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Quality Emergency Dentistry Services in Bartlesville, OK

Emergency Dentist – Bartlesville, OK

Don’t Panic! Learn These Steps. Call Our Office!

When we talk about dental emergencies, we’re generally referring to two common scenarios. The first involves teeth damaged by long-term decay and disease, while the other refers to forced trauma. Both can wreak havoc on your smile and your oral health, but knowing the right steps and visiting Dr. Lumpkin at Dentistry by Design can help you prevent permanent damage from being done. His advice is to stay calm, call our office to schedule an emergency appointment, and learn the steps below to handle your issue before your visit.

How to Handle Common Dental Emergencies

No matter what your dental emergency is, you should always call our practice and schedule an emergency appointment. However, following our helpful tips will help you stabilize before you arrive.


A toothache can have many causes, but the most common causes include trauma or long-term tooth decay. If your tooth hurts, take over-the-counter painkillers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Avoid aspirin as this can trigger a burning sensation when coming into direct contact with your tooth. After performing X-rays, the dentist may recommend decay removal followed by a filling or crown depending on the extent of the damage.

Chipped/Broken Tooth

Avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the broken tooth sits. If no pain is present, you can wait until normal business hours to have it handled. However, teeth with cracks that extend below the gum line need to be handled immediately. Rinse your mouth out with warm water and apply a cold compress to your cheek. Take painkillers to ease discomfort. A crown may be enough if no damage to the root has occurred. Alternatively, a root canal may be performed if the inner tooth is damaged.

Knocked-Out Teeth

Locate the tooth and pick it up by the crown. Do not touch or remove any tissue still attached. Gently rinse any dirt or debris from the tooth, rinse your mouth out with warm water, then attempt to place the tooth back into your socket. If not possible, place the tooth into a container of milk or saltwater to keep it preserved. Get to our office within the next hour. The sooner you get it reimplanted, the more likely it can be saved. If the tooth cannot be saved, a dental implant will be needed.

Lost Filling/Crown

After locating the crown or filling, rinse it off and use either dental cement, petroleum jelly or denture adhesive to reattach it. If not possible, avoid chewing on that side of your mouth and get to our office. If the restoration is in one piece, our office may be able to reattach it. However, broken restorations generally require full replacement.

Keys to Preventing Dental Emergencies

Make no mistake, our Bartlesville dental team loves being here for all of your dental needs – from routine checkups to last-minute emergency dentistry. With that said, we completely understand wanting to avoid the latter. That’s why we’ve dedicated this next section to covering our recommendations for preventing serious dental injuries!

Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Woman smiling at reflection in dentist's mirror

Simply put, your six-month dental checkups and cleanings are beyond crucial when it comes to maintaining a strong and healthy smile. There are a few reasons for this. To begin, the X-rays and visual exam allow our Bartlesville dentist to catch early signs of damage or disease as well as oral cancer. As for the cleaning portion, the special tools we use can remove calcified plaque known as tartar. These periodic appointments also give patients a great opportunity to ask questions about their oral health, including how to improve their oral hygiene regimen at home and which products are best for their specific dental needs.

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene At Home

Man in white shirt smiling while brushing his teeth

One of the most effective ways to prevent dental emergencies is to practice routine preventive care. That includes brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and rinsing with mouthwash each evening to help you remove plaque in-between visits. Remember, using the right products matters! You should have a soft-bristled toothbrush, fluoridated toothpaste, and antimicrobial mouthwash. It’s also important to have floss that you actually use. For example, if you don’t like traditional string floss, you can try adding a water flosser to your regimen.

Stick to a Nutritious Diet

Woman in yellow shirt smiling while eating salad

Have you been told that soda, candy, and other sweet treats cause cavities? That’s just one way that what you eat impacts your oral health! As a result, we encourage our patients to be mindful about their meals. While everything is fine in moderation, we recommend filling up on smile-friendly foods when you can, like vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables as well as calcium-rich products. When you do indulge in something that’s high in added sugar, try rinsing thoroughly with clean water and brushing your teeth about 20 minutes later.

