In order to talk about dental emergencies, we should first begin by telling you what we do not consider to be dental emergencies. You lost a cap off your tooth before prom night? Sorry, that is nasty and inconvenient, and yes, it will ruin your photos, but it is not an emergency.
You lost a filling while eating? Unless it took a huge chunk of your tooth away with it and is causing you pain, it is not a dental emergency.
You were in a car accident and had a couple of teeth damaged at the root level? Now you have a dental emergency.
You get the idea. If you have had a tooth knocked out or something else has happened that is causing your mouth to bleed or result in unbearable pain, then call us, and if you are one of our regular patients, we will make every effort to get you in the same day.
Night Guards & Mouth Guards
Night guards and mouth guards are oral appliances that work to keep teeth from meeting. Mouth guards are often used in contact sports to prevent tooth damage, while night guards are more often used to correct the problem of grinding one’s teeth while asleep.
Teeth grinding can result in a number of oral issues. First, your teeth can become worn, and even crack or chip. Persistent grinding can lead to temporomandibular disorder (TMD). Most of the time, grinding can be corrected with the use of a night guard, and this can mean that the patient will not need more advanced treatment for TMD, which could actually extend to the need for surgical correction.
Night guards and mouth guards can be purchased in drugstores, but they will never fit your mouth the way that one from your dentist will, and will never offer the same level of protection. So, if you play sports or grind your teeth at night, your dentist is the best source for a mouth guard or night guard.
Often, people become afraid when they are told that they might need oral surgery. Most of the time, though, that is simply because they do not understand what “oral surgery” means. It is, essentially, anything that involves cutting into your gum line, so oral surgery could be something as routine as an extraction.
On the other hand, oral surgery could be as complex as having dental implants installed. Root canal treatments also fall under the category of oral surgery.
Oral surgery is nothing to fear. The procedures are generally done using a local anesthetic, the same as your dentist would give you for a filling. Your dentist is not in the business of causing you pain, so even when it comes to procedures that do require cutting, you can rely on your dentist to take every possible measure to ensure that you are not in discomfort. You will simply have your procedure done, go home on the same day, and generally be able to handle any discomfort with over-the-counter remedies like ibuprofen.
Parents often wonder how soon their child should have his or her first visit to the dentist. The simplest answer is “as soon as the baby teeth come in.” Sure, the baby teeth are going to fall out, but the dentist will want to see how they are growing in order to identify any potential issues once the permanent teeth begin to erupt.
At Platte Valley Dental Care in Platte City, MO, we accept children of all ages. Our dentists and staff all love kids, and will go the extra mile to make sure they feel fully comfortable during their visit. We will let them handle the instruments, sit in the dentist’s chair, and do whatever else we need to do to ensure that they see us as friends. If you think that your child would be more comfortable if you were present during examination and treatment, that is fine with us too.
Usually, when people come to us at Platte Valley Dental Care in Platte City, MO, the first thing we do is rule out a dental infection. If that appears not to be the problem, we will explore the possibility of TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder). This condition can be hard to diagnose, since it does not always manifest as tooth pain. You might also feel pain in your face, neck or shoulder. Or, there might be no pain, but you will find that you have difficulty opening and closing your mouth, or you might feel a “popping” sensation when you do so.
One thing about TMD is that it never gets better on its own. So if you have any of the above symptoms, come and see us for a TMD assessment. We have a variety of treatments and techniques that can help to ease your discomfort, but a correct diagnosis is vital.
Your dentist does not want you to be afraid of him or her, but the fact is that many people are very dental-phobic. If you have been neglecting your oral health because you are afraid of the dentist, or afraid of the treatments that you will undergo once in the dentist chair, then you can come to see us at Platte Valley Dental Care in Platte City, MO without having to undergo a fear-inducing experience.
We understand dental phobia, and we treat it by means of sedation dentistry using nitrous oxide. You probably know it better as “laughing gas.” The fact is, though, nitrous oxide will not make you laugh, or even giggle; you will just feel relaxed – very relaxed, even to the point where you might not remember your treatment. Of course, if you choose this type of sedation dentistry, you will have to bring someone along with you to drive you home; it can take a while for the effects to wear off.
Lasers have been used in other medical applications for years, and are now used in even routine dental treatments. This is because lasers are incredibly precise, so your dentist can focus very closely on the area that needs to be treated. Lasers also lead to shorter recovery times, and can often even eliminate the need for local anesthetics.
When it comes to routine dental procedures, the laser can be used to replace the drill, and can prepare teeth for treatment without freezing. Even better, you can have several procedures completed in a single visit, since the laser allows for speedy treatment and little time spent in the dentist chair.
With soft laser dentistry, cutting is considerably more precise, and results in less trauma to surrounding tissues. The laser also works to immediately seal the treated area, resulting in a dramatically reduced chance of a dental infection. Lasers can also be used to reshape the tissue of the gums, allowing exposure of the healthy tooth structure.
At Platte Valley Dental Care in Platte City, MO, we are constantly on top of the newest innovations in dental technology. If you have been avoiding dental care out of fear of pain or invasive treatments, call us to learn why you really do not have to worry. Our number is 816-858-2027.