Emergency Dentistry
in Shirley, MA

get out of pain

Shirley emergency care

If you need an emergency dentist in Lunenburg, Shirley, or Groton, Nashoba Valley Dental offers compassionate care and same-day appointments to get you out of pain. Dr. Matthew Annese is experienced in treating dental injuries and emergencies quickly. The team at Nashoba Valley Dental knows how painful and stressful dental emergencies can be, so we want you to have all of the information you need in the event of an injury.

Doctor and assistant working on patient

when to get care

what counts as an emergency?

There are a number of different dental issues that may count as emergencies. Dental injuries include loose teeth, knocked out (avulsed) teeth, injuries and damage to the gums, cracked teeth, chipped teeth, and impacted teeth that have been driven back into their sockets.

A serious toothache caused by an infected tooth is also a dental emergency. Damage to dental work like a pulled out crown or filling also counts, as the affected tooth can easily become damaged or infected. In general, you are having a dental emergency if you are experiencing pain and discomfort, and you can’t treat the source of that discomfort on your own.

what to do

how to handle dental emergencies

If you have experienced a dental injury, the first thing you should do is call Dr. Matthew Annese at Nashoba Valley Dental for an emergency appointment. Ideally, you should get treatment within 2-12 hours of the dental injury in order to maximize the chance of saving the tooth, and minimize pain and discomfort.

While you wait for your emergency appointment, you can take steps to minimize pain, bleeding, and discomfort. Bleeding can be treated with cotton balls and gauze pads, and should stop or slow after few hours of the injury. Pain medication like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. Note that aspirin should NOT be used, as it is an anticoagulant and a blood thinner, and can prevent proper blood clotting.

You can also treat pain and swelling with an ice pack applied to the outside of the mouth. Do not place any ice inside the mouth, only on the exterior.

what do I do

If I have a knocked-Out Tooth?

If you have a knocked-out tooth, you need to act quickly. If the tooth is on the ground somewhere, you should try to locate it if possible. If you find the tooth, only hold it from the crown and don’t touch the root.

If the tooth is dirty, you can rinse it under some water but avoid using any soap or other products. You should attempt to reattach the tooth right after cleaning it by gently guiding it into the socket and biting down. If the tooth won’t go back in, you’ll need to store it in milk or saliva and bring it with you to Nashoba Valley Dental. 

The sooner you can get here, the better, because the highest chances of reattachment are within an hour of the tooth being knocked out. If your tooth was knocked out, you’re likely experiencing pain or even some bleeding. Take anti-inflammatory pain medication for discomfort and stop any bleeding by biting down on gauze. 

Once you get to the dentist, we will attempt to reattach the tooth and stabilize it with a splint but this depends on the health of the tooth and how quickly you get here. In some cases, the tooth may not be salvageable and you will need to have the tooth replaced.

How do I know

If A tooth infection is serious? 

Just to clarify, the presence of any tooth infection at all is always serious. This is because it must be treated with root canal therapy or an extraction. It won’t go away on its own and will only worsen without treatment. 

If you leave an infection untreated, it can spread to the other teeth, compromising your overall oral health, but even worse, the infection can spread through the bloodstream and in serious cases, lead to death. 

The signs of a tooth infection are swelling of the gums, face, and neck, darkening of the tooth, an abscess, tooth sensitivity, significant tooth pain, and a chipped tooth. If you notice any of these symptoms, especially swelling and an abscess, you need to contact us for an emergency appointment right away to prevent complications.

Signs that the infection is becoming more severe and spreading through the body include swollen lymph nodes, severe tooth pain, a ruptured abscess, fever, sensitivity to heat and cold, significant swelling of the cheek, face, and neck, severe jaw pain, increased heart rate, and difficulty swallowing or breathing. If you have life-threatening symptoms, you should go straight to the emergency room.

how to prevent a dental emergency

  • Practice good oral hygiene - By brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing once a day, you greatly reduce your risk of plaque and tartar buildup which cause tooth decay and gum disease
  • Eat a healthy diet - Reduce your consumption of sugar and limit your snacking throughout the day. This will greatly reduce your risk for cavities, as will limiting the number of acidic foods and drinks you consume. There are 3 necessary conditions for cavities and that’s sugar, bacteria, and acid. 

    Staying hydrated is also important because a lack of saliva from having a dry mouth also increases your risk of developing cavities. Saliva neutralizes the pH in your mouth and washes away food particles.
  • Protect Your Teeth - If you grind your teeth or play contact sports, you should wear a mouthguard. This will protect your teeth from injury and damage while protecting your jaw from strain. Mouthguards are like plastic cushions for your teeth that prevent chipping, cracking, and breakage of the teeth.
  • Attend Regular Dental Appointments - The ADA recommends every American go to the dentist every 6 months for routine cleanings and checkups for early detection and prevention of oral health problems. If you have diabetes, are pregnant, or have a medical condition like dry mouth that increases your risk for cavities, Dr. Annese may advise that you go more frequently.

need care asap?

book a same-day visit

At Nashoba Valley Dental, we know how important it is to get emergency dental care. Seeing a dentist promptly is the best way to minimize pain and ensure the survival of your tooth. Dr. Matthew Annese specializes in emergency treatment, and can help you get your life back to normal after a dental injury. Read our testimonials to learn more!

If you are experiencing a dental emergency and need restorative dentistry in Pepperhill, Leominster, or Harvard, don’t wait! Contact us at (978) 425-9088 for an appointment, or come to our office at 228 Great Road, Shirley, MA 01464. We always try to see emergency walk-in patients as soon as possible.

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