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Dental Associates of Northern Virginia - Pinecrest
4604-D Pinecrest Office Park Dr, Alexandria, VA 22312

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When to Seek Help for a Dental Emergency in Alexandria

Having a dental emergency is often frightening. They always seem to happen at the worst times. Knowing that you can get kind, compassionate dental care quickly will alleviate your fear. You can count on our skilled team to treat your dental emergency promptly.

What Is Meant by Emergency Dental Care?

A dental emergency in Alexandria requires care on short notice. If you’re in unbearable pain, we will get you in as quickly as possible. There are also emergencies where you feel no pain, but you can expect further damage to occur if you don’t get dental care quickly. Sometimes, patients have cosmetic emergencies, like they are getting married today and two veneers just popped off their front teeth, which we try to accommodate patients promptly whenever possible. Losing a veneer is more than a cosmetic issue, however; the tooth underneath is vulnerable. Our emergency dentist will evaluate your situation and provide appropriate treatment so the situation does not reoccur.

Reason to use a dentist’s emergency services include:

  • Painful cavities
  • Gum laceration with bleeding
  • Swollen throat with breathing difficulty (if severe, call 911)
  • Mouth pain with chills or a fever
  • A fractured or chipped tooth
  • Knocked-out tooth

Other situations are not always same-day emergencies, but they benefit from prompt attention, including:

  • Damaging your tooth bridge
  • Gingivitis symptoms, such as red, swollen gums or bleeding gums when you brush
  • Having a filling break
  • Losing a crown or veneer
  • Sudden tooth sensitivity to hot or cold

What Are 7 Indications of a Dental Emergency in Alexandria?

If you have any of the following dental problems, please contact us for a walk-in dental appointment as soon as possible.

1. Lost Filling: You rarely lose a filling; it typically falls out, and you notice something hard in your mouth. Since you can’t repair the filling yourself, you need to make a dental appointment. We will see you promptly so bacteria does not accumulate in the cavity and cause more damage to your tooth.

2. Excessive Oral Bleeding: If you’ve had a dental extraction and the bleeding won’t stop, this is an emergency. Trauma to the mouth can also cause excessive bleeding. If you cannot get the bleeding under control, you need emergency care.

3. Fractured Jaw: A fractured jaw is a dental emergency. Failure to seek care could result in permanent teeth alignment issues.

4. Dry Socket: After you have a dental extraction, a blood clot forms at the site to close the wound. If the clot becomes dislodged, the pain will have you looking for emergency care as quickly as possible. A dentist can also dress the wound to keep it from becoming infected.

5. A Knocked-Out Tooth: Losing a tooth to a blow or a fall is frightening. Treating your missing tooth as a dental emergency and calling us immediately for instructions will increase the possibility of our dentist being able to re-implant the tooth. You only have about an hour to save your tooth. When you pick up your knocked-out tooth, never touch the roots or you’ll damage the root surface cells and re-implantation won’t be possible unless you have an emergency tooth preservation kit. These kits, if they are approved by the American Dental Association, can preserve your tooth for up to 24 hours. They are convenient for extreme sports enthusiasts who frequently are far from a dentist.

6. Gum Injuries: If you receive a deep cut to your gum, we will treat it as an emergency. Our dentist will treat the wound and make sure no teeth were affected.

7. Facial Swelling: There are many reasons you could experience swelling in the lower half of your face. You could have a fractured jaw, an abscess or another dental emergency.

Why an Abscess Is Considered a Dental Emergency in Alexandria

An abscess is one dental emergency you should never ignore. The abscess creates pus and bacteria in your tooth or gum which causes pain, swelling and foul breath. It’s essential to get emergency treatment quickly since the infection can spread to other parts of your mouth and even the rest of your body. In rare cases, the infection becomes life-threatening if you were to develop septic shock and go into organ failure. Abscesses frequently occur from untreated cavities, although a tooth fracture or partially erupted wisdom teeth can also cause them.

Is Fracturing or Breaking a Tooth a Dental Emergency?

Yes, it is an emergency since it often hurts. The amount of pain usually depends on the seriousness of your injury and the condition of the tooth before it cracked. While teeth are hard, it’s easy to trip and fall or bite down on a hard candy and break a tooth. The American Dental Association recommends that you rinse your mouth with warm water immediately to clean it out. Call our office and we will arrange an emergency appointment for you. If you have the piece of tooth that broke off, bring it with you to our office.

Emergency tooth injuries are frequently the result of blows during contact sports. We recommend that you use a sports mouth guard to prevent injuries to your teeth, tongue and your jaw. If you fracture a tooth because you grind your teeth at night, there are night mouth guards to protect your teeth. Our dentists can create custom mouth guards to help you protect your teeth. Alternatively, you can purchase a boil-and-bite mouth guard.

We would prefer to see our patients every six months for routine care as this can avoid many emergencies related to untreated cavities. Remember, when you have a dental emergency in Alexandria, please call us or contact us online. We’re here to help.

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Dental Associates of Northern Virginia - Pinecrest

4604-D Pinecrest Office Park Dr, Alexandria, VA 22312

(703) 940-1886