Dental emergencies can happen any time of day or night. That’s why an emergency dentist like Kevin Fitzpatrick, DDS, MS is on call 24 hours a day. When an emergency happens, it can be quite stressful. A toothache can develop in a short instant. Sometimes a tooth will hurt when exposed to cold water or air, and sometimes cold water actually takes the pain away temporarily. It takes an emergency dentist to properly diagnose your dental problem and determine the best solution. No matter how “sure” a person can be with their dental problem, Dr. Kevin Fitzpatrick, DDS, MS always performs his own exam and diagnosis. With assistance from dental x-rays, the proper diagnosis is made and the tooth can be treated so that things start to get better. Sometimes it takes around 24 hours before a toothache will go away. Frequently antibiotics are needed in conjunction with the dental treatment. Contrary to common belief, an infected tooth should be treated immediately rather than letting it go with antibiotics. It is our belief that the source of the infection must be treated before a person will get better. That’s why we go through great lengths to thoroughly anesthetize the tooth and provide the emergency treatment you need.
What is a dental emergency? A lost or knocked-out tooth requires immediate emergency dental attention. If addressed properly and quickly enough, the tooth can frequently be reinserted and saved by a dentist. When a tooth is completely knocked out, it is important to never handle the root (bottom) of that tooth. Rinse the tooth gently and try to place it back in the socket, gently biting down to make sure it is fully inserted. If the tooth cannot be replaced into the socket, the best thing to do is to soak the tooth in milk until a dentist can be reached.
If a tooth is simply loose or has been knocked out of alignment, it is still important to make an emergency dental appointment immediately. Try to put the tooth back in place using a finger and very light pressure, then bite down to keep the tooth from further shifting before receiving the attention of a dentist.
If a tooth is severely chipped, cracked, or broken to the extent that it causes pain, this is also a dental emergency. In many cases, the damaged tooth can be saved with a filling or perhaps a crown if addressed quickly enough by a dentist. In the meantime, clean the mouth by gently rinsing with water and apply a cold compress to the face if the fracture is a result of facial trauma. Use ibuprofen to alleviate pain, but never use a topical dental anesthetic, which could burn gum tissue and make saving the damaged tooth impossible. In some more severe cases, the tooth cannot be saved and should be removed immediately by a dentist.
Serving Del Mar, Solana Beach, La Jolla, Rancho Santa Fe and all of San Diego County, Kevin Fitzpatrick, DDS, MS is on call 24 hours a day and on weekends and holidays. Dr. Fitzpatrick believes that at the time of emergency, like a 911 call, a qualified individual needs to be accessible. Kevin Fitzpatrick, DDS, MS takes care of all types of dental emergencies such as extreme tooth pain, swelling, infections, broken teeth, lost crowns, broken fillings, any trauma to face or teeth, accidents, and even cosmetic dentistry. Our facility is a fully operational dental office equipped with all materials and techniques to treat your emergency.