Emergency Dental Care
Serving Patients in South Hills of Pittsburgh, including Upper St. Clair, Bethel, Mount Lebanon and Surrounding Areas
Often times, dental emergencies occur at inconvenient times and leave patients at a loss of what to do for a temporary fix. We offer dental emergency care at our office, so please call 412 854-2310 today.
Even though a tooth extraction can sound like a daunting procedure, at Advanced Dental Solutions of Pittsburgh, you have nothing to worry about. Using the latest dental technology and techniques, our team is able to conduct pain-free tooth extractions that help restore oral health and allow our patients to enjoy their natural pearly whites for years to come. When oral health problems that require this treatment are left unaddressed, it often causes even more issues down the road.
What Is Considered a Dental Emergency?
You may have heard about dental emergencies, but how exactly do you know if you’re having one? Dental emergencies occur when there is pain or discomfort that takes away your focus from your day to day tasks. This includes problems like chipped, cracked, or lost teeth as well as infections, lost crowns, and much more. All of these situations require an immediate call to our office for treatment. If you’re in doubt, it’s always better to contact us so we can recommend your best next steps.
When Should I Visit the ER Versus the Dentist?
If you can, it is always best to visit our office in the event of a dental emergency in Pittsburgh because we specialize in oral healthcare, and we have all of the treatments available to get you out of pain. However, there are some instances where an ER visit is vital. If you experience jaw injury, deep facial wounds, broken bones in the face, problems that affect breathing, uncontrollable bleeding, or any other life-threatening issues, you should visit the nearest urgent care facility right away.
Waiting Too Long to Treat Infections
Dental emergencies are called emergencies because they require care as soon as possible. Infections, also known as toothaches, are no different. When a tooth becomes infected, we can usually remove the damaged tissue while keeping the rest of your tooth intact with root canal therapy. However, if you don’t seek treatment for a toothache, this infection can spread to the rest of your tooth and even to other parts of your mouth. This can result in tooth loss, permanent gum tissue damage, jawbone deterioration, and more, which is why it’s best to call us right away if you think you have an infection.
Keys to Preventing Dental Emergencies
Ready for some good news? There are simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of experiencing a dental emergency. Although oral infections and injuries are never 100% avoidable, your actions can still make a big difference! So, take a look at the tips below on how to prevent dental emergencies in Pittsburgh.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
If left untreated, gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral health problems could easily grow into dental emergencies. That is why seeing a dentist twice a year for a routine checkup is so important. When you visit Advanced Dental Solutions of Pittsburgh for a dental exam and cleaning, your dentist will carefully inspect your teeth, gums, and other oral structures for infection or decay. They will also look for signs of serious diseases like oral cancer. Catching issues early on is key to successful treatment and preventing dental emergencies.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene at Home
You should think of yourself and your dentist as a team. While your dentist cares for your teeth inside their office, you still need to do your part outside of it. Practicing excellent oral hygiene at home helps prevent harmful plaque and tartar buildup. Be sure to follow these tips to keep your teeth in great shape and avoid trips to an emergency dental office in Pittsburgh:
- Brush your teeth twice every day for a full two minutes each time
- Be sure to brush the inside, outside, and tops of your teeth
- Floss at least once daily
- Rinse with antibacterial mouthwash once a day
Stick to a Nutritious Diet
The foods and drinks you consume every day have an enormous impact on your oral health. For instance, if you snack on candy each afternoon at work, you have a higher risk of developing cavities. Oral bacteria love feeding on sugar, which they convert into acid that harms teeth. For this reason, you should limit the amount of chocolate, candy, soda, and other sweet treats and beverages you consume. Smile-friendly foods include cheese, yogurt, and other white dairy products, along with leafy greens, fish, almonds, and fibrous vegetables like celery. Be sure to include plenty of these foods in your daily diet if you want to prevent dental emergencies in Pittsburgh.
Wear a Mouthguard
Accidents can easily happen when playing recreational sports like football or basketball. Wearing a mouthguard can protect your teeth from unexpected physical trauma. Custom mouthguards from a dentist are formed to fit snugly over your teeth and feel comfortable in your mouth. Wearing a mouthguard is also a good idea if you grind your teeth at night. Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding can contribute to TMJ dysfunction and wear down tooth enamel.
Use Tools to Open Packages, Not Your Teeth
If you’re having trouble opening a bag of chips, it can be tempting to try to use your teeth. However, this is an easy way to end up with a cracked tooth! Simply put, teeth are for eating, not for opening packages. Do yourself a favor and grab a pair of scissors instead!
