24-Hour Emergency Dentistry in Durham, NC
A dental emergency can be stressful, but The Smile Shop treatment team is here for you! We know that unexpected dental injuries can strike when you least expect them, which is why we don’t limit our emergency treatment to standard business hours.
If your smile is in danger, call us any time, 24 hours a day, and we’re available to help. You can reach our Durham, NC dentists at (919) 941-5549.
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 and seek emergency care immediately.
- Examples of a Dental Emergency in the 27703 Area
- What to Do With a Broken Tooth
- What to Do With a Knocked-Out Tooth
- What to Do if You Have a Toothache, Swelling, or a Dental Infection
- Minimize Your Risk of Having a Dental Emergency
- Emergency Dental Treatment in Durham, NC
Examples of a Dental Emergency in the 27703 Area
A dental emergency can take many forms, from something visibly gory and bloody to hidden, internal pain. If you’re lucky enough never to have gone through a tooth emergency before, you may not initially recognize an actual emergency or know when to call your Durham emergency dentist.
Here are a few examples of smile emergencies you may experience:
- Broken or chipped teeth
- Loose tooth
- A tooth that has been knocked out
- Severe oral pain
- Swelling of the mouth or gums
- Dental trauma
Dental emergencies often arise from trauma—and dental trauma can happen in the most unexpected places. Many injured teeth are nothing more than the casualties of sports games, afternoons at the park, or overcooked family dinners. We know that if you damage a tooth, regardless of when or where it happens, you want to get out of pain and back to your life as quickly as you can!
If you experience these dental emergencies or any others like them, don’t hesitate to call us for an emergency dental appointment in Durham.
What to Do With a Broken Tooth
A tooth can become fractured or broken with an injury to the face or mouth. Everyday objects such as hockey pucks, frisbees, water bottles, and even cell phones can notoriously break teeth, leaving you feeling shocked and unsure of what to do next.
If you experience a chipped tooth, gather up any broken pieces you can find. Keep the tooth fragments as clean as you can by minimizing your contact with them, and call us at The Smile Shop as soon as possible.
Our treatment team may be able to repair the tooth with a dental crown, veneer, or tooth-colored bonding. Dr. Dolin and Dr. Spriggs will need to perform a thorough examination to determine the best course of treatment for your broken tooth.
What to Do with a Knocked-Out Tooth
Having your tooth knocked out can be a little unnerving. Knocked-out, or “avulsed,” teeth are a serious dental emergency and also one where time is of the essence.
For a tooth that has been knocked loose or knocked out, it is best to seek care right away. The sooner we can treat you, the better the chance of saving the tooth.
The best thing you can do for your avulsed tooth is to retrieve the tooth and then immediately head to our dental office. You’ll need to keep the tooth very sterile and clean, taking care only to handle the tooth by its crown and avoid touching the roots entirely.
Your tooth will do best in a moist environment, and the best place for it is either back in its socket, if possible, or in your mouth resting between your lower gums and your cheek.
If there is trauma to the lips, gums, or face, it’s essential to stop the bleeding. Compression with a cold, damp cloth will encourage the bleeding to slow and stop.
What to Do If You Have a Toothache, Swelling, or a Dental Infection
Severe tooth decay or dental infections are other sources of dental emergencies. Pressure or pain with chewing, hot and cold tooth sensitivity, or swelling around a tooth indicate a need for an emergency dental appointment. If your gums are swollen around a tooth, or you have pus or an abscess present, these are also signs that you should contact us immediately.
If you have a large cavity or an infection inside your tooth, the pain will usually be the most obvious indicator.
Toothaches come in all shapes and sizes. They vary from a slight dull ache to a sharp pain that can wake you up from a night’s sleep. Tooth pain occurs when the nerve of the tooth or the tissue surrounding the tooth is affected.
Symptoms of internal problems within a tooth can include, but are not limited to:
- Pain when chewing
- Throbbing, sharp, or aching pain
- Foul tasting drainage from a tooth or gums
- Swelling around the tooth or gums
- Fever or a headache
You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever like Advil to minimize your pain temporarily, but the only permanent solution for the discomfort caused by dental decay or infection is to visit your Durham dentist for a comprehensive evaluation.
It is essential to seek care immediately, as it’s doubtful that a toothache will go away on its own. If an infection is present, it can spread to other areas of the body and cause complications, so it’s important to treat it as soon as possible.
Minimize Your Risk of Having a Dental Emergency
Dental emergencies may be scary, but luckily, you can do your part to minimize your risk of ever experiencing one. A considerable amount of dental emergencies are entirely preventable with thoughtful oral hygiene and regular general dentistry visits.
To reduce your odds of ending up in the dental chair with an emergency at 2:00 a.m., you should:
- Stay current on your dental cleanings and exams, making sure to visit your dentist at least twice each year.
- Make sure your treatment team takes updated bitewing x-rays at least once every year so we can screen you for cavities.
- Wear your orthodontic retainers as recommended by your dentist, so you don’t go too long between wears and put a strain on your teeth.
- Avoid cigarettes and all tobacco products.
- Always wear a mouthguard when you’re playing sports
- Have cavities filled as soon as your dentist finds them, and don’t put off any recommended dental treatment
- Never chew hard, sticky foods with your more vulnerable front teeth
- Eat a diet with plenty of calcium that’s full of other vitamins and minerals
- Drink mainly tap or filtered water that’s been treated with fluoride rather than bottled water that typically does not contain fluoride
For more suggestions on how to care for your teeth, and focus on preventive dental habits, feel free to reach out to our dental team. We’re happy to treat you in the case of a dental emergency in Durham, but we’d rather see you happy and healthy without any surprise dental problems!
Emergency Dental Treatment in Durham, NC
The most important rule to follow if you are experiencing a dental emergency is to call us at The Smile Shop and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
We are available as your 24-hour emergency dentist in Durham to assist you. Simply call our dental team at (919) 941-5549, even after hours, to reach one of our caring dentists. The next time you have a broken tooth, painful toothache, knocked-out tooth, or dental infection, don’t hesitate to contact us.