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Emergency Dentist — South Portland, ME

Quickly Resolving Your Dental Pain

Our team here at Gannett Drive Dental is ready to help all of our patients in the event of a dental emergency. We understand that unforeseen incidents can occur, whether it’s a long-term infection that’s been slowly worsening, or a sudden physical injury that’s caught you off-guard. That’s why we strive to provide effective and accessible emergency dental care for those in South Portland. Although our emergency services are primarily for our existing patients, we will do our best to accommodate new patients as well! To learn more about our emergency dentistry services, we invite you to contact us today! 

Why Choose Gannett Drive Dental for Emergency Dental Care?

  • Same-Day Appointments Available
  • Friendly & Experienced Dental Team
  • Dental Insurance Friendly & Flexible Financing Welcome

What to Do in a Dental Emergency

A young man with tooth pain.

When you experience a dental emergency, the world can seemingly come to a screeching halt—but you should remember that time is of the essence! Here are three easy-to-follow steps to keep in mind whenever you’re experiencing a dental emergency:

  1. Call Our Office – There’s no sense in waiting around for your emergency to resolve itself—it won’t! That’s why you shouldn’t wait to contact our office upon suffering a dental emergency. We’ll let you know when you need to come in and what you can expect. In the meantime, we can provide you with instructions over the phone concerning how to alleviate any discomfort.
  2. Attend Your Appointment – Once you’ve arrived at our office, we can begin assisting you by performing an emergency exam, in which we’ll determine the severity of your situation. Sometimes we’ll take X-rays to help with this; based on our findings, we’ll begin drawing up your customized treatment plan.
  3. Get Your Smile Back on Track – Your comfort is our top priority, so you can rest assured that during your appointment, we’ll quickly work to relieve your pain and begin resolving the issue at hand. Some common services that we often render during emergency care include things like root canal therapy, fillings, and more—but as daunting as some of these options might sound, you should know that they’ll undoubtedly help to get your smile back on track!

The Most Common Dental Emergencies

Whether your situation is the result of poor oral health, physical trauma, or something else entirely, we’re ready to provide you with the care you need! But since every dental emergency has different circumstances, you should call us and describe your symptoms before coming in; this way, we’re working with as much information as possible to come up with the best course of action. While you’re waiting for your emergency appointment, here’s more about a few common dental emergencies and some things you can do to alleviate your discomfort and remain at ease:

Understanding the Cost of Dental Emergencies 

A woman with dental pain.

Treating a dental emergency can vary greatly in cost, as it always depends on the nature of the emergency. For instance, a simple cavity might only require a filling, whereas an advanced cavity could require root canal therapy coupled with a restorative dental crown; the latter treatment will generally cost more. But no matter your total cost of care, we can work with you to come up with a plan that’s within your financial means. Once you’ve been examined, we’ll be able to provide you with a more detailed price estimate.

How to Prevent Dental Emergencies

 A child with a bleeding mouth.

Even though dental emergencies can happen anytime without discretion, they can also be easily avoided if you take the right preventive measures. Consider the following tips:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush coupled with fluoridated toothpaste.
  • Floss daily; the habit is just as important as brushing.
  • Visit our office every six months for a routine checkup and cleaning.
  • Avoid biting directly into very hard foods such as ice cubes, popcorn kernels, hard candies, etc.
  • Never use your teeth as tools to open packaging, untwist bottlecaps, or cut a strand of tape.
  • Wear a protective mouthguard if you participate in contact sports, or a nightguard if you suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding).

Emergency Dentistry FAQs

woman in purple shirt with toothache who needs emergency dentist

Dealing with oral discomfort or a damaged tooth can be stressful and anxiety-inducing, even under the best circumstances. To better deal with a dental emergency as soon as one occurs, you’ll want to be as prepared as possible ahead of time. Our dentists are more than happy to answer any questions you may have about emergency dentistry. In the meantime, here are the answers to some of the most common questions we get on the subject.

What Counts as a Dental Emergency?

Not all dental emergencies are the same. For example, a toothache due to poor oral hygiene is quite different from a sudden injury that results in a broken or knocked-out tooth. Sometimes it can be difficult to know just which problems warrant calling your emergency dentist. The most common signs that you need emergency treatment are:

  • Intense pain and discomfort
  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • Teeth that are loose, broken, or missing entirely

Even if you’re not sure whether what you’re dealing with is a dental emergency, it’s best to err on the side of caution and give us a call anyway. Ignoring a minor issue like a toothache could result in significantly worse problems down the road.

Do I Still Need Treatment If My Toothache Goes Away?

At first, you might feel relieved that your tooth pain has subsided all of a sudden. If you didn’t know any better, you might be under the impression that whatever oral health problem you were experiencing has cured itself. Unfortunately, that is not usually the case. If the pain was due to an infection, your trouble is far from over. A sudden loss of pain could mean that the infection has spread to the nerve in the center of the tooth, rendering the tooth “dead.” Ignoring the problem any longer could cause the infection to spread to other teeth and even other parts of your body if it reaches your bloodstream. If you have a toothache that suddenly goes away, schedule an appointment with your emergency dentist promptly.  

Will My Tooth Need to Be Removed?

If one tooth is seriously bothering you, you might think that the only way to get out of pain is to have it extracted. However, we generally only suggest removing a tooth as a last resort. This is because when a tooth is extracted, the surrounding teeth may drift out of place, and you are at a higher risk for additional tooth loss. If you have a severe toothache, we may see if root canal therapy is the right choice to save your tooth from extraction. We generally only recommend extraction if the tooth cannot be saved.

Should I Go to the Emergency Room?

Sometimes, your first instinct during a dental emergency will be to call your local emergency room for treatment. You should only do this if you suspect your jaw might be broken or dislocated, you are bleeding profusely even after 15 minutes of applying pressure, or you are having trouble breathing; essentially, only visit your ER if your emergency is life-threatening. For all other urgent dental problems, it’s best to see our dental team. Most hospitals don’t have the skills or equipment needed to address the root of a dental problem, at best being able to write you a prescription for painkillers or antibiotics.