Urgent Dental Care NYC vs Hospital Emergency Room. Where do I need to go?

Maybe you were in an accident, causing your tooth to come loose, or maybe it was even knocked out. Or maybe you’re experiencing dental pain like you’ve never experienced before and question whether or not you’ll survive another minute, let alone day. Like any other emergency, dental emergencies happen unexpectedly. When they do happen you might just be left questioning – do I go to Dental Urgent Care NYC or do I need the hospital emergency room?

If your emergency could in any way be considered life-threatening, seek the nearest hospital emergency room immediately.

For non-life threatening injuries – Urgent Dental Care NYC or Hospital ER? This answer varies. Just like any other emergency, dental emergencies vary by severity and all require different treatments and care. Where you need to go to for treatment depends on the emergency you have at hand…

Go to the hospital when you have or suspect the following:

  • Fractured or broken jaw
  • Dislocated jaw
  • Major cuts or lacerations of the face or mouth
  • An infection or abscess of the mouth that is constricting your breathing or causing your throat to swell shut
  • Any trauma that is affecting your breathing or swallowing

Come to us, Urgent Dental Care NYC, when you have or suspect any of the following:

  • Cracked, chipped or broken tooth
  • Tooth has fallen out or been knocked out (unless the bleeding is severe)
  • Persistent toothache; tooth pain with no resolve
  • Chronic tooth sensitivity
  • Lingering swelling or pain in the mouth
  • A restorative crack or break; crown or filling has fallen out
  • Trauma to the mouth or teeth

Relax, you’re in the right place – Contact us today to get you back to dental health.

What am I supposed to do while I seek treatment for a dental crisis?

So, you’ve got an urgent dental situation and you or a loved one has called Urgent Dental Care NYC – you will soon be on your way, but you want to know if there is anything you can do until you arrive?

First things first, address the pain, take an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen or ibuprofen (avoid aspirin). And, if you’ve lost a tooth or have experienced a dental trauma that has caused bleeding apply pressure with a clean washcloth to help it stop more quickly. With every emergent dental situation, there are steps that can be taken to help ease the emergency and avoid further damage until you make it to our office. Below are just a few common situations and steps:

  • Broken, Chipped Or Cracked Tooth
    Rinse your mouth with warm water to help cleanse the tooth. If you have the piece of tooth that has broken off – do not discard of it, as if it’s big enough our dentist may be able to bond it back to its original placement. Applying a cold compress to the face will help reduce swelling in the mouth.
  • Object Caught Between Teeth
    If you have an object stuck between your teeth, first try to gently floss it out. If the floss doesn’t dislodge the object do not attempt to use anything else to remove it as this could just cause further damage. You may also do a warm water rinse to see if that would help loosen the object as well.
  • Persistent Tooth Pain, Toothache
    If you’re experiencing a toothache, first rinse your mouth with warm water. Gently floss your teeth to ensure that there is no debris or food lodged between any teeth that are causing any pain. Toothaches are usually the result of decay or an infection of the tooth. Treatment varies.
  • Tooth Is Loose, Or Has Been Knocked Out
    If your tooth has completely fallen out due to trauma, The American Dental Association advises that you should hold the tooth by the crown, never the root. Rinse the tooth off in warm water to help clean it off. Do not scrub the tooth with your hand or any other object, and do not remove any gum fragments that may remain on the tooth. If it will not cause you too much pain and distress, gently put the tooth back in the socket that it fell out of and hold it there until you arrive to our office. If you’re not able to insert it back into the socket, hold it in the pocket of your cheek – or put it in a glass of milk, as it needs to stay moist so the roots and tissues will not die.

What can I do to prevent a dental emergency?

Most dental emergencies are caused by tooth decay or an infection of a tooth. Therefore, most dental emergencies can be prevented.

Here are 5 ways you can prevent a dental emergency at home:

  1. Practice Good Hygiene
    Brush your teeth at least twice a day, once upon waking in the morning and once before bed. Ideally, brushing is done after each meal. You should also get into the habit of flossing each day. Flossing dislodges food and debris that builds up between your teeth. Failing to brush and floss adequately will lead to tartar, decay and plaque buildup.
  2. Biannual Exams
    The number one way to prevent a dental emergency, or problem that requires urgent attention is to visit your dentist at Urgent Dental Care NYC every six months. Regular professional cleanings, x-rays and exams are the best way to detect and resolved issues early on before they become painful and bothersome.
  3. Wear Mouth Guards
    Do you or your children participate in sports? Most dental emergencies that are not due to decay or infection of the teeth, are injuries acquired while playing a physical sport. When possible, wear a mouth guard. Mouth Guards are readily available and less expensive than dental bills. Our dental staff can even make a mouth guard custom fit for you, maximizing comfort and wearability.
  4. Decrease Sugar Intake
    Tooth decay is what causes painful holes in your teeth called cavities, and tooth decay occurs when the bacteria in the mouth digests sugars and then in return produces acid which causes weakening of the enamel – and ultimately cavities. Lessening the amount of sugary drinks and foods in your diet will decrease the amount of acid produced and decrease your overall risk for cavities and tooth decay.
  5. Increase Calcium Intake
    According to the American Dental Association the average adult needs between 1,000 and 2,000 mg of calcium daily to maintain optimal teeth health. A diet rich in calcium helps to fortify the enamel – making them stronger and less likely to break. Some foods that are calcium-rich include but are not limited to: yogurt, fish and leafy-greens.

Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst – how can I be better prepared for a dental crisis at home?

Emergency situations – dental and non-dental have a lot in common.

For starters, they’re usually painful, extremely inconvenient and you never know when they’re going to strike.

Secondly, there are plenty of ways you can prepare for these situations – you never know when they will happen, but you can be prepared.

Many families have a general first-aid kit in their home, and know how to fix up a scraped knee or a goose-egg on the noggin, but have you ever thought of a dental first-aid kit?

Emergency preparedness helps achieve the best possible outcome when less than desirable situations do happen – having a dental first-aid kit is one great way you and your family can be better prepared for what life throws at you.

Dental first-aid kit must-haves and why they’re so useful:

  • A small container, or clean baby food jar
    A tooth that has fallen out or been knocked out can be housed in a small container or empty, clean baby food jar and then submerged in water or milk. This is a good tool for your first-aid kit as it is imperative to the life of the tooth that the roots and tissue on the tooth remain moist until you’re able to get to Urgent Dental Care NYC.
  • Gauze
    Gauze is helpful in a dental first-aid kit for the same reason it’s helpful in any first-aid kit, to help clean a wound or to help stop the injured area from bleeding. Remove the sterile gauze from its packaging and gently apply to the area bleeding – and then apply pressure.
  • Cold Compress
    A cold compress is a must-have as it can help slow any swelling that may be happening around the injured area. Simply apply the compress with gentle pressure and keep it on the area that is swelling and/or inflamed in increments of 10 to 15 minutes at a time.
  • Mouthwash or a bottle of water
    Both would be a great addition to your first-aid kit, as they both would aid in the cleaning process. The water could also be used to submerge an avulsed (knocked out) tooth.

Head to your local drugstore today and stock your dental first-aid kit – when life throws you a missing tooth situation, you’ll be thankful that you did.

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