Emergency Dental: Chipped & Broken Teeth in Rockaway, NJ

Life is unpredictable, which means dental emergencies can happen to anyone. Even the most diligent brushers and flossers are at risk for dental injury—and usually when they least expect it. 

If you have ever experienced a dental emergency, you understand how scary and inconvenient they can feel. Your teeth play a significant role in your daily functions and routine and injuring or losing one can throw you for a loop. In many dental emergencies, your tooth can feel perfectly fine in the morning and then be the cause of relentless pain by dinnertime. Dental emergencies can develop quickly and out of nowhere, which is why you need to be prepared for when they do happen.

How should you prepare for dental emergencies in Rockaway, NJ? The first step is having a plan of action lined up in case you need immediate treatment. Know ahead of time where you will go and how to contact your dentist to receive instructions. At West Main Complete Dentistry, we regularly see patients for dental emergencies and can help you, too. 

All you need to do is call our dental office at (973) 627-7810 and speak with a member of our team. If your dental emergency happens after business hours—as many so often do—call us at that same telephone number, and we will direct you to our emergency line. Our Rockaway dentist can usually see you that very same day. 

What is a dental emergency?

If you have an injured tooth, it may feel like the sky is falling. You might be tempted to immediately grab your car keys and head straight to our dental office—but before you do, you should understand whether your situation is truly emergent.

We want to help you fix your injured tooth, and it’s essential to get the treatment you need. Sometimes, however, an injury is not a real emergency and can wait until the next business day or open appointment. 

So what exactly is a dental emergency? There is no answer to this question that is 100 percent black and white for every patient. Sometimes, a minor mouth injury can turn into a dental emergency while other times, a more serious dental problem can wait a day or two. Generally speaking, dental emergencies involve facial trauma, infection, and severe pain. 

Facial trauma, such as getting hit in the mouth while playing a contact sport, is a common cause of dental emergencies. If your tooth was knocked out, displaced, or split in half due to some accident, you most likely have a dental emergency. 

It’s crucial to visit the dentist as quickly as possible after experiencing trauma to the face. Time is of the essence when it comes to saving a tooth that is broken or missing. 

Knocked-Out Teeth

If you have a knocked-out tooth, remove the tooth from the scene of the accident and carefully bring it home with you. Only touch the crown portion of your displaced tooth, and avoid the root portion altogether. If the tooth is covered in blood, dirt, or other debris, you can gently rinse the tooth using only water. Don’t dry the tooth with a paper towel, cloth, or any other object, as this can damage the tooth roots. 

You need to keep your tooth moist to help keep it viable. The best place for your knocked-out tooth is back in your mouth, so store the tooth in its socket or even against the inside of your cheek. If this is impossible, keep the tooth in a cup of milk or even a container of your saliva. 

Contact our dental office immediately once you have recovered your tooth. Your knocked-out, or “avulsed,” tooth will need root canal treatment to repair it. The faster we can see you, the better chance we have of being able to restore the tooth in your mouth. The most promising window of time is within 30 to 60 minutes after your dental trauma. 

Cracked Teeth

Cracked teeth usually don’t seem as emergent as avulsed teeth, but you should still call us right away if a facial trauma caused your tooth to crack. Cracks in teeth can be very painful, and they can also compromise the health of your tooth. If a car accident, contact sport, or another injury to your mouth left you with a crack in your tooth, our Rockaway dentist would need to examine the area immediately. 

We will first clean the area around your tooth to avoid infection. We may also need to perform a root canal or place a tooth crown over the injured area to protect it. 

Tissue Injuries 

Sometimes dental injuries don’t impact teeth at all but do damage skin and soft tissues. 

If your lips, cheeks, gums, or tongue were punctured, ripped, torn, or impaled, you need to seek treatment right away. Our dental office will examine you initially, but we may decide to send you to the hospital or an oral surgeon the next morning if the damage is severe. 

Taking care of the soft tissue around your mouth is just as important as taking care of your teeth. If you have suffered a tissue injury, don’t wait to call us! 

Broken Jaw, Infection, or Severe Bleeding

Occasionally, facial trauma can lead to severe dental injuries. If you are bleeding heavily, having trouble breathing, or suspect that your jaw is broken, you should head straight to your nearest emergency room. 

In these cases of potentially life-threatening injuries, your priority needs to be getting the bleeding under control or having possible infections, such as Ludwig’s angina, assessed. Situations such as serious motor vehicle accidents, assault, and falls can cause internal injuries that are not visible to the naked eye. An emergency physician needs to examine your injuries and determine if there are other complications. 

You should visit the hospital immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Severe pain or swelling in your jaw
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Neck pain accompanied by swelling
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • A swollen tongue 
  • Pain under your tongue and on the floor of your mouth
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Bleeding that does not respond to firm pressure on the injured area
  • Jaw bone that is misaligned and “swinging” out of place

After your emergency room physician treats you for any immediate needs, you should still contact our dental office. We will need to see you immediately for follow-up appointments and care. 

What is not considered a dental emergency? 

If we didn't discuss your dental injury in the sections above, it is likely not a dental emergency. Dental emergencies usually include extreme pain and the need for immediate treatment. 

Common dental injuries that are not dental emergencies include:

  • A filling that fell out 
  • A cracked dental crown
  • A chipped tooth
  • Minor toothaches
  • Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
  • A dental implant or dental bridge that fell out 

You still need to visit our dental office so we can treat these conditions, but it’s ok to wait until we open the next day to contact us. Dr. Stephen Kao, the best dentist in Rockaway, NJ, will always provide you with the treatment that is most appropriate for your injury. If you are ever in doubt over whether your condition is genuinely emergent, you can always contact our dental team at (973) 627-7810. We can assess your situation over the phone and recommend the best course of action. 

How will you treat my dental emergency? 

Every dental emergency is different, which means we will have a unique treatment approach for every situation. 

Our dental team has years of experience treating dental emergencies in Rockaway, NJ. As we discussed, dental emergencies most commonly include knocked-out teeth, infections and abscesses, severe toothaches or facial pain, and broken teeth. 

For all of these different emergencies, we will evaluate your injury, clean and disinfect the area, alleviate your pain with medication, and then create a custom treatment plan to address your specific needs. Conventional treatments for dental emergencies include root canals, crowns for teeth, dental bonding, and prescription medications to prevent infection.

At West Main Complete Dentistry, we will always provide compassionate, top-notch dental care. We understand that dental emergencies can be scary, unexpected, painful, and confusing. We do our part to make your visit more comfortable and your treatment as streamlined as it can be. 

Contact Our 07866 Dental Office Today

We are fortunate to have the best dentist in Rockaway, NJ working at our dental office. If you are experiencing a dental emergency, don’t hesitate to call us any time of day at (973) 627-7810. We will see you immediately if your injury is severe, or schedule you for the next available dental appointment during regular business hours if your injury is minor. 

For the best treatment for dental emergencies in Rockaway, NJ, contact West Main Complete Dentistry today!