Emergency Dentistry

Unexpected dental emergencies can occur at any time to anyone. If an accident has injured your teeth or gums, contact our experienced emergency dentist right away. Postponing dental care can cause further damage and long-term harm. This increases your health risks and will likely require more expensive and complex procedures down the road.

Sarasota office of The Smile Centre at University Palm Aire PlazaIf you are experiencing sudden pain or have injured your teeth or gums, The Smile Centre offers emergency dental care to get you back on track. Call us right away to schedule an appointment at one of our three locations. If you live in the Sarasota area of Florida, contact our Palm Aire location online or at 941-351-4468. We proudly serve patients from Sarasota, Bradenton and other Florida communities.

What is a dental emergency?

Dental emergencies can include a variety of events that require you to immediately call or visit the dentist. If your teeth or gums have been damaged, the clock starts ticking the moment your accident or sudden problem occurred. You only have a limited amount of time to correct your dental emergency and prevent further harm.

Common types of dental emergencies include:

  • Pain or swelling in the jaw
  • Abscess
  • Damaged, bleeding gums
  • Broken crown or damaged filling
  • Suddenly misaligned or loose tooth
  • Broken or chipped tooth
  • Knocked out tooth
  • Severe toothache

Without quick and effective dental care, these problems can limit proper oral function and lead to infection. Contact The Smile Centre right away to schedule your emergency visit.

How soon should I be seen?

Some dental emergencies require immediate attention, as the clock is ticking. For instance, if you knock out a tooth, if we can see you within 60 minutes there’s a good chance the tooth can be saved. A tooth we see within 60 minutes can be attached to the adjacent teeth on each side with what we call a splint.

This will keep the tooth in place for several days. If that happens, most teeth can reattach to the bone in about three to four weeks. Other issues, such as a detached crown or filling coming out probably aren’t an immediate emergency.

We can see you the next business day, but we need to see you then. Otherwise, if there’s a hole where your filling was, for instance, you’re inviting infection to enter the interior of the tooth. If there’s any question, simply give us a call and we’ll discuss if we need to see you immediately or not.

What is the benefit of coming to The Smile Centre for my dental emergency?

Many dentists claim to have emergency service, but when you call them after you’ve broken a tooth during a pickup football game on a Saturday afternoon, you get an answering service. And then hopefully you’ll get a call back in a timely fashion.

Many people go to the emergency room when that call doesn’t come. That’s not a good idea. Emergency rooms aren’t meant for dental issues; they are meant for body trauma and body injuries. It’s a far better idea to call our office, as we provide on-call service for any dental emergency. This applies 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

At The Smile Centre, we view emergency dental care as just another one of our core services.

Is a cracked tooth a dental emergency?

A broken tooth or a tooth with a large chip definitely constitutes a dental emergency. Whether or not a cracked tooth is an emergency is a question of degree. If you can visibly see a crack in your tooth, this is an emergency and we need to see you immediately, as the crack is exposing the interior of your tooth to bacteria.

If you think you may have cracked a tooth, such as when you bit into a sandwich and found something hard in it but aren’t sure then the question would be pain. If you’re experiencing a high level of pain in that tooth or around that tooth, it would make it an emergency.

Is a lost restoration a dental emergency?

Did your crown come off, or did a filling come loose? You can temporarily fill the gap with sugarless gum or dental cement. Don’t use sugared gum; it will cause pain. If a crown comes off, find it and bring it with you. If possible, reattach it with over-the-counter dental cement or denture adhesive. Beyond pain relievers, clove oil (can be found in a drug store or in the spice aisle of the grocery) can alleviate pain and sensitivity when applied directly to the area.

Can this wait until the next business day or is it an emergency? As with the potential cracked tooth discussed above, it comes down to a question of pain and potential infection. If your crown comes off, it’s not necessarily an emergency. We can cement it back on the next business day. But if the crown came off and now the tooth under it that had a root canal has exposure into the top of the tooth, that could be an emergency. If you break a bridge, that’s probably not an emergency.

But if there are sharp pieces of the bridge exposed, it could be. Bottom line? If you wonder if a situation you are facing is an emergency, call us at The Smile Centre and we can decide together if we need to see you immediately or the next business day.

I need to get my dental veneers replaced. Is this a dental emergency?

Dental veneers that have reached their lifespan and need replacing does not constitute a dental emergency. If a single veneer has detached, your tooth will not look great where the enamel has been shaved down, but it isn’t an emergency. Give us a call and we will schedule you for the first available appointment during business hours. We can clean the tooth and the veneer and reattach it.

What is an abscessed tooth?

