24 Hour Emergency Dentist

Top rated emergency dental care in Birmingham, Alabama

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Dr. Trent Buchanan DMD – Emergency Dentist in Birmingham

Dr. Buchanan is available for emergencies in Birmingham offering the highest level of dental emergency care.

Quality care and treatment in a state-of-the-art facility.

We’ve equipped our office with advanced technology and amenities!

Comfortable, clean & friendly care!

At Greystone Smile Design, we see emergencies promptly.  Our extended hours offer convenience, and our emergency line is available 24 hours a day (877-515-SMILE).  From after-hours advice over the phone to meeting you on the weekend for treatment, our main goal is to be there when you need us.

Our emergency dentistry & dental practice has been featured on ABC33/40, CBS42 & FOX6!

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Dental emergencies, according to the ADA, “are potentially life threatening and require immediate treatment to stop ongoing tissue bleeding [or to] alleviate severe pain or infection.” Conditions include uncontrolled bleeding; cellulitis or a diffuse soft tissue bacterial infection with intraoral or extraoral swelling that potentially compromises the patient’s airway; or trauma involving facial bones that potentially compromises the patient’s airway.

Examples of urgent dental care treatments, which we treat as minimally invasively as possible, include:

  • Severe dental pain from pulpal inflammation.
  • Pericoronitis or third-molar pain.
  • Surgical postoperative osteitis or dry socket dressing changes.
  • Abscess or localized bacterial infection resulting in localized pain and swelling.
  • Tooth fracture resulting in pain or causing soft tissue trauma.
  • Dental trauma with avulsion/luxation.
  • Dental treatment cementation if the temporary restoration is lost, broken or causing gingival irritation.

Other emergency dental care includes extensive caries or defective restorations causing pain; suture removal; denture adjustments on radiation/oncology patients; denture adjustments or repairs when function impeded; replacing temporary filling on endo access openings in patients experiencing pain; and snipping or adjustments of an orthodontic wire or appliances piercing or ulcerating the oral mucosa.

Common Dental Emergencies

When You Have a Toothache

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Emergency dental patient who knocked out and broke several teeth in an accident is examined by the emergency dentist.

Toothaches can arise from a myriad of factors including dental decay, infections, clenching/grinding, and tooth fractures. Dr. Buchanan and his experienced team will determine the source of the pain and offer available treatment options to improve your condition.

Broken or Cracked Teeth

The treatment depends on the severity and extent of the fracture. If the break is only a small chip and confined only in enamel, a composite (tooth colored) filling is usually all that is needed to repair. If the fracture extends to the second layer of the tooth (dentin) and more of the tooth is involved, the treatment of choice may be a porcelain crown to restore the health and function of the tooth. Sometimes fractures can extend into the nerve and blood supply (pulp) which means a root canal is indicated. On rare occasions, the fracture extends in such way that the tooth cannot be saved, and a dental implant would be the recommended treatment. Based on the x-ray and examination, Dr. Buchanan will be able to tell you the best course of action regarding your treatment options.

Loose or Lost Teeth

Dental emergencies from trauma injuries can range from a sore tooth, to a misplaced tooth, to a completely lost tooth. These are most commonly seen while playing sports (without a mouthpiece), but can also be from children’s playground accidents and general rough housing among kids. Sore teeth or bruised teeth typically heal on their own with a soft diet and avoidance of the area while chewing. Loose or misplaced teeth usually require repositioning and a flexible splint for stability. Lost teeth need to be replanted as soon as possible. The tooth can be transported in a cup of milk, saline, or a balanced storage medium – avoid storage in water!

*** Misplaced teeth and lost teeth are time dependent. Please call our emergency number immediately if our office is closed — 877-515-SMILE.

Oral Infections – Abscessed Teeth

An abscess is an acute infection that can produce a facial swelling and can be in the form of either a tooth abscess or a gum abscess. A tooth abscess is caused by a necrotic (dead) tooth and a gum abscess is produced when bacteria gets lodged between the gum and the tooth. The treatment for each is directed at the signs and symptoms. Antibiotics help to treat the facial swelling aspect, but the source of the infection must be addressed. For the tooth abscess, the culprit is the necrotic tooth. The treatment is either a root canal (if the tooth can be salvaged) or an extraction and implant if the tooth is hopeless. For the gum abscess, a deep cleaning and, on occasion, periodontal surgery may be needed to remedy the situation.

