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Emergency Dentist – Scripps Ranch, CA

Fast & Effective Emergency Relief

dentist in Scripps Ranch reaching for a dental tool

At MOD Squad Dental, we’ll give you the relief you need from dental injuries and pain as quickly as possible. If you or a family member is experiencing an emergency, don’t wait – contact our Scripps Ranch practice right away! Dr. Greg Friedman will do what he can to see you on the same day as your initial call, as well as provide assistance over the phone for how to best manage your condition until you can reach us. If you’re unsure what constitutes a dental emergency, our team can assess your symptoms and let you know whether you require emergency dental or medical care first.

How to Handle Common Dental Emergencies

child receiving emergency dental care

Dental emergencies always happen at the least convenient and most unexpected moments. Because of that, it’s difficult to have a firm and proactive plan in place to prevent additional oral damage from occurring. Below, we’ve outlined some of the most common emergencies that our patients experience and what you should do until you arrive at our office.

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Toothaches

man flossing in front of the mirror

A severe toothache in Scripps Ranch is often a sign of an infection hidden beneath the enamel of your tooth. To combat your pain, you can take an over-the-counter reliever such as ibuprofen. It’s also a good idea to rinse with a saltwater solution to help sanitize the area. If a serious infection is to blame, we may need to repair your tooth with root canal therapy.

Chipped/Broken Tooth

young woman looking at her teeth in the mirror

No matter the extent of the damage, it’s always important to visit an emergency dentist for a broken tooth. If the tooth broke off and created a jagged edge, you can place a piece of orthodontic wax or sugar-free gum over the area to keep it from catching on your cheeks or lips and causing irritation. We’ll do our utmost to save the tooth, but if the damage is too great, the tooth may have to be extracted.

Knocked-Out Tooth

woman holding the side of her face in pain

Time is of the essence if a permanent tooth has become knocked out of its socket. Retrieve it, being sure to only handle it by the biting surface, and rinse it under a cool stream of water to clear away any debris. Place it in a sealable container of salt water or milk to keep it moist and viable and bring it with you to our emergency dental office in Scripps Ranch.

Lost Filling/Crown

man sitting on couch and holding his cheek in pain

If you’re able to find your crown or filling, rinse it under cool water. You can try to place it back in your mouth by attaching it with a dab of denture adhesive or a piece of sugar-free gum. Visit our office immediately so we can replace the restoration and prevent an infection from developing.

Something Stuck Between the Teeth

Your first order of business when a piece of food or some other object is stuck between your teeth is to use dental floss. Gently rock a piece of floss back and forth to try and remove it. It may help to tie one end of the floss into a knot. If that doesn’t work, call us and schedule an appointment. If the object remains there for too long, it’s possible that it could lead to an infection.

Partially Dislodged Tooth

A tooth that has been partially knocked out, or “extruded,” is considered an urgent dental emergency in Scripps Ranch. Do NOT try to push the tooth back into its socket. Instead, call our office as quickly as possible. In the meantime, avoid chewing with that side of your mouth. You can use a cold compress or take an over-the-counter pain reliever to temporarily lessen any discomfort. Once you arrive, we’ll determine whether we can splint the tooth back into place or whether we’ll have to remove it entirely.

Infections

If you have a pimple-like, pus-filled bump in your gums, then you likely have what’s called a dental abscess. Whatever you do, do NOT try to pop it. An abscess is a serious infection that, if left untreated, could spread throughout your mouth or even the rest of your body. Until you can reach our office, rinse your mouth with a saltwater solution a few times a day to keep the area clean.

Gum/Soft Tissue Injury

Accidentally busting your lip, biting your tongue, or scratching your gums can result in heavy bleeding. If you have injured your gums or other oral soft tissues, place a clean, damp washcloth or a gauze pad to the area. After a few minutes of applying firm pressure, the bleeding should subside. Once the bleeding has slowed, you can hold an ice pack to the area to reduce pain and swelling. If, however, the bleeding does not stop, head to the nearest emergency room for immediate medical attention.

How to Prevent Dental Emergencies

blurry dental office as patient receives dental care

While there’s no way to completely avoid a dental emergency, there are some steps you can take to drastically reduce your risk. Here are some proactive measures to help prevent dental emergencies in Scripps Ranch:

  •  Always be careful when eating foods that are overly hard, chewy, or sticky. Also, don’t chew the ice in your drinks!
  •  When participating in a sport that could involve contact with another person or a hard surface, it’s important to wear a mouthguard.
  •  Make sure to use scissors when opening tricky packaging and not your teeth, as this might cause damage.
  •  Even minor issues like cavities today could become emergencies tomorrow. Attending routine check-ups and cleanings allows Dr. Friedman to treat the problem quickly and simply before it becomes worse.

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Visit Your Dentist Regularly

woman talking to her dentist

While many dental emergencies are unavoidable accidents, many of them are the result of decay, infection, or other damage that has been gradually worsening for several weeks or months. By visiting us every six months for a checkup and cleaning, Dr. Friedman can detect these problems before they turn into painful emergencies. 

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene at Home

mother and daughter brushing their teeth together

Of course, seeing us twice a year is only half the battle in avoiding dental emergencies. Make sure to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time, and floss every evening. These simple habits can go a long way in minimizing the buildup of plaque in your mouth that could contribute to toothaches, cavities, and more.

Stick to a Nutritious Diet

woman eating a salad

It’s no secret that cutting back on sugary foods and drinks reduces your risk of tooth decay. But you should also know that biting down too hard on certain crunchy foods, like nuts, popcorn kernels, hard breads, and even apples, can fracture a tooth or dental restoration, resulting in the need for a trip to our emergency dental office in Scripps Ranch. Be careful when chewing these foods. Additionally, avoid chewing on hard, inedible objects like ice, pens, fingernails, etc.

Wear a Mouthguard

man putting a red mouthguard in his mouth

If you play sports, you’ll want to protect your smile by wearing a mouthguard. Instead of the cheap options from the store, our team can craft a custom mouthguard using impressions we take of your mouth. The result is a mouthguard that fits better, feels more comfortable, and provides more protection.

Also, consider wearing a nightguard if you grind your teeth while sleeping. This habit, known as bruxism, can wear down your tooth enamel, leaving your pearly whites more susceptible to breakage.

Use Tools, Not Your Teeth, to Open Packages

person opening a glass bottle with their teeth

It can be tempting to open a package quickly by just biting it, but doing so can chip or crack your teeth. Avoid painful breakage by taking the time to reach for the scissors instead.

The Cost of Treating Dental Emergencies

dentist working on a patient’s teeth

Dental emergencies come in all shapes and sizes, which is why there’s no singular cost for urgent treatment. Based on our evaluation when you first get to our office, we’ll provide you with different dental solutions and make sure that you aren’t left in the dark about any pricing factors. Our team will be more than happy to also help you navigate additional financing through CareCredit if you need it.