An abscessed tooth is an infection in the tooth’s center that spreads to the root and exits the bottom of the root into the jaw bone. An abscessed tooth occurs when cavities and tooth decay aren’t treated and penetrate the center of the tooth. It can also result from a virus that attacks the tooth’s nerve, a crack in the tooth, or previous tooth trauma.

Signs of an abscessed tooth include:

  • Toothache
  • Tooth pain when biting or chewing
  • Jaw swelling
  • Excessive toothache throbbing

After an abscessed tooth has released an infection through the bottom of the tooth root, hard, inflamed blisters that accumulate and release puss typically sprout from the gum area. Our experienced emergency dentist will bore out the decay and perform a root canal to rid the area of the abscess.

What should I do if my dentures break?

If your dentures break, this isn’t an emergency. We cannot do anything to fix them immediately anyway. But if we fitted your dentures, it’s likely we still have your temporary denture that may work as a temporary replacement. We’ll have to send your dentures back to the dental lab to see if they can fix them or not. If you haven’t had your dentures that long, odds are they don’t yet need refitting, so even making a new set shouldn’t be overly difficult or lengthy. In the meantime, you’ll need to go with a soft diet.

What causes sudden tooth sensitivity?

Sudden tooth sensitivity may indicate a cracked tooth, a broken filling, or infection. Symptoms of infection include:

  • Fever
  • Persistent pain
  • Facial swelling

If you experience sudden tooth sensitivity, contact The Smile Centre right away.

Orthodontic Injuries and Pain

Minor injuries caused by loose brackets and wires on braces and other orthodontic appliances can often be quickly treated at home, and are not considered dental emergencies. However, emergency treatment may be appropriate for individuals with orthodontic appliances who have suffered injury or trauma to the face, mouth, gums, or teeth, or who experience unmanageable discomfort, pain, swelling, or infection in any of these areas.

What dental issues are not emergencies?

While almost all dental issues are important, not all of them are necessarily emergencies. Complications such as a minor toothache or food stuck between the teeth or gums can lead to emergencies, but it is best to first arrange a visit to The Smile Centre to determine the appropriate treatment. Depending on the nature and urgency of your dental concern, treatment may be given at your examination. Consider the following:

  • For food stuck between the teeth or gums, try gently flossing the stuck food. Do not use anything sharp or pointy. If you can’t dislodge the food, contact our office to discuss the issue and schedule a visit if needed.
  • A minor toothache can be the first sign of a bigger dental problem. Contact our office to schedule an appointment to determine the nature and cause of your discomfort. There are a variety of over-the-counter pain relievers that may ease your discomfort in the short-term, but don’t put off your dental visit for long. Tooth pain can be a sign of a cracked tooth, and postponing treatment could increase your risk of losing the tooth.
  • A chipped tooth can qualify as a dental emergency, as chipped teeth can cut the inside of your mouth and cause bleeding. However, if cutting is not occurring, a regular appointment can be made to address the issue.

If you are wondering if your concern warrants a dental emergency, contact our office immediately. We will discuss your problem and determine the best course of action.

It is important to clarify that some dental emergencies can be life-threatening. If you experience swelling, difficulty breathing, or feel that your life is in danger, call 911.

What should I do in the event of a dental emergency?

Any dental emergency has the potential to cause pain and panic. By taking a few basic steps, you can help to keep the situation under control and improve your chances for a quick and effective recovery:

  • If you’ve lost a tooth, try to place the tooth back into the socket. If this is impossible, place the tooth in a glass of milk and bring it with you.
  • Be sure to keep any broken tooth fragments.
  • Bring failed or broken dental work with you to our office.
  • If you’ve suffered lacerations or cuts to your lips or tongue, be sure to properly clean the entire area.

Most importantly, stay calm. The emergency dentists at The Smile Centre will do everything possible to address your immediate concern and get you on the path to recovery.

Schedule Your Appointment with Our Emergency Dentist

If you are experiencing a sudden, unexpected dental emergency and need help quickly, call The Smile Centre to arrange emergency dental services. We will do our best to arrange a same-day visit. If your emergency occurs during off-hours, we will schedule your appointment as early as possible the next day.

Once you’ve arrived at one of our three convenient locations, we will work quickly to relieve your pain, identify the cause and severity of your issue and create a customized treatment plan to affordably address your problem.

Call our emergency dentistry now. If you live in the Sarasota area of Florida, contact our Palm Aire location online or at 941-351-4468. If you live in or around Florida, please contact us online. We welcome patients from Sarasota, Bradenton and other areas throughout Florida.