Dental emergency and urgent care during COVID-19
To better support you during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have expanded our services to include teledentistry consultations to assist you with your dental emergency and urgent dental concerns.
In this one-on-one video conference, we will work with you to assess and triage your dental needs and provide recommendations for next steps in treatment or at-home dental care. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please do not hesitate to reach out to Dr. Philip Kroll or Dr. Stephanie Kroll using our emergency teledentistry platform.
Schedule Teledentistry Appointment
What is a dental emergency?
When you are dealing with a dental problem, discussing your dental concern with Dr. Phil or Dr. Steph should be your first step. However, what if you encounter a dental problem in the middle of the night, holiday, or weekend? If you’re dealing with a severe dental problem outside normal office hours, you may need an emergency dental visit or even an emergency room visit.
It is important to understand the difference between a dental urgency that can wait until the next morning or a life-threatening dental emergency that can risk your overall health. Here’s what you should know about recognizing dental emergencies.
How to know if it’s a dental emergency?
To help you determine if you can wait to be seen by Dr. Phil or Dr. Steph or if you need to take a trip to the ER or urgent care, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you having trouble breathing? Severe dental infections can cause swelling that could impinge your airway. This is a life-threatening dental emergency, and you should immediately go to the ER for treatment with IV antibiotics.
- Did you lose a tooth or experience trauma to your face? Quick assessment and treatment can potentially save your tooth. If your trauma is limited to your teeth and oral tissues, contact Dr. Phil or Dr. Steph for recommendations on next steps. If your trauma involves your facial bones and structures or if you are having trouble breathing, you should immediately go to the ER for assessment and treatment.
- Do you have a dental infection? An abscess (serious infection with swelling) inside your mouth can be life-threatening if not addressed swiftly. In some cases, you may notice knots or swelling on your gums, including swelling around your face and neck. Dental assessment should not wait: contact Dr. Phil or Dr. Steph for recommendations on next steps.
- Are you in significant pain? Severe oral pain can be a sign of a dental emergency, and you should contact Dr. Phil or Dr. Steph for recommendations on next steps.
- Are you experiencing oral bleeding? Bleeding is a possible sign of a dental emergency, if you cannot get the bleeding to stop using firm, direct pressure with a clean gauze or washcloth. Contact Dr. Phil or Dr. Steph for recommendations on next steps.
Symptoms that require urgent dental care
In general, any dental issue that requires immediate treatment to reduce or alleviate severe pain or swelling, stop oral bleeding, or manage dental trauma is considered a dental emergency and may require immediate dental care. This consideration also includes severe infections which can be life-threatening. If you have any of these symptoms, you may be experiencing a dental emergency and should call our office immediately to get in touch with Dr. Phil or Dr. Steph.
What is not a dental emergency?
If the problem can wait until Dr. Phil or Dr. Steph can see you next, it isn’t a dental emergency. Sometimes problems that seem critical can actually wait as long as you take care of yourself. Here are some examples of dental concerns that can wait:
- A chipped or cracked tooth could be an emergency if the fracture is very painful or has left sharp fragments that cause damage inside your mouth. If the tooth is chipped but does not hurt, we can treat you during regular office hours. Notify us of your urgency, do your best to keep the area clean, and utilize sensitive toothpaste in the area until we can see you.
- A toothache can also wait for treatment as long as the pain is not severe and you do not have symptoms of an abscess, such as fever, swelling of the face, or bumps on the gums. Notify us of your urgency, do your best to keep the area clean, and utilize sensitive toothpaste in the area until we can see you.
- If you have lost a crown or filling, we can treat you during regular office hours. Notify us of your urgency, do your best to keep the area clean, and utilize sensitive toothpaste in the area until we can see you.
If you would like to have a consultation with Dr. Phil or Dr. Steph, please get in touch with us at (805) 643-7516 or visit our teledentistry portal to schedule your visit.