Emergency Dental Procedures
Most dental care follows a schedule and carefully planned appointments. Patients make an appointment and then any follow-ups are booked when the appointment is done, with the timeline depending on the procedure. However, life doesn’t always work on scheduled timelines and neither does dentistry. While most dental procedures will be scheduled in advance, sometimes emergencies happen and a patient needs to see a dentist immediately.
How We Can Help You
Burke Dental is there to help patients in the Burke, Virginia area deal with any dental emergencies they might be experiencing. New and returning patients can call during office hours to book an emergency appointment and Dr. James Willis and his staff will accommodate you as soon as possible. At Burke Dental we know that dental emergencies happen and that it is important that they be treated fast and we will do everything we can to accommodate our patients and make sure they are treated quickly.
Dr. James Willis and his team are thorough, friendly, genuine and very professional… I highly recommend this practice to someone looking for a great dental team. Burke Dental is your place!Jacqueline
My family and I have been very happy with Dr. Willis as our new family dentist. We had been with Dr. Brigleb for many years, and with his recommendation, we stayed with this practice. Dr. Willis is a very caring and concerned person, with your dental health foremost in his mindCharlene
What Is Emergency Care
Dental care can fall into three categories: routine, concern, and emergency. Regular check-ups and dental cleanings fall into routine, as do most cosmetic procedures. Areas of concerns are issues that have patients booking an extra appointment instead of waiting for a check-up, but one that isn’t time sensitive. Nagging pain from wisdom teeth is one example of an area of concern. If a patient’s wisdom teeth are bothering them, it’s important to get them checked out as soon as possible, but it doesn’t require urgent care. A dental emergency is something that has to be addressed immediately, often the result of tooth trauma or accidental damage.
Types of Dental Emergencies
There are several different scenarios that can require immediate dental care. If a patient suffers from tooth trauma, they need to be seen immediately, but there are also non-traumatic reasons a patient may need emergency care. Sometimes a tooth can go from a healthy status to an emergency status very quickly and without any warning and can require immediate treatment. Some examples of dental emergencies are:
- Broken Teeth. There are a few different ways a patient can break teeth, including tooth trauma from an accident or biting down on a hard substance, such as a popcorn kernel or an olive pit. It is important to get broken teeth looked at immediately because the exposed remaining tooth structure can become infected if left untreated. Also there is a risk of further trauma if it is left untreated.
- Missing Teeth. There are a few reasons a patient might suddenly lose teeth including trauma to the face and untreated gum disease. It is important to address tooth loss as soon as possible because if left untreated, missing teeth can have a negative impact on the jawbone, gums and remaining teeth.
- Extreme pain. All tooth pain is serious and should be treated promptly, but if the pain is very severe and affects a patient’s ability to function, it should be considered an emergency. The pain could be a result of an abscess or another serious issue and could require immediate treatment.
- Infection. If a patient notices signs of tooth or gum infection, they should make an appointment immediately. Infections can spread very quickly if left untreated and can have serious health implications.
- Object stuck in teeth. If a patient gets something stuck in their teeth and can’t remove it with gentle pressure, they should come into the office instead of trying to remove it on their own. Pulling and prodding at the object can damage the teeth so it is best to leave it to the trained professionals.
- Missing filling, crown, or bridge. Sometimes damage can occur to a patient’s existing dental work. If this happens, it’s important to be seen immediately because the exposed tooth area is vulnerable to infection and further damage.
- Trauma to the Face or Jaw. If a patient suffers a significant blow to the face or jaw area, they should be looked at immediately. Even if there is no obvious breakage, there could be damage done to the roots of the teeth or to the jawbone that is not easily detectable but that can lead to further damage if left untreated.
Dental emergencies are situations where the damage can spread and become more severe if left untreated. Early detection also means more treatment options. Patients who suffer facial trauma or notice the signs of infection should schedule an emergency appointment so that they can be treated as soon as possible to help prevent the situation from worsening.
Emergency Dental Procedures
Patients in the Burke, Virginia area who suffer sudden tooth trauma or who are experiencing extreme pain or signs of infection, should call our office immediately. The team at Burke Dental is equipped to handle emergencies and we will ask a few questions about the nature of the emergency before booking an appointment for as soon as possible. We only book appointments, emergency or otherwise, during office hours. However, during office hours we will do our best to accommodate both new and returning patients and get them into see our team as soon as possible.
What Qualifies as an Emergency
Not all situations qualify as emergencies. The patient will be asked a few questions at the time of booking the appointment to clarify whether the situation is a true emergency. If the situation does not meet our definition of an emergency, we will book an appointment for the earliest regular time slot we have. Mild pain or irritation, particularly in the wisdom tooth area, or minor tooth damage likely won’t qualify as an emergency. However, severe pain, signs of infection or severe tooth damage may classify as dental emergencies and will be appropriately prioritized.
The patient will be seen as soon as possible and Dr. Willis and his team will assess the damage and recommend treatment accordingly. With emergency dentistry, the goal is to fix the problem as quickly as possible to help prevent further damage. If needed further treatment can be given at a later time when the situation isn’t quite as critical. Emergency dental procedures include:
- Temporary Fillings and crowns. If a patient has a broken or cracked tooth, it is important to repair the damage as soon as possible. The patient can be fitted for a temporary filling or crown immediately and then come back later for definitive treatment. The temporary restoration will prevent the tooth from being damaged further. It will also provide protection against bacteria and food particles.
- Replace missing fillings, crowns and bridges. The patient can be fitted with a temporary solution while waiting for definitive dental treatment. This helps protect the surface of the natural tooth from infection and further damage.
- Diagnose and treat infection. If a patient is suffering from an infection, Dr. James Willis will evaluate the situation and provide treatment accordingly. This can include rinsing the infected area with an antibacterial mouthwash and assessing whether an antibiotic is appropriate.
- Emergency root canal therapy. Root canal therapy attempts to repair damage done under the surface, inside the root of the tooth. Sometimes facial trauma can result in root damage and require root canal therapy to try and preserve the natural tooth.
- Extraction. Sometimes the damage is too severe and the affected tooth needs to come out immediately to prevent infection, trauma to soft tissue such as the tongue or gums, or damage to other teeth. In this case, Dr. Willis and his team will provide an extraction and remove the damaged tooth.
- Remove foreign material. If a patients has a non-organic material stuck between their teeth it is important to let a professional remove it; otherwise the patient risks further damaging their teeth.
- Treat missing teeth. If a tooth has been knocked out, it is important to get it looked at immediately. The team at Burke Dental will make sure there aren’t any broken pieces remaining and that the pocket where the tooth was is clean and then we will discuss replacement options. Under certain conditions, Dr. James Willis may even be able to save the tooth.
Contact Your Emergency Dentist At Burke Dental Today!
If you find yourself with a dental emergency, it is important to get treated right away. The team at Burke Dental is happy to help by delivering top-quality care to our patients, both in scheduled appointments and in emergency situations. Visit our office to learn more about services we provide. For an emergency call our office at 703-978-6000 or request an appointment online.
We are located at 9006 Fern Park Drive Ste A, Burke, VA 22015
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Burke, VA has a rich history. We are proud to be apart of our unique & special community. We believe the great people of our city is what set Burke apart from the rest of Virginia. If you are new to Burke or are just stopping by to check out the town, here are a few places you may want to visit: