Over the course of the last 20 years, ER visits because of dental pain or tooth-centric dilemmas have risen dramatically in the United States. According to the American Dental Association, these types of visits have more than doubled since the year 2000, but at the office of Robert M. Walley, DDS, we would much rather handle those emergency dentist visits ourselves. After all, a dentist would know more about oral problems than a general ER doctor, so knowing which issues are more appropriate for a dentist is the first big step in making sure you and your family get the care you need should a dental emergency arise.

Tooth Damage

The most common types of dental emergencies occur because of tooth damage, which can include any of the following things:

Chipped or Broken Tooth

There are a few different ways to treat a chipped or broken tooth, but because of the pain and the way it looks, getting it fixed as quickly as possible is paramount. Keep the chipped piece of tooth in a cool, wet cloth, and if is possible the dentist could be able to fix it.

Tooth Knocked Out of Alignment

Also known as subluxation, this is when a tooth gets knocked crooked and needs to be returned to its original position. On your way, use your tongue to try to keep it in place so you don’t cause more damage to the crooked tooth.

Missing Tooth

If a tooth gets knocked all the way out, do everything you can to avoid touching the root-end of and keep it moist on your way to the dentist, who actually may be able to re-implant it. Getting there quickly is key, though!

Non-traumatic Tooth Problems

Not all dental emergencies are related to tooth trauma, however, as some emergency visits occur as a result of other types of pain and infections:

Severe Toothache

For some people, the pain of a toothache is so severe that they cannot wait until a scheduled appointment to have the issue fixed. If there is excessive pain or swelling in the gums or face, it may be in your best interest to make an emergency dental visit.

Potential Complications with Infection

Sometimes a toothache can get so bad that it leads to an infection, and it is not hyperbole to say that a nasty infection left untreated can become so severe as to lead to death. If there is nasty swelling in the gums or jaw accompanied by a fever, that could mean really big problems and it would be a good idea to arrange an emergency dental appointment immediately.

In a perfect world, nobody ever would find themselves in an experience to visit a dentist in an emergency situation. We all would much rather just make an appointment when it’s most affordable and most convenient for everybody involved. In those instances where an emergency visit is necessary, though, make sure you contact Dr. Walley’s office immediately and let the ER doctors handle issues for which are they more qualified.

We all know that sometimes dental damage can pop up despite our best efforts. However, there are simple steps that you can take to minimize your risk of developing oral health problems. Our San Francisco dentists have put together this overview of preventive dentistry, so that you can make sure that you’re doing everything possible to care for your smile. Let’s get started!

Preventive dentistry is designed to keep your enamel and gum tissue as strong as possible, while simultaneously minimizing external threats to your oral health, like harmful oral bacteria.

When you clean your smile every day at home, you’re engaging in preventive dentistry. Remember that you need to brush your smile every morning and night, and floss every night. Try to brush for at least two minutes every time that you brush, and apply gentle—not firm—pressure the whole time. You can additionally add a mouth rinse into your routine for extra breath freshening and bacteria killing power.                        

Here in our office, we provide semi-annual professional cleanings to clear away plaque and tartar that have accumulated over the months or years since you’ve been to the dentist. These appointments are crucial to maintaining oral health, and you simply cannot get rid of all of the bacteria in your mouth all alone at home.

Our dental team may recommend additional preventive treatments if your teeth seem weakened or particularly at risk. Topical fluoride treatments work to strengthen your natural enamel so that it can better stand up to invasive bacteria. Another preventive option is the application of sealants—in this case our team covers portions of your teeth with a thin coat of protective resin. Sealants are typically applied on the bite surfaces of the back molars.

Now is the time to seek out preventive dentistry treatments. Our San Francisco dentists can help you maintain a strong and healthy smile for years to come—just give us a call to get started!

Smile Consultation: (415) 944-1072
Schedule Online
Patient Reviews
Write Review