When you have a dental emergency like a chipped tooth or a broken filling, it can be difficult to wait even a day for a dental appointment. Our doctors and our team understand that some things just can't be put off, so we reserve openings in our daily schedule to accommodate dental emergencies. We will do everything in our power to see you the same day you call.
If you are ever in a situation that makes you feel like you need to speak with your doctor, please call our office anytime, day or night: 703-528-3336. If you call during non-business hours, our voicemail gives instructions about how to reach the on-call dentist.
Accidents happen, and especially when they involve our teeth and mouths, they can be pretty frightening. Here are some guidelines to help you through common situations and let you know when a trip to our office might be necessary. If you do need to schedule an emergency appointment with our Arlington dental team, we offer sedation dentistry to make your treatment as comfortable as possible.
Rinse with warm water to remove any food or debris. If you notice anything lodged between teeth, floss to remove it. Take an over the counter pain medication (but never apply the medication directly to teeth or gums), and see Dr. LaVecchia if the pain persists.
Chipped or Broken Tooth
Save the pieces if you can, and rinse them thoroughly. Apply an ice pack or a cold compress to the swollen lip or gum tissue near the chipped tooth to prevent swelling. If the area is bleeding, apply gauze for ten minutes or until the bleeding has stopped. Call Dr. LaVecchia immediately.
With recent advancements in restorative and cosmetic dentistry, you might not lose your tooth. If there is enough remaining healthy tooth structure, there are several treatment options that may eliminate the need for root removal. While the success of these procedures depends on the severity of the break, it's worth asking about options other than complete removal.
Knocked Out Tooth
Depending on the situation, find the tooth, make sure not to hold it by the root, and rinse it briefly with warm water. If possible (if the tooth is whole, first of all), gently reinsert the tooth into the socket and bite down on gauze or cloth to keep it in place. If you cannot reinsert it, place it in a container of milk or mild saltwater solution. Call Dr. LaVecchia as soon as possible — if treated within 2 hours, the tooth may be salvaged.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissues such as gums, cheeks, lips, and the tongue tend to bleed heavily, because the tissue contains a great deal of blood flow. To control the bleeding, first rinse with a warm, mild salt water solution. Apply pressure with gauze or a moistened towel for 15 to 20 minutes. Afterwards, to reduce swelling and help stop residual bleeding, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth. In the event of a serious soft tissue injury, in which the bleeding is profuse or the damage is visibly traumatic, it's best to stay calm, keep applying pressure, and go to the emergency room.