When a dental emergency strikes, the last thing we want you to do is panic.
While emergencies are generally uncommon, you shouldn’t have to tackle
them on your own. Whether you have a long-term issue like dental decay
that’s led to an infection or a physical injury that left your tooth
cracked and exposed, Dr. Dine is ready to get you on a treatment plan that not
only restores your smile and oral health, but gets you out of pain
quickly. Call our dental office today the
moment you believe something is wrong for emergency dentistry in Fairfield,
Why Choose Dr. Andrew Dine, DDS for Emergency Dental Care?
Calming Sedation Options Available for Maximum Comfort
We Work Hard to See Emergency Patients for Same-Day Appointments
High-tech, Modern Dentistry in a Relaxing Dental Office
What to Do In a Dental Emergency
Step 1: Call us as soon as you can. When a dental
emergency appears, it’s best to give our dental office a call first
and foremost in a majority of situations. This way, we can provide
guidance to you over the phone and get you scheduled for an appointment
the same day.
Step 2: Visit us for an emergency exam with Dr. Dine. When you arrive for your appointment, Dr. Dine will see you right away to
alleviate your pain and quickly learn more about your situation.
Step 3: Review the findings and make a treatment plan.
Dine will go over his findings with you and fully explain all your
treatment options. Together, you’ll make a treatment plan for
getting your oral health back on track in a way that works best for you.
Step 4: Get the quick, compassionate care you need right away. Whether you need a filling, gum disease treatment, root canal therapy, or
something else entirely, our dedicated team will be focused on your
comfort while we repair your smile. For patients who are particularly
anxious or uncomfortable, we offer calming sedation to put your mind at
The Most Common Dental Emergencies
Not every dental emergency is as easy to identify as a broken or knocked-out
tooth. While many dental emergencies are the result of an injury or
accident, others may have been slowly developing for a long time because of
poor oral health. So even if you’re unsure if you need urgent dental
care, we encourage you to call us if you’re experiencing new,
worrisome, or painful dental symptoms. Below, you’ll find just a few
of the most common dental emergencies Dr. Dine and his team treat regularly.
Understanding the Cost of Treating Dental Emergencies
We never want our patients to postpone getting the emergency care they need
because they’re worried about the cost. That’s why we’re
proud to offer an
emergency exam with X-rays for only $49. Once we’ve
had a chance to evaluate your situation and get you out of any immediate
pain, we’ll be able to recommend which treatments would be best for
you and a personalized estimate of costs. As with all of our treatments,
you’ll always know the estimated price of your treatment before
starting it. Plus, we’ll work with you to make it as affordable as
possible. In the end, you should know that dental emergencies are relatively
affordable compared to medical emergencies, so we strongly recommend that
you give us a call as soon as you begin to suspect a problem arise!
Every Dental Emergency Is Different
Treatment for a dental emergency will likely vary in cost depending on
the severity and type of issue you’re experiencing. For example,
tooth pain that only requires a cleaning and dental filling to address
it will generally cost less than needing a full-blown root canal. With
that said, you should never put off your necessary care simply due to
the cost as this can result in needing even more expensive dental care
later. After all, ignoring a toothache can make all the difference
between needing a filling and needing a tooth extraction!
Does Dental Insurance Cover Dental Emergencies?
Most dental insurance plans offer some form of coverage for emergency
situations. While every policy is different, many will cover at least
one emergency exam a year. Additionally, many of the treatments used to
address dental emergencies such as fillings, crowns, and root canal
therapy usually receive some form of coverage as well. This could be
anywhere from 50% to 80% depending on your specific plan, but keep in
mind that you may need to factor in yearly maximums, deductibles, and
waiting periods. Our talented team has plenty of experience navigating
insurance details and will do everything they can to maximize your
Other Options for Making Dental Emergencies Affordable
If you don’t have dental insurance, or if you’re not happy
with your coverage, you still have plenty of options for making
emergency dental care more affordable, like:
Our In-House Dental Membership Plan: For one flat
annual fee, you can enroll in our very own membership plan, which
covers a wide variety of treatments, including two emergency care
visits per year.
