The MJM Family & Cosmetic Dentistry team knows that emergencies can catch patients off guard leading to stress, fear, and panic. When patients experience other medical emergencies, the next steps are clear: proceed to the nearest emergency room or dial 911. When it comes to dental emergencies, many patients feel less sure what steps to take. We welcome you to contact us for emergency dentistry at our Fairfax dental office, and we are happy to offer same-day treatment whenever possible.
We’re prepared to treat most dental emergencies more effectively than what you find when visiting an emergency room. For that reason, you should call us first. Depending on your specific emergency, there are also certain steps you should take before heading to the dental office. Take note of them below after calling our office to better manage your symptoms until you arrive.
It’s important to recognize that the cost of emergency dentistry in Fairfax will vary depending on the severity of the problem at hand. For example, restoring a tooth affected by decay may only require a dental filling. However, if damage is more severe, it may require a dental crown or even root canal therapy, both of which are more extensive treatments that come with higher costs. We are happy to say we are in-network with most dental insurance plans and will work within your budget to ensure your discomfort is relieved before you leave.
The chance of two patients paying the exact same amount for urgent dental care is incredibly low. After all, dental emergencies can vary in their severity as well as the specific services that will best remedy the situation. For this reason, we simply can’t give you an accurate cost estimate for your treatment unless and until you come in and have your emergency dentist in Fairfax take a look at your mouth. Once they’ve assessed the damage and recommended a treatment plan, our team can review all of the relevant pricing information before we begin any actual procedures.
Dental insurance plans can vary quite a bit in terms of which treatments are covered and to what extent, but many of them do cover at least a portion of the services used to address dental emergencies. For example, dental crowns, fillings, and root canals are often covered at around 50-80%, though of course, this is only an average. Our practice accepts virtually all dental insurance plans, and we’re in-network with many of the leading providers, including Delta Dental, Cigna, and BlueCross BlueShield.
Other than dental insurance, one way to make emergency care more affordable is to split up your treatment costs into a monthly payment plan with CareCredit. A third-party financing company, CareCredit is trusted by countless healthcare professionals across the country. It offers multiple convenient payment plans to choose from, and many of them boast extremely low interest rates. Our team can even help you with the application process if you would like!
Perhaps the easiest way to save on emergency dental care is to prevent the emergency from occurring in the first place. Of course, you can’t always plan for sudden accidents or injuries, but if you maintain a habit of brushing and flossing each day and visiting our office for dental checkups twice a year, your risk of painful oral health problems decreases significantly. Another way to avoid expensive dental care is to give us a call as soon as you can when you notice an issue with your teeth or gums. Waiting too long for treatment could result in the problem worsening and ultimately requiring pricier care than it would have initially.
Even though it might initially seem impossible to prevent dental emergencies in Fairfax, you can largely avoid them if you keep a few precautions in mind. Generally, these are things that you should already be doing to keep your smile healthy, such as brushing and flossing every day, wearing a protective mouthguard, and visiting our office regularly for checkups. Safeguard your smile by remembering these five easy tips!
Keeping up with your six-month dental checkups and cleanings is crucial in preventing cavities and other oral health concerns that, without treatment, could turn into emergencies down the road. During each of these routine visits, our dentists will closely look over your teeth, gums, and existing dental work to identify any signs of potential trouble. That way, we can stop them in their tracks long before they would have caused you any discomfort.
Twice-a-year trips to the dentist are important, but so is keeping your mouth clean in between these visits. Without daily oral hygiene, plaque and tartar have an easier time building up in your mouth and contributing to tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral infections that could be serious.
To keep your smile healthy and infection-free, remember to brush your teeth every morning and every night for two minutes both times. You should also floss at least once a day, but if you really want to go the extra mile, you can floss after every meal.
The bad bacteria in your mouth love to use sugars as fuel to produce acidic waste that causes cavities. Starches also break down into sugar in the mouth, so you should limit those foods as well. While you don’t have to completely cut chocolate, bread, and potato chips out of your diet, enjoy them in moderation. Instead, fill your diet with mouth-friendly, nutritious foods, such as yogurt, cheese, fish, leafy greens, and fibrous vegetables like celery.
Contact sports like football and basketball obviously carry the risk of dental injury, but wearing an athletic mouthguard can go a long way toward minimizing the risk of breaking or knocking out a tooth. Ask our dentists about a custom mouthguard, which provides a more comfortable fit and better protection than the over-the-counter varieties.
