For a serious medical emergency, most people know to call 9-1-1. But do you know what to do when a dental emergency happens? That too requires a phone call—to
Dr. Nelson Howard at either of his two conveniently located offices in San Marcos and Rancho Bernardo. When you call, one of our front office team members will be able to advise you how to handle your emergency until we can see you in the office, whether it is the same day for those emergencies that can't wait or at a time more convenient for you and your concern.
Dr. Howard's first piece of advice is cliché, but true: don't panic. Then call Dr. Howard's office for further assistance. Should you call be after our normal business hours listen to Dr. Howard's answering message to get his after-hours contact number to call him with your emergency. He is always available to speak with you and advise you appropriately regarding your situation.
We welcome all patients who live in the surroundings counties and cities of San Marcos, San Elijo Hills, Vista, Carlsbad/La Costa, Escondido, Oceanside, Encinitas, Rancho Bernardo, Poway, Rancho Penasquitos, San Diego, and Temecula areas. Please contact us today for any dental emergency.
Getting in touch with Dr. Howard should obviously be your first step, but it’s important to know how to take care of your teeth in the meantime if you can get to our office right away. Below, you’ll find a list of some of the most common dental emergencies that patients tend to suffer from along with some tips for addressing the pain and preventing further damage. We can give you additional tips over the phone depending on the symptoms that you’re suffering from.
In many cases, tooth pain is simply a result of food debris getting trapped in your smile. You can remove such troublesome particles by rinsing with water and peroxide mixed together and gently flossing. If the pain doesn’t go away, taking over-the-counter pain relievers and using a cold or warm compress (depending on your sumptoms) to stay as comfortable as possible until you can be properly treated.
Sometimes the area around a damaged tooth will be swollen, so apply a cold compress to the area if you need to. You should also stop any bleeding right away by putting pressure on the wound with a piece of gauze. Sugarless gum and dental wax can cover jagged tooth edges to stop it from cutting the inside of your mouth.
Locate the tooth immediately. Gently pick it up by the crown; avoid touching the root at all costs. After you rinse of any debris, you should try and put the tooth back in its socket. (You can hold it in place with your tongue.) A glass of milk or the inside of your cheek can be used to preserve a tooth that won’t go back in its socket. There’s an extremely limited window of time to try and replant a tooth, so call us immediately once you realize you have a gap in your mouth.
Try to put the restoration back on your tooth if you can. Pain medication can be used if your tooth becomes sensitive. A small dab of toothpaste will help keep the restoration in place (although that will obviously only be a temporary solution until we can use a more permanent adhesive).
The way we deal with your specific dental emergency will depend on what kind of damage was done and how severe the issue is. Obviously, this means the cost of an emergency visit is likely to be very different for every patient. To make sure that the care you need is as affordable as possible, we’re open to accepting a wide variety of dental insurances. (In particular, we are in-network with Delta Dental Premier, Aetna, and Cigna.) We’ll also help you explore other financing options in the event that you don’t have insurance.