CareCredit Financing: We partner with CareCredit to
offer flexible dental financing. With one of their low- to no-interest
plans, you can break up the cost of your treatment into smaller
payments that fit easily into your monthly budget.
Our Special Offer for Dental Emergencies: Our
uninsured patients can get a full emergency exam with X-rays for just
$49 as a special offer.
Taking Care of Your Smile Can Save You Money
Studies show that the majority of dental emergencies, especially those
that are toothaches, are the result of decay that could have easily been
prevented. Taking care of your smile on a regular basis with daily
brushing and flossing and bi-annual dental checkups can save you a
tremendous amount of money in emergency dental care.
Keys to Preventing Dental Emergencies
In most cases, dental emergencies are actually more preventable than you
might think. While sudden accidents often cannot be avoided, the vast
majority of oral health problems that require urgent care are the result of
decay, infection, or damage that has been steadily worsening for some time.
If you want to prevent dental emergencies in Fairfield, you can keep oral
health concerns to a minimum by taking these simple precautions.
Visit Our Dental Office Regularly for Checkups & Cleanings
Cavities and gum disease are barely perceptible in their early stages.
This means that you might even have one of these issues (which could lead
to a dental emergency later on) without even knowing it! Luckily, Dr. Dine
has more than four decades of experience detecting early warning signs of
these conditions and treating them before they become full-blown
emergencies. By visiting him twice a year for a routine checkup, you’ll be
keeping your risk of painful dental problems to a minimum. He can also
reduce your risk by giving your teeth a professional cleaning, which
removes built-up plaque that contributes to infections and decay.
Maintain Good At-Home Oral Hygiene
As important as regular cleanings are, you’ll also need to keep your
pearly whites clean between appointments. Without daily brushing and
flossing, plaque accumulates on your teeth and gums. Over time, it may
cause painful infections to develop, sending you straight to our emergency
dental office in Fairfield.
To keep your smile healthy and emergency-free, make sure to brush your
teeth twice a day for two whole minutes each session. Try to use a
fluoridated toothpaste, as fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and lowers
your risk for cavities. Remember to floss at least once a day to remove
food debris and bacteria from between your teeth. Lastly, rinse with an
antibacterial mouthwash regularly to clean areas of your mouth that your
toothbrush and floss cannot.
Eat a Balanced Diet
You’ve probably heard that eating too much candy can give you a
toothache. That’s because cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth love
to feed on sugars you eat and produce acidic waste that erodes enamel. But
did you know that starches also fuel these bacteria? This means you should
also cut back on starchy foods like potato chips and white bread.
Additionally, incorporate plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables into your
diet. Not only do they contain vital nutrients, but they naturally scrub
your teeth clean as you chew them.
Wear a Mouthguard
If you play sports or grind your teeth at night, it’s time to talk to Dr.
Dine about a mouthguard. He can provide you with an oral appliance that is
customized to fit over the unique shape of your teeth. Compared to
over-the-counter mouthguards, personalized guards from our office protect
your teeth more effectively from sports-related injuries and the long-term
wear and tear of teeth grinding.
Don’t Use Your Teeth as Tools
Cracking open a bottle or tearing open a package with your teeth might
sound convenient, but it can all too easily spell disaster for your smile.
You might accidentally break a tooth, scratch your gums, or sustain some
other type of oral injury. Avoid these risks by taking some extra time to
grab the bottle opener or scissors instead.
Dental Emergency FAQ’s
Dental injuries can strike at a moment’s notice, making them
potentially anxiety-inducing. Fortunately, being prepared ahead of time can
help you get fast, effective relief when you need it most. We know many of
our patients prefer to do their research online, which is why we have
answered a few of the most frequently asked questions we get from patients
here. If you’d prefer to speak directly with our emergency dentist in
Fairfield, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment!