Understanding the Cost of Emergency Dentistry
Many patients delay seeking the urgent care their smiles need because they’re worried about the cost of emergency dentistry in Pittsburgh. However, going without treatment could not only worsen your dental pain, but you might even end up requiring a procedure that is more expensive than you would have needed if you’d come in right when your pain began!
We cannot recommend strongly enough that you call us right away when a dental emergency strikes. Our team will examine your smile, come up with a treatment plan, and go over your financing options to make your care affordable.
Every Dental Emergency Is Different
Because there are countless varieties of dental emergencies that can occur, it’s essentially impossible for us to give a precise cost estimate without looking over your smile first. After all, two patients experiencing a similar type of toothache may require two completely different treatments, each of which has its own cost.
Once your emergency dentist in Pittsburgh has examined your mouth and determined the cause and extent of the damage, we can discuss possible solutions and the prices associated with them. Rest assured that we won’t move forward with any treatments until you’re comfortable with the financial side of things!
Does Dental Insurance Cover Dental Emergencies?
Depending on the details of your policy, your dental insurance will most likely cover part of your emergency treatment. Many insurance providers will cover the cost of crowns, root canals, and other procedures commonly used to treat tooth pain at 50% to 80%. Your plan may also pay for one emergency exam per year as needed.
Of course, every plan is different, so you’ll need to check your policy before confirming anything. Our team would be happy to help with this process. We’re even in-network with numerous plans, including:
We’ll also file claims for out-of-network plans to help you maximize your benefits!
Other Options for Making Dental Emergencies Affordable
We understand that cost is a huge factor in deciding to receive dental treatment, and we never want financial stress to get in the way of healing your smile. If your insurance doesn’t provide enough coverage, or if you don’t have insurance, we can help you apply for a CareCredit payment plan. These flexible plans come in various lengths (six months to 60 months), and many of them have low to no interest rates!
Save Money by Taking Care of Your Smile
The simplest way to reduce your dental care costs is to prevent oral health issues in the first place. While this isn’t always possible, a little bit of preventive dental care goes a long way. For example, maintaining a daily oral hygiene routine can minimize the risk that a cavity will develop and worsen to the point that it causes a toothache. This saves you not only from pain, but also from large dental bills!
Common Dental Emergencies and Remedies
Here are some of the most common emergencies our office sees and some actions you can take to make you more comfortable until you can see your dentist.
My Dental Crown Came Off
This emergency can be associated with tooth pain when faced with cold temperatures or no pain at all (often crowned teeth have had a root canal therapy). Regardless of pain. It is best to temporarily re-cement your dental crown until you can see your dentist, as teeth can begin shifting very quickly. Most stores will sell some temporary cement in the oral health section, but in a pinch, you can use Fixodent, Polygrip, or toothpaste. Do not use superglue, as it can be impossible to remove should you put it on incorrectly, and the dentist needs to make sure there is no cavity that leaked under your crown. Try the crown on first to make sure you get the proper orientation. After temporarily cementing it, avoid chewy foods until you see your dentist.
My Filling Fell Out
This emergency is typically associated with added sensitivity to cold and sweets. The pharmacy sells temporary filling material you can place over an exposed tooth.
My Chipped Tooth is Very Sharp Now
Orthodontic wax can be placed over any sharp areas. Alternatively, a temporary filling can help cover sharp areas.
My Tooth is Broken/Knocked Out
Immediately place the tooth or the fragment of tooth in milk or saliva (be careful not to swallow) and call the dentist immediately, as this type of treatment has the greatest success rate if completed within 20 minutes. Do NOT wash or scrub the tooth or fragments, as you could damage the ligaments that aid in reattachment.
I Have a Swollen Face
Place an ice pack on the side of your face. NEVER use heat; if the swelling is due to infection, the problem could worsen. Take ibuprofen to help reduce swelling and see your dentist immediately. Often times, an antibiotic can be used to decrease the spread of swollenness until you can be seen. Swishing with salt water can also help.
I have a Burn/Sore in My Mouth
Apply Orabase over-the-counter cream and swish with saltwater. Typically, burns and sores heal within 7-10 days.
I Have a Toothache
Take ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), or Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and avoid hot or cold foods. A warm saltwater rinse can clean the area. If the pain is accompanied by swelling, use an ice pack, an over-the-counter cream, or gel containing benzocaine. DO NOT place aspirin on the area, it contains acid and can cause burns.