Emergency Dentistry – Fresno, CA
Dental Pain Today!
Keeping our community healthy is one of our top priorities at Shinkawa Dental. While that means performing basic preventive dental treatments, it also means making sure that we can be here for those who need to have an emergency issue (such as dental pain caused by an infection or physical injury) handled as swiftly as possible. The moment you notice something is amiss with your smile, no matter how minor you think it might be, don’t hesitate to give our dental office a call and we’ll do everything we can to see you the same day for emergency dentistry in Fresno, CA!
Why Choose Shinkawa Dental for Emergency Dentistry?
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How to Handle Common Dental Emergencies
If you’ve never experienced a dental emergency before, you can still call our dental office to get advice on your condition and what you should do next. Not only that, but you can schedule an appointment the same day and ensure that you’re getting the attention you need to treat your urgent dental issue sooner, rather than later. In the meantime, we want to do what we can to inform our patients on the best steps to take if they experience any of the following common dental emergencies.
Use dental floss to remove any food debris that may be stuck in between your teeth. If discomfort continues, you can take an over-the-counter painkiller like ibuprofen to relieve any pain you’re experiencing until you arrive at our dental office. If needed, our dental office is prepared to perform root canal therapy onsite but will only do so if absolutely necessary.
If your tooth has been knocked out, locate it and pick it up by the crown portion only. Do not touch the root or remove any tissue still attached. After gently rinsing any dirt from the tooth, try to place it back into your open socket to keep it preserved. You can also place it in salt water or milk for up to one hour. Just make sure to get to our dental office right away to improve your chances of having it reimplanted.
Broken/ Chipped Tooth
Keep any pieces of your tooth that you find and bring them to our dental office. If you experience any facial swelling, apply a cold compress to your face for 10 minutes at a time, then remove for an additional 10 minutes. Repeat this for up to one hour. We will likely need to place a dental crown to restore the tooth. However, if the damage is too significant, we many need to remove it entirely.
Lost Filling/ Crown
Dental fillings will need to be replaced if they come off. However, you can use dental cement to temporarily fill the exposed portion of the tooth before you arrive. If you have a dental crown that has come loose, you can use dental cement, denture adhesive, or sugar-free chewing gum (as a last resort) to temporarily reseat the crown until you get to our dental office. In the meantime, avoid chewing with that tooth, as it could result in further damage.
Partially Dislodged Tooth
A tooth that has only become partially dislodged is as urgent of a dental emergency as a tooth that has been completely knocked out. To maximize the chances of being able to save the tooth, you should call us and get to our dental office as soon as humanly possible. Until then, you can reduce pain by taking a store-bought pain reliever as needed. You can also curb swelling by applying a cold compress to your cheek in ten-minute intervals. If you absolutely need to eat before your appointment, try not to use that tooth to chew.
Object Stuck Between Teeth
It can be all too easy for bits of food or other debris to get trapped between your teeth (especially if you have gapped teeth) and cause discomfort. First, rinse your mouth out with warm salt water to loosen the object. Then, thread a piece of dental floss (preferably waxed floss) between your teeth to try and dislodge the object. It may help to tie a knot in one end of the floss to knock the debris loose. If that doesn’t work, call our office. Do NOT use any sharp objects, like toothpicks or paper clips, to remove the object yourself. You may end up scratching your teeth, gums, or other oral tissues.
If you notice a bump on your gums that looks like it’s full of pus, it typically indicates an infection that has progressed to the advanced stages. Bumps like these are known as dental abscesses. These infections most often develop on or near the tooth’s roots, which are under the gums. In the worst-case scenario, the tooth might have to be extracted to prevent the infection from spreading to other teeth, parts of your mouth, or even the rest of your body. Abscesses often cause intense pain and/or fever. Until your appointment with us, we recommend rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater a few times a day to keep your mouth clean and mitigate the discomfort.