Is my toothache a dental emergency? Toothaches can appear for many reasons. While they can vary from minor to severe, it’s usually because there is an underlying condition that needs professional attention. If your toothache is severe or lasts for multiple days, you develop a fever, your face is swelling, or a pimple-like bump has developed, call our office immediately.
How you should handle a toothache: Start by flossing around the tooth to see if food debris is caught in your mouth. You can also brush your teeth and rinse your mouth out with water. If pain persists, take ibuprofen. If a pimple-like bump develops on your gums, do not try to pop it.
How we treat toothaches: While we’ll need to examine your tooth to better understand why pain is present and the best treatment for it, the most common solutions we recommend to patients include dental fillings, crowns, antibiotics, gum disease treatment, root canal therapy, or extraction (which is only considered as a last resort and used solely in severe cases).
Is a chipped tooth a dental emergency? Chipped teeth can usually be handled during regular business hours, but you should still call our office when it occurs. This is because chipped teeth can easily break further without professional intervention. Chipped teeth are also more susceptible to decay.
How you should handle a chipped tooth: Avoid applying pressure to your chipped tooth or touching it until you receive restorative treatment. If pain is present, take ibuprofen. If your mouth is swelling, apply a cold compress to your cheek for 10 minutes, then remove for an additional 10 minutes. Do this for up to one hour to get relief ahead of your appointment.
How we treat chipped teeth: More often than not, we can easily fix a minorly chipped tooth with cosmetic bonding. In certain cases, however, a veneer may be more appropriate if the chip is quite visible. If you care about esthetics, a veneer offers the best solution.
Is a cracked tooth a dental emergency? Minor damage to teeth is not typically a dental emergency, but more severe cracks need to be addressed immediately, particularly those that extend below the gum line. This indicates that damage to the root may be present. Keep in mind that not all cracks are clearly visible. If you notice tooth sensitivity or discomfort when biting down, call our office as well.
How you should handle a cracked tooth: Avoid chewing with or applying pressure to the cracked tooth. Take ibuprofen and apply a cold compress to your face to reduce any swelling. Apply for 10 minutes at a time, then remove for an additional 10 minutes. Do this for up to one hour.
How we treat cracked teeth: When the tooth has minimal damage, cosmetic bonding may be enough to address it. Otherwise, we may recommend a dental crown or extraction if the damage is too severe to salvage the tooth.
Are very sensitive teeth a dental emergency? Not only are sensitive teeth uncomfortable, but they can indicate a serious oral health problem that needs urgent treatment. Most instances of tooth sensitivity are caused by cavities, but sensitivity can also be caused by a dental infection, gum disease, teeth grinding, enamel erosion, or a damaged tooth. If your tooth sensitivity is severe or lingers for more than 30-60 seconds, give us a call right away.
How you should handle sensitive teeth: First, give us a call and describe your symptoms in detail. Sometimes, tooth sensitivity can be treated at home with specialty products, better brushing habits, or a less acidic diet. However, if we recommend that you come see us for an emergency appointment, you can manage your sensitivity with over-the-counter pain relievers and by avoiding hot and cold foods or drinks. Rinse your mouth with lukewarm water regularly until you can reach us.
How we treat tooth sensitivity: There are many different treatments we may use to address your tooth sensitivity depending on the root cause. A few common treatments include fluoride treatments, tooth-colored fillings, and desensitizing toothpastes. In some cases, we may recommend root canal therapy, gum disease treatment, or a custom nightguard for bruxism.
Is a knocked-out tooth a dental emergency? In this situation, time is of the essence, and it’s vital that you arrive at our dental office within an hour of the incident. This will increase our chances of being able to successfully replant the tooth. Keep the tooth moist at all times and bring it with you to your emergency appointment.
