At Aesthetic Smiles of New Jersey, our cosmetic dentists understand that a dental emergency can occur when you least expect it. While suffering a sudden injury or complication can be scary, Drs. Ed Romano and Robert Bizzarro are committed to making themselves available to patients 24/7 in the event that severe pain or another adverse event arises. Due to the unpredictable nature of dental emergencies, immediate attention and swift treatment from a dentist with extensive experience in all realms of cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry is often crucial to minimizing pain, preventing further damage, and reducing the likelihood of future complications. If you are experiencing a dental emergency, we encourage you to reach out to our practice at (973) 947-7716 immediately for proactive treatment. Our highly skilled team has also provided a brief primer on initial steps you can take to alleviate pain in the event of a dental crisis.
What to Do in a Dental Emergency
Until you can receive the requisite oral care for your dental emergency, the following suggestions are meant to serve as advice on how to temper existing pain and limit damage to the health and appearance of your teeth, gums, and oral structures:
- Severe pain in the teeth or gums: Gently swish warm water and apply a cold compress or an ice pack on the outside of the mouth where the pain is emanating from.
- Gums that won’t stop bleeding: Rinse with warm saltwater. Then, using a moist gauze pad, apply light pressure to the bleeding area. If you are bleeding excessively from having bitten your tongue or gums, it may be best to visit a local hospital to possibly have the wound sutured.
- Knocked out or avulsed teeth: If you can locate the displaced tooth, rinse it lightly but try to avoid washing off tissue fragments if possible. Do not try to re-insert the tooth back into its original socket; place it in a plastic bag or sealed container and bring it with you to our office.
- Chipped, broken, or fractured tooth: Swish warm water around your mouth and—if you are experiencing pain—apply a cold compress or an ice pack to the outside of your mouth in the affected area. If you are bleeding, apply gentle pressure to the injury with a moist gauze pad.
- Intense jaw pain: Try your best to limit jaw movement and tooth pressure until you can be seen by one of our dentists. Apply a cold compress to the area of discomfort to assuage the pain.
- Toothache: Floss to loosen any lodged food particles and apply a cold compress or ice pack. Oral pain medications can typically help alleviate discomfort. Visit our office if pain persists, as this can be a sign of an abscess or infection.
Emergency Dental Services
Depending on your unique situation, a number of measures can be taken to alleviate your pain and resolve your dental emergency. Once the state of your oral health is assessed by our cosmetic dentists, Drs. Romano or Bizzarro can employ techniques that may include restorative crowns or bridges, root canal therapy, porcelain veneers, dental implants, sedation dentistry, or other options.
While your dentist will speak to you in more detail about which treatments can help you restore the full integrity of your teeth and smile, the solution to your dental emergency may include one or more of the following, depending on the nature of your concerns:
Dental crowns are durable, tooth-colored caps placed over the tooth body that are designed to protect the structure of weakened or decayed teeth. Composed of enduring porcelain, dental crowns are not only useful for aesthetic purposes— they can also offer improved functionality and a strengthened bite. These dental restorations may be utilized when your tooth structure is damaged and requires additional support.
If you require tooth replacement, a dental bridge can be an effective way to fill in the absent space left by one or more consecutive missing teeth. Affixed by two dental crowns placed on adjacent healthy teeth, dental bridges are designed to provide a natural look and feel while preventing the shift of surrounding teeth. Dental bridge treatment can offer a high-quality restoration that blends in seamlessly with your smile and does not require oral surgery.
If you are in pain at the time of your visit, or you feel apprehensive about your upcoming dental work, our practice offers state-of-the-art sedation dentistry options that can reduce your pain and help you have a comfortable treatment experience. These techniques are used to induce a deeply relaxed, yet conscious state of mind while our cosmetic dentists attend to your emergency. Please inquire with a member of our team if you wish to undergo your treatment with the aid of sedation dentistry.
For a number of patients, dental implants can be an exceptional way to replace missing or extracted teeth for a beautiful tooth restoration that looks and feels like a natural part of your mouth. These implants are designed to fuse with your jawbone, acting as an advanced dental solution that does not require retreatment. If you are a candidate for the procedure, dental implants can be a reliable way to restore form and function to your smile and achieve natural-looking results.
Root Canal Therapy
A root canal procedure may become necessary in the event that the inner dental pulp at the root of the tooth—which consists of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue—suffers an infection or abscess. This can occur when bacteria multiplies within the pulp chamber as a result of severe decay, a crack or chip in the enamel, a sudden blow to the oral structures, or repeated dental work on the same tooth. Left untreated, an infected tooth can cause bone loss as well as swelling that can radiate to other parts of the face, head, and neck, making immediate dental treatment essential to save the dying tooth and prevent an extraction.
Generally speaking, you may have an infected tooth or an abscess if you exhibit the following signs:
- Intense pain
- Extreme sensitivity to hot or cold foods
- Persistent bad breath or discoloration around the affected tooth
- Redness, heat, swelling, or discharge along the gumline
If your symptoms are indicative of an infected tooth, a root canal may be necessary to remove the inflamed tissue, clear the infection, and sterilize and seal the nerve chamber. Our dentists work with highly trained endodontists and prosthodontics to ensure you are receiving the highest level of care for your root canal treatment and subsequent tooth restoration.
An infected, crowded, severely decayed, or injured tooth often causes patients significant oral pain, limiting chewing function, and can make it difficult to clean the teeth and gums. While our dentists usually try to prioritize other rehabilitative dental treatments before considering an extraction, the procedure can sometimes serve as the best solution to alleviate existing pain and address the compromised tooth. We employ a number of advanced techniques to make your tooth extraction as comfortable as possible, including the use of sedation dentistry when necessary. After the problem tooth has been carefully extracted, a state-of-the-art restoration can be crafted to restore form and function to the area for a natural-looking replacement that blends in harmoniously with your smile.
Tips for Preventing Dental Emergencies
While dental emergencies happen unpredictably, following a few simple tips may be able to safeguard your oral structures from excessive harm and prevent the need for serious dental work in the future.
- Wear a mouthguard— A large portion of dental emergencies occur when participating in sports or other recreational activities, such as skateboarding or riding a bike. Many patients experience oral injuries after falling, being elbowed in the face, or getting hit in the mouth with a ball. When these situations arise, wearing a mouthguard can help prevent cuts, knocked-out teeth, and swelling that may result from biting down on gum tissue.
- Don’t use your teeth as tools— Chances are, at some point, we have all tried to use our teeth to open a container, wrapper, or bag of chips. To decrease the possibility of a tooth chip, fracture, broken crown, or other enamel damage, it is always best to avoid using the teeth for anything besides eating.
- Practice good oral hygiene and undergo routine dental check-ups— While good oral hygiene will not stop a dental injury from happening, frequent brushing and flossing can help prevent loose teeth and a weakening of enamel caused by decay. Ideally, this may limit the scope of damage in the event of a dental emergency. Furthermore, undergoing regular dental check-ups can promptly detect the early stages of a cavity, abscess, infection, or other problem that may go unnoticed without professional care before extensive dental work is needed.
Dr. Ed Romano and Dr. Robert Bizzarro can either offer you or your loved one a timely evaluation and speedy treatment or refer you to someone in the area that can provide urgent care as soon as possible. If you require emergency dental services, please don’t hesitate to contact our experienced dentists at (973) 947-7716.