Lost Crowns and Fillings

Some crowns and fillings come off due to debond of the restoration, and the treatment is as easy as replacing the filling or recementing the crown. Other crowns and fillings are lost due to undermining decay, and more extensive procedures may be needed to correct. Dr. Buchanan will determine the reason for the failure and offer the most appropriate management for long term success.

Dental emergencies are unfortunate tangibles of life and have proven to be inevitable in today’s active lifestyles.  The baseball to the face or the elbow to the lip usually happens at the most inopportune time, adding havoc to an already busy schedule.

dental-pain-200x300Emergencies, including injuries, pain, and swellings, can be potentially serious and should not be ignored.  The common theme in this post is simple:  SEE YOUR DENTIST!  But, what do you do in the meantime?  And, what if your dentist office is not open or you can’t get an answer on the emergency line?  Read on for information on what to do in these ill-timed situations.

At Greystone Smile Design, we see emergencies promptly.  Our extended hours offer convenience, and our emergency line is available 24 hours a day (877-515-SMILE).  From after-hours advice over the phone to meeting you on the weekend for treatment, our main goal is to be there when you need us.

Here are some quick tips on what to do for common dental problems.

    • Toothaches – First, try rinsing your mouth with warm salt water (1/2 tsp of salt to 8 oz of water).  Try brushing and flossing your teeth, removing any food that may be caught between teeth.  Sometimes, sleeping with an extra pillow or avoiding strenuous activity may be helpful.  Over-the-counter pain medication may be taken as needed.  Never place aspirin directly on the tooth as gum tissue irritation may develop.  Periodic temperature or chewing sensitivity may indicate a simple solution.  If persistent, spontaneous pain is present, a more extensive treatment may need to be performed.  See your dentist as soon as possible.
    • Abscess – An abscess is an acute infection that can form from a necrotic (dead) tooth or from bacteria in the space between the teeth and gums.  They can be serious, in that the infection can spread to other parts of the body.  To reduce swelling, apply a cold pack to the area in 20 minute intervals.  Your dentist can prescribe you antibiotics to treat the infection, but this will not treat the cause of the problem.  You must see your dentist for treatment to eliminate recurrence.
    • Chipped or Broken Teeth – Try to save the missing pieces.  Wash your mouth with warm salt water.  If bleeding is present, apply pressure by biting on a piece of gauze.  Remove the gauze when saturated (15-20 min) and reapply as needed.  Use a cold pack to reduce any swelling present and see your dentist as soon as possible.
    • Lost Crown – If a crown falls off and you can’t get to the dentist right away, use an over-the-counter dental cement/adhesive or toothpaste  to help hold the crown in place and control sensitivity.  If you have no pain with the crown off, you may leave it off until you can see your dentist.  This eliminates any chance of swallowing or aspirating the crown.  Make sure you bring your crown with you to your appointment.
    • Lost Filling – If the area is painful, you can place sugarless gum or an over-the-counter temporary filling material in the area.  See your dentist as soon as possible.
    • Extruded (Partially Dislodged) Tooth – Do not bite or chew on the area.  You may apply a cold pack to reduce swelling.  See your dentist right away, as the treatment for these injuries is time dependent.  Your dentist may need to reposition the tooth and place a splint to hold the tooth in its correct position.
  • Knocked Out Tooth – Retrieve the tooth, hold it by the crown (the part that is usually exposed in the mouth), and rinse off the tooth root with water if it’s dirty. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, try to put the tooth back in place, but never force it into the socket. If it’s not possible to reinsert the tooth in the socket, put the tooth in a small container of milk or place the tooth inside the mouth in the cheek area.  In all cases, see your dentist as quickly as possible. Knocked out teeth with the highest chances of being saved are those seen by the dentist and returned to their socket within 1 hour of being knocked out.  If the tooth can be saved, your dentist will reposition the tooth and hold it in place with a splint.

Ignoring a dental problem may increase the risk of permanent damage as well as the need for more extensive and expensive treatment down the road.

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At Greystone Smile Design, we accept all insurance plans and we are preferred providers for most policies including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, Metlife, Delta, Aetna, Cigna, Southland, and United Healthcare.

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