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Emergency Dentist – Bloomington, IN

Get Help Fast For Unexpected Dental Emergencies

Model of a tooth next to a first-aid kit

At Barco Family Dentistry, we know how alarming it can be when you or a loved one experiences sudden dental pain. As an emergency dentist in Bloomington with years of experience and a compassionate chairside manner, Dr. Barco has helped patients of all ages get out pain quickly while also protecting their long-term oral health. We set aside time in our schedule each day to accommodate emergencies and we’re always just a phone call away. If you ever find yourself in a dental emergency, don’t hesitate to contact us!

How To Handle Common Dental Emergencies

Distressed man holding his jaw in pain

There are two main types of dental emergencies. Some, such as toothaches, develop over a longer period of time. Others are very sudden and often result from an accident or injury. Dr. Barco and our team have plenty of experience handling both. Your first step is to call us so we can schedule the first available appointment and give you tips for handling the situation until we can see you. Here are some guidelines for common emergencies:

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Toothache or Swelling

If you have a persistent toothache, facial swelling, or a pimple-like bump on your gums, you could have an abscess or infection. Start by swishing with lukewarm salt water and applying a cold compress to the area. You can take over-the-counter pain medication but even if the pain subsides, you still need treatment to prevent the infection from spreading.

Chipped or Broken Teeth

First, rinse and spit with lukewarm water. If you have pain or sensitivity, apply a cold compress and take over-the-counter pain medication as directed until your visit. if necessary, use dental wax from the store to cover any sharp edges.

Knocked-Out Tooth

It’s important to get treatment as soon as possible, preferably within an hour. If you can’t make it in to see Dr. Barco in that time, go to your nearest ER or urgent care center.

As for immediate care, making sure to handle your tooth only by the crown and not the root, gently rinse it off and try to put it back in its socket (facing the right way). If this isn’t possible, put it in a glass of cold milk or water or hold it in your cheek pouch to make sure it stays moist until your visit.

Lost Filling or Dental Crown

If a dental crown comes off, rinse it and gently dry it off before putting a small amount of dental cement from the drugstore in it. You can use toothpaste in a pinch, but don’t use any other kind of glue or adhesive because it can make our job more difficult when you arrive for treatment.

How to Prevent Dental Emergencies

Man getting emergency dental exam

As a dentist in Bloomington, we know that when it comes to emergencies, prevention is so much easier than treatment. While not every accident or injury can be avoided, there are several simple habits and precautions that can dramatically reduce your risk of a dental emergency. Read on below as we go over the five most important ways to keep your smile safe, healthy, and intact.

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Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Woman giving her Bloomington emergency dentist a thumbs-up

One of the best tools for prevention is seeing us for regular checkups so we can catch and treat small problems before they turn into emergencies. For example, a cavity that is discovered during one of your routine checkups can usually be treated with a small filling. However, if you don’t attend checkups regularly and your cavity goes undetected, it could turn into a dental emergency that needs a root canal or extraction. Plus, our thorough cleanings and personalized preventive care are designed to keep problems from even developing in the first place. 

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene Habits at Home

Man brushing his teeth to prevent dental emergencies in Bloomington

Regular brushing and flossing is your best daily defense against all sorts of oral health conditions and emergencies. Make sure to brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste, and you should get in the habit of flossing every day.

Be Careful With Your Diet

Table spread with healthy foods for preventing dental emergencies in Bloomington

Sugary sweets aren’t the only foods you should be wary of. Be sure to be very careful while eating hard, crunchy foods that could crack your teeth. Also, consider cutting back on sodas, sports drinks, and energy drinks, as these beverages are brimming with both sugars and acids, which cause decay. Instead, eat plenty of foods with calcium and vitamin C to promote stronger teeth and healthier gums!

Wear a Mouthguard

Outstretched hand holding custom mouthguard in Bloomington

If you participate in any contact sports or recreational activities where you could suffer a dental injury, it’s essential that you wear a mouthguard. By the same token, if you grind your teeth in your sleep, you should be wearing a nightguard. Both devices protect the teeth from excess stress, thereby lowering your risk of cracked and broken teeth. At Barco Family Dentistry, we create high-quality mouthguards and nightguards to ensure maximum protection and comfort.

Use Tools, Not Teeth to Open Packaging

Woman with bottlecap between teeth headed for a dental emergency in Bloomington

Your teeth are very hard, but they’re not indestructible. Exposing them to non-food items can take a heavy toll on the enamel and weaken them. It may seem convenient to use your teeth to open packages, hold another bag of groceries, or trim your fingernails, but you could quickly end up spending more time rushing to our office with a broken tooth! Don’t put your smile in danger and always keep the proper tools somewhere easy to access.

Understanding the Cost of Emergency Dentistry

Female patient smiling visiting emergency dentist in Bloomington, IN

It’s impossible to give an estimate of how much a dental emergency will cost until the problem in question has been properly evaluated. The final price will reflect your smile’s needs when it comes to stopping pain and protecting the teeth from damage. Our recommendations will always focus on what’s actually necessary for your care, and we’ll always make sure that you’re fully aware of your payment options before moving forward with anything. Keep reading to learn more about the factors that change the cost of emergency dentistry in Bloomington.