How you should handle a knocked-out tooth: Do your best to locate the tooth and pick it up by the crown portion only. Do not remove any tissue that’s still attached. After rinsing your mouth and gently rinsing the tooth of any debris, place the tooth back into your socket to preserve it. If that’s not possible, you can store it between your cheeks and gums or keep it in milk, saltwater, or saliva until you get to our dental office. Try to arrive within the next hour to improve your chances of reimplantation.
How we treat knocked-out teeth: If the tooth is still viable and undamaged, we will try to reimplant it back into its socket. We will splint it to the surrounding teeth, which will hold it in place as the roots heal back into place over the coming months. If we cannot save the tooth, we will need to discuss tooth replacement options like dental bridges or dental implants.
Is a lost filling or crown a dental emergency? Unfortunately, fillings and crowns are not indestructible, nor are they designed to last forever. Should a filling or crown fall out, it leaves the tooth vulnerable to damage and decay. That’s why you should come see us right away if you lose a restoration.
How you should handle a lost filling or crown: If you can find your lost filling or crown, rinse it off and remember to bring it with you to your appointment. The tooth that lost the crown or filling is likely to be very weak, so avoid chewing with it. If you do eat, rinse your mouth with salt water to remove food particles and avoid an infection. Sometimes you can use temporary filling material or denture adhesive to fit the restoration back into place of course, this is only a temporary solution until we can treat you.
How we treat lost fillings or crowns: If possible, we’ll simply recement your filling or crown in place. However, if the restoration is old or broken, we will likely recommend having it replaced.
Is a broken denture a dental emergency? It is likely that dentures will become worn over time through constant use and may need to be repaired by our team. If you have noticed that your custom prosthetic is starting to feel poorly aligned, overly loose, or generally uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to contact us at once for a repair. If any part of your denture breaks, whether that be a clasp, a tooth, or the base, give us a call as soon as you can.
How to handle a broken denture: For uncomfortable dentures, stick to a diet of softer foods and use denture adhesive until you can reach us. If your denture is broken, do NOT attempt to repair it with superglue or any other household product. These items contain chemicals that can be harmful if they are in the mouth or swallowed. You should now wear a broken denture, as doing so could potentially injure your mouth or jaws. Simply soak the denture until your appointment, then bring it with you.
How we treat broken dentures: How we repair your dentures will naturally depend on how they’ve broken. At times, a minor adjustment or some dental bonding will be enough to restore your smile. Other times, you may simply need to have your dentures replaced entirely. If this is the case, it’s the perfect opportunity to ask us about dental implants and implant dentures.
Are loose permanent teeth a dental emergency? Your permanent teeth should never feel loose, so if parts of your smile begin to feel wobbly or unstable, give us a call immediately. Even if the loose permanent tooth doesn’t hurt, it’s in danger of falling out and could potentially be a warning sign of advanced gum disease or a serious dental infection.
How you should handle a loose permanent tooth: If your tooth is loose, avoid touching it with your fingers, tongue, or anything else. Avoid eating if possible, but if you must eat, only eat soft foods and chew on the opposite side as the loose tooth.
How we treat loose permanent teeth: We will want to see you right away for a loose permanent tooth to begin treatment right away. We may be able to stabilize it with a splint to the other teeth, gum disease treatment, or root canal therapy. However, if the tooth cannot be saved, we may recommend a tooth extraction and replacement, such as a dental implant.
Is an injury to the gums, lips, or tongue a dental emergency? From a busted lip to biting down on your tongue, soft tissue lacerations are easy to come by. Your lips, cheeks, gums, and tongue tend to bleed a lot when injured, which can be quite alarming. Thankfully, most of these injuries can be handled at home.
How you should handle an injury to the gums, lips, or tongue: Rinse your mouth with saltwater or plain water to thoroughly clean the wounded area. Hold a clean towel or washcloth over the area and press firmly to stop any bleeding. Once the bleeding has stopped, you can use an ice pack or cold compress at 10-minute intervals outside the mouth to ease discomfort and swelling. You can also take over-the-counter pain relievers, but stay away from items with aspirin.
