Emergency Dental Care for Flagstaff, AZ Patients
A dental emergency can happen to almost any patient at any time. Whether due to facial trauma or toothache, emergencies are any oral health concerns that require urgent care to relieve pain and renew oral health, preventing further damage. At Flagstaff Downtown Dental, we are happy to offer same day emergency dentistry appointments in most cases. If you’re unsure whether or not your situation requires urgent care, contact us anyway. Oral health concerns should always be evaluated as soon as possible to ensure advanced issues are prevented and the most conservative treatment options are available. In most cases, we’re able to see existing or new patients from Flagstaff, Winona, or other surrounding communities on the day they contact us.
Why do Dental Emergencies Occur?
There are numerous reasons dental emergencies occur, and we’re here to help our patients whenever they do. Some of the most common reasons patients experience dental emergencies include:
- Poor oral hygiene practices. Inadequate time spent on daily brushing and flossing and skipping in-office visits can lead to emergencies.
- Bad chewing habits like nail biting or ice chewing may lead to chips or cracks in teeth.
- Untreated nighttime teeth grinding and clenching known as bruxism may lead to unnecessary wear or damage.
- Facial trauma in car accidents, falls, or athletic competition.
- Excessive pain or other concerns following advanced dental procedures like dental crown placement, root canal, or cosmetic treatments.
The most common reason patients experience emergencies is that they neglect their regular dental checkups. There are numerous reasons patients may not keep up with their six month checkups, and Flagstaff Downtown Dental has a solution for all of them. Often, patients can’t fit treatment into their schedules, but we offer early appointments starting at 6:30 am to accommodate the busiest schedules. Others avoid visiting our team because they think they won’t be able to cover the cost of care, but we offer patient specials, work with insurance providers, and offer financing for patients in need of additional help covering out of pocket costs. Finally, patients may report experiencing dental phobia or anxiety that keeps them from visiting the dentist. However, our Flagstaff dentists, Dr. John Bacon and Dr. Brad Lerud, have years of experience offering gentle, attentive care for every patient we treat. Additionally, we can provide sedation dentistry services to help the most anxious patients relax through even complex dental care.
What Happens at an Emergency Appointment?
When you arrive for your dental appointment, Dr. Bacon or Dr. Lerud will examine your smile, and work to accomplish two main goals. First, we want to relieve any pain or discomfort you’re experiencing. Then, we partner with you to create a plan to repair any damage and renew the full form and function of your smile. If we’re able to complete restoration on the day you call, we will do so. Otherwise, we’ll establish your ongoing care plan, and provide at-home care instructions to ensure optimal health throughout the course of treatment.
Can I do Anything to Protect my Smile Following an Emergency?
Yes. One of our skilled team members will be happy to walk you through at-home first aid and pain management steps over the phone. Some simple steps may include:
- Clean any blood or debris from the mouth by swishing warm water, but don’t use toothpaste or mouthwash. You should also avoid scrubbing the damaged areas.
- You can take over the counter pain relief medication like aspirin or NSAID, but never place aspirin directly onto the damaged areas. This can lead to additional damage.
- Bite down on gauze or a clean cloth to place pressure on damaged areas to stop bleeding.
- You can use ice packs or cold compresses at 20 minute intervals (20 on/20 off) to relieve pain, slow bleeding, and reduce swelling or inflammation.
- Retain any pieces of lost teeth or dental restorations and bring them with you to your emergency dentistry appointment. If at all possible, restore avulsed (knocked out) teeth to the vacated socket. If this isn’t possible, store your tooth in whole milk or water.