Emergency Dental Care

If you are experiencing dental pain or a dental emergency, call Lake Forest Dental Associates right away at (847) 234-6440. We will make every effort to see you today and focus on diagnosing the problem, as well as getting you out of pain!

Your best oral health and well being is our TOP priority! Once we are able to stabilize your urgent dental issue, we can schedule any necessary follow-up treatment from there.

Dental emergencies are quite frightening and often painful. Prompt treatment is almost always required to alleviate pain and to ensure the teeth have the best possible chance of survival. Sometimes teeth become fractured by trauma, grinding, or biting on hard objects. In other cases, fillings, crowns, and other restorative devices can be damaged or fall out of the mouth completely. If there is severe pain, it is essential to make an appointment with the dentist as quickly as possible.  The pain caused by dental emergencies almost always gets worse without treatment, and dental issues can seriously jeopardize physical health.

Types of dental emergency and how to deal with them

Avulsed tooth (tooth knocked out)

If a tooth has been knocked clean out of the mouth, it is essential to see a dentist immediately. When a tooth exits the mouth, tissues, nerves, and blood vessels become damaged.  If the tooth can be placed back into its socket within an hour, there is a chance the tissues will grow to support the tooth once again.

Here are some steps to take: Call the dentist. Pick up the tooth by the crown and rinse it under warm water. DO NOT touch the root. Put the tooth into a cup of milk or saliva.  It is important to keep the tooth from drying out. Get to the dentist, quickly and safely. The dentist will try to replace the tooth in its natural socket. In some cases, the tooth will reattach, but if the inner mechanisms of the teeth are seriously damaged, root canal therapy may be necessary

Lost filling or crown

Usually, a crown or filling comes loose while eating. Once it is out of the mouth, the affected tooth may be incredibly sensitive to temperature changes and pressure. Crowns generally become loose because the tooth beneath is decaying. This decay causes shape changes in the tooth structure resulting in a crown that no longer fits.

Here are some steps to take: If a crown has dropped out of the mouth, make a dental appointment as soon as possible.  Keep the crown in a cool, safe place because there is a possibility that the dentist can reinsert it. If the crown is out of the mouth for a long period of time, the teeth may shift or sustain further damage.

When the dentist is not immediately accessible, here are the steps to take:

        • Clean the crown and affix it onto the tooth with temporary dental cement.  This can be purchased at the local pharmacy.
        • DO NOT use any kind of glue to affix the crown.
        • The dentist will check the crown to see if it still fits. If it does, it will be reattached to the tooth. Where decay is noted, this will be treated, and a new crown will be made
    Cracked or broken teeth

    The teeth are strong, but they are still prone to fractures, cracks, and breaks. Sometimes fractures are fairly painless, but if the crack extends down into the root, it is likely that the pain will be extreme. Fractures, cracks, and breaks can take several different forms, but are generally caused by trauma, grinding and biting. If a tooth has been fractured or cracked, there is no alternative but to see the dentist as quickly as possible.

    Where a segment of tooth has been broken off, here are some steps that can be taken at home:

        • Call the dentist.
        • Rinse the tooth fragment and the mouth with lukewarm water.
        • Apply gauze to the area for ten minutes if there is bleeding.
        • Place a cold, damp dishtowel on the cheek to minimize swelling and pain.
        • Take an over-the-counter pain medication, if necessary.
        • The nature of the break or fracture will limit what the dentist is able to do.  If a fracture or crack extends into the root, root canal therapy may be the only effective way to retain the tooth.  In the case of a complete break, the dentist will usually affix the fragment back onto the tooth as a temporary measure.
    Dislodged/loose teeth

    When a tooth has been dislodged or loosened from its socket by trauma or decay, it might be possible to save it. If the tooth remains in the mouth and attached to the blood vessels and nerves, there is a good chance root canal therapy will not be necessary.

    It is important to call the dentist immediately to make an appointment.  In the meantime, use a cold compress and over-the-counter medications to relieve pain. The dentist will reposition the tooth and add splints to stabilize it.  If the tooth fails to heal, root canal therapy may be required.

    Dental Abscess

    A dental abscess is the formation and collection of pus that can form inside teeth, gums or the bone surrounding the teeth. The abscess is caused by a collection of bacteria. The location of the abscess gives it different types of names. If the abscess is at the end of the tooth, it is called a periapical abscess. If the abscess is in the gums, it is then called a periodontal abscess.  A dental abscess will not go away without treatment. When an abscess ruptures often pain will decrease, however the infection will still be present. Dental treatment is needed immediately if there is an infection. If a dental abscess is left untreated your infection may spread to your jaw and other areas of your head and neck, it could even block your airway.

    Tooth Pain

    Tooth pain is often caused by inflammation in or around the tooth. The inflammation is usually the result of tooth decay or infection. Other times a toothache can have causes that are not due to underlying disease, such as biting into something hard, flossing, getting something stuck. Often tooth pain can be described as sensitivity to hot or cold, pressure, aching, keeping you up at night. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please let us know we would be happy to help you.

    If you have questions or concerns about dental emergencies, please contact us at 847-234-6440.

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