How we treat injuries to the gums, lips, or tongue: If you cannot get the bleeding to stop within 10 minutes or the injury is particularly deep, go directly to your local emergency room. However, if you are managing your injury well enough on your own but would still like professional assistance, we’ll be happy to see you for an emergency appointment.
Is jaw pain a dental emergency? If you experience jaw tension, lockjaw, or you grind and clench your teeth every night, you could have a condition known as temporomandibular joint dysfunction, or TMJ dysfunction. Jaw pain can be uncomfortable and debilitating, not to mention it can potentially get worse with time. If you’re struggling with jaw pain, give us a call right away.
How you should handle jaw pain: Until you can see us for your appointment, you can manage discomfort and inflammation by taking over-the-counter pain relievers as directed. You can also apply an ice pack or cold compress to the outside of your mouth for 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off.
How we treat jaw pain: If you think your jaw may be broken, please go straight to your nearest emergency room. If you also experienced broken/lost teeth due to the accident, contact our office after you receive initial treatment and we can schedule an appointment for you. For other cases, we will examine your smile, taking any necessary X-rays, and help you determine what needs to happen next to address your jaw pain.
Something Stuck Between the Teeth
We all get food stuck between our teeth sometimes. Whether it is a popcorn kernel or piece of juicy steak, it can be a nuisance trying to dislodge. But if left too long, it can become a real problem and begin to cause pain and discomfort. If you find that a piece of food or an object is lodged between your teeth, the first step is to rinse your mouth with warm water to loosen it up. NEVER use a sharp item like a toothpick, tweezers, or a knife to remove the object, as you can potentially seriously injure your mouth and teeth. After rinsing, take a piece of dental floss and gently move it back and forth around the object until the item is freed. If you are unsuccessful at removing it, make sure to call our dental office and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
When Should I Go to the ER for a Dental Emergency?
How Can I Bring Down Facial Swelling?
Should I Be Worried If My Tooth Is Sensitive?
What If I’m Afraid of the Dentist?
When Should I Go to the ER for a Dental Emergency?
From knocked-out teeth to painful toothaches, Dr. Dine is the professional to trust with your hurting smile. After all, he has over four decades of experience, and in that time, he has completed countless hours of advanced training on everything from root canals to extractions. With that being said, if your dental injury results in a life-threatening condition, like difficulty breathing or a broken jaw, then you should head to your local ER right away. Once you get the medical attention you need, contact our team for an urgent appointment.
How Can I Bring Down Facial Swelling?
Facial swelling is one of the most common symptoms associated with a dental emergency. Luckily, there are a few tactics you can use at home to reduce puffiness until you get to your appointment. To start, dissolve some salt in a cup of warm water. Stir the mixture and rinse with it repeatedly. Not only does this concoction at act as a natural disinfectant, but it can alleviate irritation as well. Next, place a cold compress or towel-wrapped icepack against the outside of your cheek for 10 minutes at a time. If needed, you can also take an over-the-counter pain reliever according to the directions on its packaging.
Should I Be Worried If My Teeth Are Sensitive?
If you’ve struggled for years with dental sensitivity, but your teeth and gums are otherwise healthy, then there is likely no need to worry. Since the sharp sensation from consuming hot and cold products can be unpleasant, it’s best to indulge in them sparingly and use a special toothpaste to help fortify your enamel. However, if your tooth sensitivity began only recently, then it could be stemming from receding gums or eroding enamel. In this case, you should contact our office for an urgent appointment as soon as possible so we can intervene and prevent further damage from occurring.
What If I’m Afraid of the Dentist?
If you struggle with dental-related anxiety, it is important to know that you can get the dental care you need without the stress. In addition to having a compassionate approach that helps make patients feel at ease, Dr. Dine also offers sedation dentistry, which keeps even the most intense nerves at bay. So, don’t hesitate to speak up if you need a little extra help feeling comfortable in the treatment chair.