requires immediate dental care. Among the signs of gum, bone or tooth infection are uncontrollable bleeding, severe pain, and extensive swelling and inflammation.

What Constitutes an Orthodontic Emergency?

It can be hard to distinguish between dental emergencies and orthodontic emergencies because they both effect your teeth. Orthodontic emergencies are typically considered to be trauma to the mouth, including the jaws and teeth. Such trauma either damages your teeth or may damage your teeth in the future.

However, if an infection is severe enough that it poses a risk to your teeth, it can be considered an orthodontic emergency rather than a dental emergency. If you’re not sure if you have a dental emergency or orthodontic emergency, please feel free to reach out and ask one of our experts. We also have a helpful FAQ section that may give you the answers you need.

What Should I Do if I Have a Dental Emergency?

If you have a dental emergency, call our expert staff as soon as possible to set up an appointment or book one online. If your gums are bleeding, gargle lukewarm salt water for 30 seconds. Then, swish an alcohol-free, antiseptic mouthwash around your mouth for another 30 seconds. Spit it out. Do not swallow.

If you are experiencing extreme pain or discomfort due to a tooth infection, gum infection, or other periodontal illness, ask your primary care physician if it’s okay for you to take 800 milligrams of ibuprofen. Other NSAIDs, like aspirin, are also effective for the reduction of swelling and pain. If you have any questions about what dose is safe for which drug, ask your PCP.

What Should I Do if I Have an Orthodontic Emergency?

If you have an orthodontic emergency, contact us right away to schedule an appointment. If you have an infection, follow the steps listed above regarding the management of pain and swelling and killing bacteria. If your orthodontic emergency is related to trauma, take an analgesic as directed by your doctor.

If a Tooth Falls Out

If your tooth falls out, don’t panic. Look carefully and methodically for your tooth until you find it. Even if it’s not dark outside, use the flashlight on your phone to make looking for your tooth easier. If you are thorough, methodical and vigilant, you should be able to find your tooth. We cannot stress enough how important it is that you find your tooth if it falls out.

If you lost your tooth in tall grass, after a few minutes of searching, you may feel that your efforts are futile and you want to go home. Unfortunately, you need to keep looking for your tooth until you find it. Remember, this is of the utmost importance.

Once the Tooth Is Found

Once you find your tooth, pick it up carefully by the crown. Do not touch the root of the tooth. If the root of the tooth looks dirty, rinse it carefully with milk, sterile water or saliva. Remember, avoid touching the root of the tooth. Touching the root of the tooth may result in vital tissue loss.

Once the root of your tooth is clean, try to put it back into the socket. If it goes back into place, great! Hold it in with a clean washcloth or gauze to ensure it doesn’t fall back out. If your tooth feels like it won’t go back into the socket, keep the root moist by keeping it in a glass of milk or sterile saline solution. Alternatively, you can hold the tooth between your gum and tongue to keep it moist.

Can I Play Sports if I Have Braces?

Absolutely. You can even play contact sports, like football, if you have braces. You just have to make sure you’re taking every precaution you can to prevent and be prepared for an orthodontic emergency. For example, you should wear an orthodontic mouthguard, wear all other safety gear exactly as required, stay hydrated and stay alert.

Wear an Orthodontic Mouthguard

It doesn’t matter if you want to play a contact sport like lacrosse or football or a non-contact sport like soccer. If you are playing a sport and have braces, you need to wear an orthodontic mouthguard. Your teammates may be wearing a mouthguard purchased at a pharmacy or sporting goods store. They may even mold to the mouth pretty well.

However, only orthodontic mouthguards are molded to your teeth while taking into account your braces or appliances. This custom design provides both a comfortable fit and adequate protection in case of an injury. More importantly, orthodontic mouthguards are made out of more flexible materials than the mouthguards you can buy in a store. This mitigates the risk of the retainer shattering on impact.

Wear All Other Safety Gear as Required

To mitigate the risk of an orthodontic emergency, it is important to wear all safety gear as recommended by the league you are playing in. For example, if you are playing lacrosse or football, wear a helmet that fits your head. Furthermore, make sure you are replacing your helmet as needed. A damaged helmet will provide little, if any, protection in the case of an on-field collision.

Stay Hydrated

You may be surprised to learn that staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do to mitigate the risk of an orthodontic emergency. Your body is made up of, on average, 60% water. However, a healthy, hydrated brain is made up of 78% water. If you are even marginally dehydrated, brain function decreases significantly.

Make sure you’re hydrated when you start playing your game by assessing your urine in the morning. It should be very pale if it’s not translucent. The only exception to this is if you consume an inordinate amount of vitamin B12 daily and you have bright urine. Your urine should never be dark. Drink at least eight ounces of water an hour before your game and drink four ounces for every half hour you play.

Stay Alert

When your cognitive function declines, you are far less likely to notice something out of the corner of your eye, like a ball flying straight at your mouth. Ensuring you’re hydrated while playing a sport provides you with the best opportunity to see and avoid potential accidents. However, if you’re not careful, you may still be involved in an accident.

Remain vigilant at all times. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing goalie and the ball is on the other side of the field. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been benched for the rest of the game. If a ball is in play, keep your eye on the ball. This holds true during warmups, as well. Know where the ball is at all times and you will mitigate your risk of being hit. Be extra vigilant if there are multiple balls in play, such as during practice.

What Should I Do if I Receive an Injury While Playing a Sport?

If you receive an injury to your head while playing a sport, ice the affected area directly. If you receive an injury to your mouth or teeth, do not ice the area directly. Rather, apply a cold compress above your mouth, closer to your nose and eye than your mouth. Apply this compress gently to mitigate the risk of excess pressure being applied to the mouth.

What if I Can’t Afford an Emergency Appointment?

If you need an emergency dentist appointment, but cash is a little tight, don’t worry. We offer in-house financing for orthodontic procedures with reasonable terms. You are more than welcome to finance your appointment with nothing more than a small down-payment while you wait for money to be transferred from your Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account.

Do You Work With My Dental Insurance Provider?

We work with several dental insurance providers. We are a proud member of the Prodis Health Network and are in-network with over a dozen other dental insurance providers, including Aetna, Cigna, Ameritas, MetLife and Humana.

If you’re not sure your dental insurance provider will cover your emergency dental appointment, we’ve got you covered there, too. If your dental insurance provider is on the comprehensive list of providers we are in-network with, we are more than happy to call and discuss the details of your emergency procedure to verify that it is covered under your policy.

Schedule Your Emergency Appointment Now

If you need an emergency dentist appointment, you can call the orthodontic specialists at MyOrthodontist in Chapel Hill, NC at 1-888-277-0761. Our staff is more than happy to set you up with an emergency appointment and give you actionable advice regarding what to do immediately to prevent further damage. Alternatively, you can book an appointment online.

Both dental emergencies and orthodontic emergencies are scary. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, the team at MyOrthodontist in Chapel Hill, NC is ready to help. Don’t wait to get an emergency orthodontic issue taken care of!

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