Soft Tissue Damage
Injuries to the tongue, lips, cheeks, or other soft tissues in the mouth may bleed excessively. If you notice any bleeding in your mouth, start by rinsing with saltwater. This should clear out debris that may have entered your mouth during the injury that caused the bleeding. Firmly hold a gauze pad or a clean piece of cloth to the area for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, apply a cold compress for an additional 10 minutes. If the bleeding has not stopped by then, head to the nearest emergency room for immediate treatment before calling our office to find out whether you need any follow-up care.
How to Prevent Dental Emergencies
Our team is always ready to help you get your oral health back on track if necessary, but we would much rather help you avoid dental problems than see you suffer with the pain of decayed or damaged teeth! While we recognize that some dental emergencies are inevitable, most can be avoided via some simple preventive steps. Good oral hygiene, being careful about what you eat, and minimizing the risk of physical trauma can all greatly reduce your chances of suffering from a serious and sudden dental problem.
Focus on Oral Hygiene
When harmful bacteria are allowed to flourish in the mouth, they attack both the teeth and gums. Eventually, they lead to cavities and gum disease. Good oral hygiene plays a huge role in controlling bacterial growth and strengthening your teeth. Here are some key components of an effective oral hygiene routine:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and fluoridated toothpaste. Be sure to clean the backs of your teeth and the area along the gumline.
- Floss once a day. Flossing cleans the tight spaces between teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach. If you are unsure about how to floss properly, your dental hygienist would be happy to help you refine your technique.
- Drink plenty of water. Water helps to rinse away food particles and bacteria. It also encourages saliva production.
Be Careful About What You Eat
Sugar is one of the worst things for your oral health. It encourages plaque formation, which in turn leads to cavities. It is best to enjoy sweet treats in moderation. When you do indulge, be sure to sip on some water immediately afterward. It’s also wise to avoid extremely hard foods, such as jawbreaker candies, because these could break your teeth.
Instead, your diet should center on tooth-friendly foods. For example, low-sugar dairy products are rich in calcium, which helps to fortify teeth. Leafy greens and crunchy vegetables are also excellent choices.
Avoid Physical Trauma
If you often wake up with a sore jaw, you might grind and clench your teeth at night. Eventually, the grinding and clenching could contribute to serious dental damage. Your dentist can provide you with a custom nightguard or another form of treatment to protect your teeth while you sleep.
Also, if you play sports, bear in mind the importance of wearing a mouthguard. Mouthguards that you buy over the counter provide a degree of protection, but custom mouthguards from a dentist are much more comfortable and effective.
Attend Preventive Checkups
Checkups give your dentist the opportunity to identify and treat dental problems before they lead to an emergency. Plus, the thorough cleanings you receive at preventive checkups remove tartar from your teeth (tartar is the hardened form of plaque, and it is impossible to remove with at-home oral hygiene tools). Most adults should visit their dentist at least twice a year for preventive care. However, if you have active gum disease or other serious oral health issues, more frequent visits may be necessary.
Understanding the Cost of Emergency Dentistry
Every dental emergency is going to be different in terms of the cost, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still give us a call if you experience one. Our office will gladly break down the cost of your treatment in detail so you know exactly what you’re paying for, what it does to resolve your dental discomfort, and how it protects your long-term oral health.
Your Dental Emergency is Unique
When you need to visit an emergency dentist for care, you’ll find that the emergency exam is actually quite affordable. Our dentists will ask you about your symptoms, examine your mouth, capture X-rays, and do everything possible to pinpoint the exact cause of your dental emergency.
Until we perform these steps, we can’t know for sure how much your emergency care will cost. For example, tooth pain could be resolved with a dental filling, but it may also need root canal therapy if an infection is present. In other cases, only a tooth extraction could resolve your dental emergency. Depending on the complexity of the treatment needed to treat your pain as well as the source of your dental issue, the cost of your care could be higher or lower.
With that said, we’ll always describe our treatment plan to you directly beforehand, so you can make an informed decision about your care and set expectations as soon as possible.
Caring for Your Smile Can Save You Money
Dental emergencies can be unavoidable, especially if you had a bad fall or the reason you have a damaged tooth was not your fault. However, the majority of them are preventable. By completing routine checkups every six months and practicing consistent at-home oral care, you can dramatically reduce your risk for dental emergencies and save hundreds of dollars on emergency visits.
