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Dental Emergency

Tooth Ache
Begin by cleaning around the sore tooth meticulously. Using warm salt water, rinse the mouth to displace any food trapped between teeth. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you use aspirin on the aching tooth or on the gum. In the event of facial swelling, apply a cold compress to the area. For temporary pain relief, acetaminophen is recommended. See a dentist as soon as possible.

Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek
Ice can be applied to any bruised areas. For bleeding, apply firm (but gentle) pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth. If the bleeding does not stop with pressure or continues after 15 minutes, go to an emergency room.

Broken Braces and Wires
Remove a broken appliance only if it comes out easily. If it is lodged or painful to remove, cover any protruding edges with wax, cotton balls, gauze or chewing gum. DO NOT REMOVE any wire caught in the gums, cheek or tongue; see a dentist immediately. Emergency attention is usually not required for loose or broken appliances that cause no discomfort.

Broken Tooth
Rinse the area with warm water. Put a cold compress over the facial area of the injury. Recover any broken tooth fragments. Get immediate dental attention.

Knocked Out Permanent Tooth
Recover the tooth, making sure to hold it by the crown (top) and not the root end. Rinse, but do not clean or handle the tooth more than necessary. Reinsert the tooth in the socket and hold it in place using a clean piece of gauze or cloth. If the tooth cannot be reinserted, carry it in a cup containing milk or water. Because time is essential, see a dentist immediately.

Other Emergency Conditions

Possible Broken Jaw
In the event of jaw injury, tie the mouth closed with a towel, tie or handkerchief. Go immediately to an emergency room.

Bleeding After a Baby Tooth Falls Out
Fold a piece of gauze and place it (tightly) over the bleeding area. Bite down on the gauze for 15 minutes; if bleeding continues, call to make an appointment.

Cold or Canker Sores
Over-the-counter medications will usually provide temporary relief. If sores persist, please make an appointment to visit our office.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do you take my insurance?
A. Dental benefits will help you in covering your dental fees. We ask that you pay for your services rendered at the time of service. We will submit a claim to your insurance carrier and direct any reimbursement directly to you.

Q. Will I have my teeth cleaned on my first appointment?
A. No, your first appointment with us will help us to determine what type of dental cleaning is best for you. Click here to visit our New Patient section.

Q. What kind of dentist is Dr. Fischer?
A. Dr. Fischer is a cosmetic and restorative dentist. He performs procedures including fillings, crowns, veneers, dentures, bite splints, and full mouth restorations. Learn more about Dr. Fischer!

Q. How do you keep updated on the latest in general and cosmetic techniques/technology?
A. It is part of our mission to stay current with the new advances in dentistry. Dr. Fischer, Dr. Alconcel and our staff attend conferences and technical educational courses throughout each year to gather new ideas and information to enhance the goal of treating patients with the most effective treatment possible.

Q. Do you need to take X-rays? Aren’t they dangerous?
A. In our office, we take a full set of radiographs every three to five years depending on your oral health. We use digital technology with computer-enhanced techniques that reduce radiation up to 80%. You will get more radiation on a sunny day than from a set of digital dental radiographs. A full series of radiographs are required to show the areas between your teeth as well as nerves, roots and the health of the bone that supports your teeth. This procedure allows us to provide you with a thorough and comprehensive diagnosis as well as the best treatment options.

Q. Do the benefits of X-rays outweigh the risks of radiation exposure?
A. All of us share a common concern about radiation when we talk about dental X-rays, as the extreme accumulation levels of radiation have significant health risks. However, you can rest easy knowing that our office uses the most current digital X-ray technology, which reduces radiation exposure from conventional dental X-rays by up to 90%.

At our office, we take X-rays to diagnose conditions that affect your health. Without them, we would be severely limited in detecting dental decay, periodontal disease and serious infections or pathologies within the bone. Plus, the computer and software that are used enhance the reading and clarity of our films, thereby getting the best image for the least amount of radiation exposure.

To put into perspective radiation exposure, the following is a list of common exposures:

Radiation exposure is measured in millirems:

  • MRI: 100 millirem
  • Chest CT scan: 500 millirem
  • Living in Colorado: 63 millirems per year
  • Air travel: 50 – 100 millirem per flight
  • Mammogram: 42 millirem
  • Smoking a cigarette: 14 millirem
  • Full series of dental x-rays: 9 millirem
  • Bitewing x-rays: 4 millirem
  • Watching one hour of television: 1 millirem
  • Eating a banana: 1 millirem

If you have any questions about dental X-rays, please call our office at 303.740.9353.

Q. Local anesthetics don’t seem to work on me. What can be done?
A. Commonly used local anesthetics work on everyone if they are properly administered. Some patients require more anesthetic than average and specific teeth have extra (non-dental) nerves that can make them more sensitive so the area around the tooth may require higher levels of anesthetic. We constantly strive to make dentistry as painless as possible and have many techniques for achieving effective local anesthesia.

Q. How can I safely whiten my teeth?
A. Improving the brightness of your teeth is one of the simplest ways to give your smile a “boost”. We use an in office bleaching system that takes approximately 1 1/2 hours. Click here to for information on teeth whitening.

Q. How do I get rid of bad breath?
A. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth daily, food particles can remain in your mouth, which promotes bacterial growth between teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue. Bad breath can also be made worse by types of foods you eat, smoking, dry mouth, acid reflux and sinus infections. This causes bad breath. In addition, odor-causing bacteria and food particles can cause bad breath if dentures are not properly cleaned. Medically called halitosis, bad breath can result from poor dental health habits and may be a sign of other health problems. To reduce the occurrence of bad breath, we recommend following good oral hygiene habits, brushing with an electronic toothbrush approved by the ADA, flossing daily, and using a mouth rinse. Our hygienists also have products they can recommend to help you reduce halitosis depending on your specific needs/health issues.

Q. What is an abscessed tooth?
A. An abscessed tooth is a painful infection at the root of a tooth or between the gum and a tooth. It’s most commonly caused by severe tooth decay. Other causes of tooth abscess are trauma to the tooth, such as when it is broken or chipped, and gingivitis (gum disease) These problems can cause openings in the tooth enamel, which allows bacteria to infect the center of the tooth (called the pulp). The infection may also spread from the root of the tooth to the bones supporting the tooth. Symptoms of an abscess include fever, pain when chewing, sensitivity of the teeth to hot or cold, bitter taste in the mouth, foul smell to the breath swollen neck glands, general discomfort or ill feeling, redness and swelling of the gums, swollen area of the upper or lower jaw, or an open, draining sore on the side of the gums.

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