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Don’t Let a Dental Emergency Ruin Your Weekend

Don’t Let a Dental Emergency Ruin Your Weekend

Fredericksburg Smile Center and Ashland Smile Center are closed on weekends. What if you have a dental emergency? Luckily, most problems with teeth or dental work are not serious health issues. There are things people can do to alleviate pain and discomfort.

When you feel you have a dental emergency outside of regular business hours, first try calling the Fredericksburg Smile Center. We always have a dentist on-call or an after-hours emergency line that will offer advice on what to do. When all else fails, follow this guide for treating some of the most common dental emergencies at home—and watch out for signs that you should head to the hospital. In rare, more severe situations, a visit to the ER might be in order.

Toothache and Pain

Even though the cause of your pain may be a cavity that’s been growing for a while, toothache pain can come on suddenly. In normal circumstances, it is best to get in to see a dentist right away. But when it happens on the weekend, that may not be possible. 

There are home remedies that can alleviate toothache pain until an appointment can be made:

  • First, brush and floss to make sure the discomfort isn’t coming from something stuck between the teeth.
  • Rinsing with salt water is soothing and can help to disinfect the sore area. Placing an aspirin directly on the sore tooth is an old wives’ tale and can actually do more harm than good. It can actually cause a chemical burn on the gums and damage tooth enamel.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen(Motrin, Aleve, Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) will also help. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are metabolized in different organs and can be taken together at the same time for optimal pain relief.

If the pain increases, or if breathing or swallowing is affected, go to the hospital emergency room. They won’t fix the tooth, but they can manage the pain and administer antibiotics to treat the infection until a dentist is available.

A Cracked or Chipped Tooth

The good news is that cracking or chipping a tooth is not always painful unless the break goes very deep and affects the nerve. If there is not any pain involved, this is not a true dental emergency. Schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience and avoid hard foods and chewing on the area until you can be seen.

A Lost Filling

Since a filling’s purpose is to fix a cavity, when it pops out, the inside of the tooth is exposed. This can be very painful if the root is still alive. If the missing filling makes it difficult to eat and drink, temporary dental filling material can be purchased at most drugstores.

If  you have any questions or concerns, please contact us!

Published: December 23, 2022


Author: Dr. Joel Butterworth

Joel S. Butterworth, DDS is the dentist and owner of Fredericksburg Smile Center and Ashland Smile Center. Dr. Butterworth has specialized training and clinical experience in all fields of general dentistry as well as advanced training in anesthesia and pain control, TMJ disorders, dental oncology, and emergency medicine.