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Each Emergency is Unique

Man rubbing chin due to toothache; dental emergency in Bloomington, IN

The initial emergency appointment actually doesn’t cost much by itself. We will examine your mouth to figure out the nature of the problem and the extent of the damage. Then we’ll create a treatment plan based on our findings. Sometimes it will be relatively simple and will only require a restoration such as a crown or filling. At other times, however, you may need a more complex and costly procedure. We’ll only be able to make an estimate of the final cost once the initial exam is complete; no matter the case, though, we’ll go over the pricing information with you in detail before we begin.

Will Dental Insurance Help?

Filling out dental insurance form on a phone

While dental insurance focuses on coverage for preventive care, it does usually help pay for emergency treatments. A single emergency examination may be covered each year, and most plans will pay 50% to 80% for most common emergency treatments, such as root canal therapy. The details of your insurance coverage will be different depending on what dental plan you have, and you’ll also have to consider your annual maximum as well as your deductibles. Check with your insurance company to confirm what benefits you might receive for specific types of treatment.

How Can You Make Dental Emergencies More Affordable?

Tooth and calculator for figuring out cost of dental emergency in Bloomington, IN

We are in-network with many major dental insurance plans, which lets you save more money when you choose our practice. We also work with CareCredit to offer payment plans that splits the cost of emergency care into monthly installments that fit more easily into any budget. CareCredit plans involve little to no interest, so you can sign up for financing without worrying about unwelcome surprises later.

Saving Money Through Preventive Dental Care

Close-up of woman brushing teeth with electric toothbrush

The least expensive emergency procedure is one you never need. You can’t avoid unpredictable accidents that result in injury, but you can protect your teeth and gums from decay and infection by investing time and money in preventive care. Paying for routine checkups and stocking up on at-home oral hygiene products could ultimately help you save hundreds (or potentially thousands) annually on emergency dental care.

If a problem has already occurred in your mouth, you may save money by having it examined and treated right away instead of ignoring it. Leaving a toothache or dental damage alone gives the problem a chance to grow worse, and that means that you may require more expensive treatments later.

Root Canals

A female patient smiling at her dentist while they use special tools to check her mouth after having a root canal

When the innermost layer of a tooth becomes infected, this can result in immense pain and discomfort. To prevent the need for possible tooth extraction, a root canal is often suggested. This common and effective procedure not only save the natural tooth but also eliminates the pain by removing the decayed areas and using a customized dental crown to protect your tooth’s structural integrity, allowing it to strengthen over time.

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Tooth Extractions

Woman with blue shirt and brown hair resting in bed

At Barco Family Dentistry, we never want to extract teeth, however in some cases, it’s our only option. In order to offer all of the services that our patients need to get out of pain and back to feeling better, we may sometimes have to provide a tooth extraction. Dr. Barco is experienced in this procedure, and he will ensure that his patients remain calm and comfortable during the entire process. Read on to learn more about extractions and why they’re necessary.

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Dental Emergency FAQs

woman with mouth pain

While you can’t always predict when a dental emergency is going to strike, it helps to be prepared with lots of information beforehand. That’s why we’ve compiled some frequently asked questions about dental emergencies and answered them for your convenience.

How Can I Remove an Object Stuck Between My Teeth?

First, dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of water and swish that solution around in your mouth. If that doesn’t dislodge the object, then use dental floss. NEVER use a sharp object like a toothpick, as that could actually do more harm than good by lacerating the soft tissues in your mouth, like your tongue or gums, or damaging your teeth. If the object still doesn’t come out, contact us as soon as you can.

Will I Need a Root Canal?

This question is difficult to answer without evaluating your individual case. A root canal is typically needed when decay or infection has reached the inner layer of the tooth, where the nerves and blood vessels are located. Usually, this results in a raging toothache. If you know that your toothache is due to a severe cavity, it’s very likely that you’ll need root canal therapy. Again, the best way to know for sure is to come see us about your dental pain as soon as possible, though, to know for sure.

What If My Child Knocks Out a Baby Tooth?

Just like if an adult knocks out a tooth, the best thing to do is keep the tooth moist and call us immediately. We can determine whether the entire tooth came out, or just a portion of it. We can also figure out whether it needs to be implanted again. If the whole tooth is out, and it will be a while before the adult tooth grows in its place, we may need to place a spacer in the gap to prevent the remaining baby teeth from shifting.

What If I Bite My Tongue or Lip?

Gently and carefully clean the area with water first. Then, apply a cold compress to cut down on swelling. If there is excessive bleeding or you are in a lot of pain, see us right away or go to the nearest emergency room.

Will My Toothache Get Better on Its Own?

Usually, no. While some medical problems eventually go away if you leave them alone, dental issues typically do not. A good rule of thumb to remember is that healthy teeth do not hurt. If you are going through a toothache, the best thing to do is see our office right away. You can take over-the-counter pain relievers in the meantime, but do not put off treatment. Your toothache might be caused by an infection that could worsen the longer you neglect to see us.