Don't Suffer a Moment Longer, We Offer Emergency Dental Treatment

If you should be experiencing a dental emergency, it’s vital that you schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible.  Don’t suffer a moment longer, we are eager to get you into our office and provide you with relief from your pain and suffering.

Sensitive Teeth

Your teeth expand and contract in reaction to changes in temperature. Hot and cold foods and beverages can cause pain or irritation to people with sensitive teeth. Over time, tooth enamel can be worn down, gums may recede or teeth may develop microscopic cracks, exposing the interior of the tooth and irritating nerve endings. Simply breathing cold air can be painful for those with extremely sensitive teeth

If you think you may have an emergency, however, the first step is to determine the severity of the problem: Is it an urgent situation that requires immediate attention, or a minor problem that you can take care of yourself, temporarily, until you can come in to our office?

A Major Emergency

There are only a few true orthodontic (or dental) emergencies. They include:

  • Trauma or injury to the teeth, face or mouth
  • Infection or swelling of the gums, mouth or face
  • Severe, unmanageable discomfort or pain in these areas

In any of these situations, you should seek help as soon as possible — go to an emergency room, if that’s your best option. Generally, however, the place to start is with your regular dentist. Remember that he or she is trained to handle a range of dental problems, and can most likely offer the necessary diagnostic tools, anesthetics and treatments you need. If, for example, you have a fractured tooth, your dentist will treat the immediate problem and arrange for the tooth’s restoration; afterwards your orthodontic treatment plan can be adjusted as needed. Likewise, severe pain or swelling could be a sign of infection or disease, which a dentist or periodontist is best able to treat.

Some Minor Troubles

Fortunately, the vast majority of orthodontic problems are minor compared to these situations — but they may still cause discomfort or irritation. In general, it’s best to try and soothe the immediate cause of the discomfort, and then call our office to schedule an appointment; that way, we can allot sufficient time to take care of you. Here are a few of the more common orthodontic problems, along with some tips on what you can do to relieve them at home:

Loose or broken brackets, bands or wires
This problem is often caused by eating hard or sticky candy or food, or playing with the braces. If the band or bracket is still attached to the wire, leave it as is — but don’t connect any elastics to it! You can cover it with orthodontic wax if it’s irritating the inside of your mouth. If it has come off, save it. In either case, call our office to let us know what happened, and we will schedule a visit. Be sure to bring any loose parts with you to the appointment!

Misplaced or poking archwire, bracket or tie
As the teeth start to move, the wire that connects them (archwire) may begin poking near the back of the mouth or irritating the cheeks. You can try moving the wire into a better position with a pencil eraser or a Q-Tip. If the wire won’t move, you may be able to cut the end off with a nail clipper sterilized in alcohol — but before doing so, please call our office for our guidance or instructions. Often, you can also use tweezers to gently move a misplaced wire or a tie that’s causing problems.

When wires or brackets cause irritation, covering the metal parts with wax will often help ease the discomfort. As with any of these types of problems, call our office and we’ll schedule a time to see you.

General tooth pain or loosening
It’s normal for teeth to become slightly loosened during orthodontic treatment — that shows they’re moving! Sometimes, this movement may be accompanied by tenderness, especially after braces are placed or adjusted. For minor soreness, you can use your regular over-the-counter pain reliever. A twice-a-day salt-water rinse may also help: Mix one teaspoon of salt in an 8-ounce glass of warm water, and rinse for 30 seconds. A warm washcloth or heating pad placed on the outside of the jaw can also offer some relief.

While actual emergencies are rare, our goal is to make orthodontic treatment as comfortable as possible. If you need additional advice, don’t hesitate to call us!

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The first step toward achieving a beautiful and healthy smile.

PATIENT ALERT

Out of concern for patient and staff safety, we closed our offices on March 19th to help mitigate the spread of the Covid-19 virus, and were planning to reopen on April 4th.

Late yesterday, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam issued an Executive Order prohibiting all elective, non-emergency medical and dental procedures until April 24, 2020. The order is considered MANDATORY and carries the effect of law. Any violation of the order can be considered a criminal offense. You can read about the Governor’s order at (https://www.vadental.org/news-details/2020/03/26/order-of-public-health-emergency-no.-2) and at (https://www.governor.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/executive-actions/Order-of-Public-Health-Emergency-Two—Order-of-The-Governor-and-State-Health-Commissioner.pdf) We are now planning / hoping to reopen our offices on April 25th, and will operate under CDC and VDH guidelines pertaining to the delivery of dental services, and the operation of public spaces in effect then.

If you believe that you have a severe and life threatening Dental Emergency please call our after-hours help line at 571-575-5790, and one of our team members will assist you in determining a proper course of action.

If you are having trouble reaching our after-hours help line, below are a few online services where doctors can write a prescription for pain medication and antibiotics.

We are truly sorry for the inconvenience this is creating for all of us, and look forward to seeing each of you soon.

– The Doctors and Team Members of Golden Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics


What can I do if I have a Dental Emergency?

You can call our after-hours help line at 571-575-5790, and one of our team members will assist you in determining a proper course of action.

If you are having trouble reaching our after-hours help line, below are a few online services where doctors can write a prescription for pain medication and antibiotics.

Online Urgent Care Resources: