Emergency Dental Care in Houston
By definition, an emergency is an unplanned event. Most happen when you are unprepared. Therefore, the key to handling an emergency is having a plan in place that you can put in to action at a moment’s notice. In the case of a dental emergency, that plan should begin with a phone call to Houston dentist Dr. O’Keefe. We recommend having our phone number in the list of contacts on your cell phone, so you don’t have to waste any valuable time searching. With a dental emergency, minutes matter. Our number is 832-516-6714.
Some situations are obvious emergencies, while others may be questionable. We advise letting Dr. O’Keefe and his professional staff decide. When you call, someone will listen to the circumstances of your emergency and determine whether or not you or a loved one needs to be seen immediately. Don’t “wait and see” if pain develops. Call right away!
You don’t need anyone’s advice to know that a knocked out tooth is the kind of dental emergency that requires urgent care. And while it can look like the tooth is a loss, Dr. O’Keefe may actually be able to replant the tooth if you are seen within 30 minutes of the accident. In the meantime, touch only the crown of the tooth, rinse with water only and try to hold it back in place. If this isn’t possible, then place the tooth in a sealed jar or baggie filled with milk and head to our office.
If a fall or hard blow to the face loosens a tooth, then you need to be seen by your dentist in Houston right away. Dr. O’Keefe may be able to stabilize the tooth by using adjacent teeth as supports. In the meantime, you can apply gentle pressure in order to move the tooth back into its original position.
Cracked or Broken Tooth
A tooth that is deeply cracked or broken may mean that the interior or pulp chamber of the tooth has been damaged. If so, then the nerve is exposed and emergency treatment is warranted immediately. Call our office and then take the following steps:
- Rinse your mouth with warm water
- Apply a cold compress in 10-minute intervals if there is pain and swelling
- Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) to treat pain
Dr. O’Keefe will examine a digital x-ray of your tooth to determine if the tooth pulp is damaged. If so, then a root canal may be necessary. Otherwise, the tooth will likely need a dental crown.