Mouthguards can also be helpful if you tend to grind and clench your teeth when you sleep. Chronic teeth grinding, called bruxism, can wear down your teeth, making them more likely to fracture. Therefore, wearing a nightguard to bed is an unexpected yet simple way to avoid a visit to an emergency dental office in Fairfax.
From opening bottles to carrying that last bag of groceries, using your teeth for anything other than chewing food can quickly lead to disaster. One little slip could mean you end up with a cracked tooth, scratched gums, or worse. Do your future self a favor and take a few moments to grab the right tool for the job instead of subjecting your teeth to danger.
Not every dental emergency is avoidable. Some are the result of accidental injuries, while others develop from untreated infection or damage. Before you call our office and schedule an emergency appointment, we understand you may have questions about your specific problem. At MJM Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we want you to be as well-informed as possible so you can handle your situation with ease. That’s why we’ve decided to answer some frequently asked questions below. If you don’t find the answer you’re looking for, feel free to reach out!
Since teeth cannot heal by themselves, it’s very unlikely that your toothache will go away on its own. That’s why it’s always best to schedule a checkup with your dentist to ensure nothing is wrong. In some cases, pain around the tooth (like minor gum injuries) may resolve without treatment. Of course, you should still seek treatment from a professional as there are many possible causes for tooth pain. With early intervention, you can address the underlying issue before it turns into a painful complication.
The best thing you can do is keep your head elevated! Doing so will prevent blood from rushing to your head and worsening the pain. Additionally, you can take over-the-counter pain medication and use a cold compress to alleviate your discomfort, minimize inflammation, and reduce swelling. Make sure you avoid acidic, cold, or hard foods right before going to bed for improved comfort.
Most emergency rooms are unable to effectively treat dental emergencies because they often don’t have a professional on staff. For that reason, it’s always best to visit an emergency dentist in Fairfax first. However, going to the ER might be a better option for you if you’re experiencing any of the following:
In most cases, throbbing tooth pain is a sign of an infection or inflammation within the tooth. When cavities inside the tooth allow air and bacteria to reach the sensitive inner pulp area, it can lead to irritation and infection of the pulp nerves, causing pain. On the other hand, your throbbing teeth could be the result of chronic teeth grinding and clenching.
According to the American Dental Association, the hardest substance in the human body is the enamel. That said, while it is made out of organic material, it does not heal on its own like the other organs. This means that even if you break it or experience a small chip, it will not grow back over time. You can expect a damaged tooth to remineralize, but this will only strengthen it again and not cause it to regenerate. The only way to repair the structure of a tooth is by undergoing restorative or cosmetic dentistry, such as a crown or dental bonding.
It can feel unsettling and overwhelming if your denture has been completely broken in half. However, your first response should be to schedule an appointment with your prosthodontist, as they’re the only ones skilled enough to repair it effectively. The last thing you’d want to do is try to fix your restoration on your own with household products, such as super glue, as this can cause further damage to your denture or even be hazardous to you.
Generally speaking, a denture that’s been broken in half will need to be replaced entirely. The best step you can take is to visit the dentist you received your restoration from, as they may provide a spare one. If you already have a spare, be sure to only use it until you get your permanent denture.
While it makes sense to store objects in water to keep them clean, the same does not apply to your pearly whites. The only reason you should use water on your teeth is to rinse them, not to store them in water for long periods. This is because the root surface cells of your teeth can end up being damaged by the particles, lowering your chance of getting it placed back in the socket successfully.
After getting a tooth knocked out, you should first try to re-insert it in your mouth (if it’s still intact). If this isn’t viable, keep it between your cheeks and gums without swallowing it. Alternatively, you can store it in saline solution or milk until you can see your emergency dentist.
The most common reason for jaw pain is chronic teeth clenching and grinding, as this places pressure and stress on the jaw joints. This condition can also come about from facial injuries you may have suffered that never healed properly or even arthritis. Furthermore, if you’re experiencing a bite or jaw misalignment, it can result in TMJ disorder (TMD), which impacts the joints connecting your jaw to the skull. By visiting your dentist, they can assess your situation and determine the root of the issue so that they can design the appropriate treatment plan for long-term relief.
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