Wear a Mouthguard

Boxer placing mouthguard in his mouth

If you play a contact sport, you should always wear a mouthguard. In fact, surfers, skateboarders, and other athletes that participate in solo sports are even being encouraged to wear one now! After all, all it takes is one bad fall for your day on the water or at the park to turn into an afternoon in your emergency dentist’s chair.

Note: If you suffer from chronic teeth grinding, then we also recommend wearing a nightguard while you sleep.

Use Tools to Open Packages, Not Your Teeth

Senior woman in white shirt smiling

Many patients think that since their teeth are strong and sharp, they can be used as tools to open everything from plastic bags to bottle caps. That’s not the case. On a similar note, you also shouldn’t use your teeth to clip your nails or hold your keys! This can result in numerous dental injuries, including chipped and fractured teeth.

The Cost of Treating Dental Emergencies

The costs for emergency care can vary dramatically depending on what services you need. While we can’t give you a cost over the phone, you can get a more accurate estimate when you visit our office for your emergency appointment. Treatment could be as simple as getting a prescription to reduce your infection or as complex as having a root canal or extraction. Either way, the last thing you should do is put off treatment and allow your issue to worsen.

Emergency Dentistry FAQ’s

Tooth and emergency kit

In any emergency, it’s important to react quickly and appropriately; that’s why we want our patients to be well-educated so that they’re prepared in the worst-case scenario. To that end, you’ll need to be well-informed about dental emergencies in general. Here are some questions that are commonly asked of an emergency dentist in Bartlesville; feel free to mention any additional concerns you might have during your next visit.

Is a Toothache Always a Dental Emergency?

Sometimes a toothache might just be the result of food particles trapped between your teeth. If this is the case, you may be able to resolve the problem yourself using dental floss (though this might not always be the case). However, most causes of toothache will require attention from a dentist. If pain in the tooth lasts longer than a couple of days or is accompanied by inflammation, facial swelling, red or bleeding gums, fever, earache or a dry mouth, then you need an emergency appointment as soon as possible.

Should I Go to the Emergency Room?

If you’re suffering from a life-threatening emergency such as severe oral lacerations or a dental abscess (infected pocket of pus) that’s making it difficult to breathe or swallow, you should call the emergency room. Otherwise, for most dental emergencies you’ll want to call us instead. The doctors and surgeons at the emergency room most likely won’t have the tools or training to deal with issues like broken teeth. 

What Should Be in My Dental Emergency Kit?

Here are some good items to have on hand in case you suffer a dental emergency:

  • Saline solution and a container that can help preserve a knocked-out tooth if you can’t put it back in its socket.
  • Dental wax to cover the edges of a broken tooth so that it doesn’t irritate the inside of your mouth.
  • Gauze to stop any oral bleeding.
  • Over-the-counter painkillers.
  • Ice packs to keep down any swelling

Bear in mind that no matter what your kit is stocked with, it can’t take the place of professional dental care; that’s why in addition to your emergency supplies, you’ll want to keep a card with our practice’s address and phone number!

Is a Lost Baby Tooth an Emergency?

If your child loses one of their baby teeth due to physical injury, it may or may not be a problem. While reimplantation probably won’t be needed, we’ll need to check and see whether the incident will affect the development of the permanent teeth. Sometimes a spacer will be used to make sure there’s still enough room in the mouth when the adult tooth is ready to come in.

What if a Tooth is Lost and Isn’t Replaced?

Whether it’s due to physical injury or the ultimate result of an infection, a lost tooth can have serious consequences for your oral health. The remaining teeth will shift into the open space, leading to alignment issues that can heighten your risk of decay. You may also have trouble eating or speaking, and your jawbone will begin to deteriorate. That’s why it’s best to do everything you can to save your natural tooth.

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