Additionally, you should never put off a visit if you notice something is wrong with your tooth. By taking care of the problem early, you can reduce the risk of needing more complex dental treatments to resolve your concerns. For example, tooth pain could only need a dental filling when treated early, whereas waiting could allow the decay to turn into an infection and require root canal therapy.
Does Dental Insurance Cover Dental Emergencies?
Our dental office is happy to be in-network with multiple insurance providers and accept all PPO plans, meaning you have no reason to put off your care and allow your dental issue to get worse. In most cases, dental insurance plans will offer some level of coverage for emergency dental visits. While it can vary from plan to plan, they tend to offer at least one visit per year in many cases. In addition, common services intended to treat hurting or damaged teeth, such as root canal therapy and extractions, often receive at least partial coverage (between 80% and 50%). Keep in mind that your plan is likely different from someone else’s, so make sure to confirm your coverage with your insurance company ahead of time. If you have questions, our office will help however it can.
Other Options for Making Dental Emergencies Affordable
We understand if you do not currently have dental insurance at this time, which is why we offer other options to make your dental care more affordable. For example, low-to-zero interest financing through CareCredit allows you to pay for care over the span of several months, rather than all upfront. This means even the most expensive emergency procedures can be fit into a monthly budget.
Alternatively, our in-house dental savings plan provides coverage for emergency exams and discounts on treatments designed to treat severely damaged teeth (including dental crowns, root canal therapy, and extractions.)
Shinkawa Dental is prepared to help you address your dental emergency as well as better understand the costs associated with your care. Don’t wait to call for help; we’ll even try to get you seen the same day you get in touch!
Emergency Dentistry FAQ’s
Are you still curious about seeing an emergency dentist? If so, you’re in the right place. Please feel free to contact us and speak with one of our friendly staff members with any specifics. Until then, we’ve included the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about emergency dentistry. Read on to get the information you need and satisfy your curiosity!
What Should I Do if I Fracture My Jaw?
For severe injuries that could be potentially life-threatening, including a jaw fracture, you should visit an urgent care facility. Emergencies like difficulty breathing, deep facial wounds, or jaw fractures require immediate medical attention. Once you’ve been treated, you can schedule a same-day appointment with our office to restore any damage that occurred in your smile.
What Should I Do if I’m Afraid of Seeing the Dentist?
If you’re like millions of Americans who suffer from dental anxiety, you may want to put off your emergency treatment. However, you must remember that dental issues will only grow worse with time, leading to even more costly and extensive treatment. That’s why you should contact us right away if you have an emergency. We offer sedation dentistry to keep our anxious and fearful patients calm and comfortable during their appointments. Our team of experts is committed to helping you feel relaxed and at-home for any dental services you need.
Why Visit the Dentist Instead of the ER?
For all dental injuries that are not life threatening, it’s best to see us for a same-day appointment instead of going to the emergency room. These urgent care facilities are typically not equipped with the proper instruments or staff to repair your smile. At Shinkawa Dental, we have all the treatment options necessary to restore the health and beauty to our patient’s teeth. Whether you need a dental crown, or a full tooth replacement, we are ready to help!
Is Tooth Sensitivity an Emergency?
Are you experiencing sensitivity in your smile? This can occur when you eat or drink extra cold and hot beverages, or simply if it’s chilly outside. If you notice sensitivity, contact our office right away! While it’s not necessarily an emergency, this symptom often tips off issues like decay, gum recession, and more, which is why a visit to see Dr. Shinkawa definitely doesn’t hurt. In some cases, a simple change in your toothpaste or eating habits can alleviate this discomfort.
How Soon Do I Need Treatment After a Dental Emergency?
Unlike many medical conditions that can get better with time, dental problems will only grow worse. For example, a cracked tooth could easily break and require extraction if left untreated. Or, a simple cavity can turn into a necessary root canal. That’s why it’s vital that you visit our office as soon as you notice something wrong. A dental emergency is nothing to put off, and we’ll typically be able to see you on the same day to get you out of pain fast!