Viewing entries tagged
emergency appointment

How Can I Soothe a Toothache?

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How Can I Soothe a Toothache?

thousandoaksfamilydentistry.com

Note: Never start taking any medication for the first time (even OTC products) without consulting a medical or dental professional first. Never exceed the prescribed dosing for a medication or use it in a method for which it was not designed. 

Toothaches always seem to spring up at the least convenient times. Often enough, they show up 6pm on a Friday before a long weekend. When you can't get to a dentist right away, what should you do about your pain? In this article, we hope to give you some direction (and comfort) in helping your dental woes.

The first thing to do with any type of dental pain is give your general dentist a call. Even after hours, every office should have a means of getting into contact with either your own dentist or one of their associates. An exception to this would be excruciating pain, possibly combined with swelling, fever and warmth around a tooth. In these instances, your first choice should be to head to an emergency room, as this can be the sign of a serious infection. 

Beyond getting into contact with a dental professional, there are a few steps you can take to reduce your symptoms. If the pain feels like it is coming from a tooth directly, we suggest taking an NSAID medication like ibuprofen (Advil). Most dental pain comes from pressure inside the tooth or bones, and is best treated by drugs (such as ibuprofen) with anti-inflammatory properties. We do not suggest taking any left over narcotics you may have on hand, as they are potentially harmful and will not stop the pain as effectively as an NSAID. 

If your pain feels like it is coming from your gums, try flossing gently to see if you can dislodge any stuck food (popcorn kernels are the worst offenders). Beyond this, we recommend rinsing with warm salt water to soothe inflamed tissue. Never try to apply Asprin, Advil or other medications directly to the gums. This will only irritate the tissue and create more pain. We also suggest staying away from topical toothache creams/gels, due to their lack of effectiveness and potentially dangerous side effects.

If your pain has a specific trigger, make note of it and try to avoid using your teeth in that manner. Knowing what causes the tooth to flare up can be an important factor in diagnosing the exact problem. If you would like to know more about toothaches, dental pain or gum pain, please give our office a call! 

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Replacing A Lost Crown

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Replacing A Lost Crown

ThousandOaksFamilyDentistry.com

Imagine you are enjoying a nice meal when you suddenly notice a strange space open up in the front of your mouth. To your horror, a crown on one of your front teeth has fallen off! Every dental office sees two to three cases like this yearly- as with this patient today. Fortunately, we were able to replace the missing space with a cosmetic Emax lithium disilicate crown. The end result was fabulous- we saved the tooth and improved on the esthetics of the previous crown!

Dental crowns can come loose for a number of reasons. Most commonly, cavities start at the margin between the tooth and the crown and undermine the seal. Once this seal is broken, the crown quickly loses the adhesive and retentive properties that bond it on the tooth. Other common causes of crown loss include trauma, chewing sticky foods and post/core failure. 

If you ever lose a crown, do NOT try to re-cement it (even using temporary crown cement from the drug store). You run the risk of creating a bond so strong that the dentist cannot remove it without damaging the tooth or a bond so weak that it causes the crown to become a choking hazard. Rather, call our office as soon as possible and let us know what happened. Depending on how the crown fell off, what was underneath the crown and if there was any damage to the tooth we may be able to recement it with little modification.

Unfortunately, there is no way for us to determine if the crown or tooth is savable over the phone. Your best bet is to schedule an emergency appointment at your earliest convenience. The longer your tooth stays exposed without a crown, the more likely it is to become damaged through daily use. If you would like to know more about lost crowns and how to protect your teeth, please give our office a call!

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Video Blog on Dental Emergencies

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Video Blog on Dental Emergencies

What constitutes a dental emergency?  If your face is swollen and you are in pain, that is the number one reason to call a dentist today.  Swelling of the face is the sign of a serious infection called an abscess.  It is necessary to seek treatment immediately to prevent the spread of the infection.  If it is after hours, then it is recommended you seek treatment at an urgent care or emergency room.  

The second biggest emergency is when an adult  tooth is knocked out of its socket.  This can happen from running and falling, falling off a bike, getting hit by a car, playing sports and getting hit in the face. It might be possible to replant the "avulsed" tooth, but it needs to be done in the first 30 minutes to one hour after it falls out, in order for the replantation to have a chance at being successful. To transport the lost tooth, it is best to either place it in a cup of milk or store it in your mouth until you are able to see a dentist.

The first two emergencies I mentioned are relatively rare occurrences.  The most common emergency I see is when a patient is having tooth pain.  And the second most common is when someone chips a front tooth or breaks a back molar.  

If you are having a dental emergency, please call my office and we will do our best to see you as soon as possible.

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After Hours Phone Service

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After Hours Phone Service

http://www.thousandoaksfamilydentistry.com/blog/2014/5/27/after-hours-phone-service#.U4VWSTm60yE

At Thousand Oaks Family Dentistry, we pledge to be committed and available to our patients. We understand that your dental emergencies and concerns may not coincide with our business hours. In fact, they typically seem to arise at the least convenient times possible. This is why we are proud to offer our after hours phone service.

Our promise to our patients is anytime you call our office number, one of our staff member’s phones will ring- any time, day or night. You will never be forwarded to a call service and any message you leave will typically be followed up in about two hours (a little longer for late night calls).

After hours callers will typically encounter our office manager, Michael. He brings years of experience in dental emergencies, insurance billing and scheduling to the convenience of your phone. Whether you have a filling fall out at 10am on a Saturday or an insurance question on an idle Thursday evening, he will be there to answer.

Our office manager, Michael. hard at work taking phone calls. 

Our office manager, Michael. hard at work taking phone calls. 

Why do we provide this service? Simply put, our practice is a patient-centric environment. We know you have many options, and are honored that you choose to visit us at Thousand Oaks Family Dentistry. Dental care can be an intimidating endeavor, and thus we are here to make the process as easy, simple and convenient as possible.

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