Most common types of dental emergencies.
Dr. Alisa Kauffman, founder & CEO of Geriatric House Call Dentistry talks about the most common types of dental emergencies. She shares what to expect and what you might need to do when faced with a dental emergency.
Examples of Dental Emergencies
A toothache can be extremely painful and could be a symptom of an infection or disease. Toothaches should not be taken lightly as a possible infection could be life-threatening – especially to someone who is elderly or immunocompromised.
Cracked bridge or crown
For those in need of geriatric dentistry, it is important to understand the basics of cracked dental bridges and crowns. A bridge is a way to replace one or more missing teeth with artificial teeth that are anchored on either side by a natural tooth or dental implant. A crown, also known as a cap, is a covering that fits over the top of an existing tooth to restore it to its original size, shape, and strength.
Cracked dental bridges and crowns can occur due to excessive force being applied, decay weakening the underlying structure, improperly fitted restorations, low-quality materials used during construction, or age-related wear and tear over time. It is important for those who require geriatric dentistry services to be aware of these causes so that they can take steps toward preventing them from occurring. Regular checkups with a dentist will help ensure that any problems like this are caught early before they lead to bigger issues down the road!
Chipped or broken teeth
A chipped or broken tooth can be painful, embarrassing, and even dangerous. If you experience any pain or sensitivity when eating, drinking, or brushing your teeth after a chip or break occurs, this is one of the main signs that you should seek help from a geriatric dentist right away. Pain can be an indication that there is an infection present in your tooth, or that the surrounding gums are swollen or irritated. A geriatric dentist will be able to diagnose the cause of your discomfort and provide treatment as needed.
If the chip or break is large enough, then a crown may be necessary to protect the remaining portion of the tooth from further damage. A crown completely encases the entire visible portion of a tooth above the gum line. Crowns can also be used to replace missing or severely damaged teeth entirely if necessary.
Knocked out tooth, or, teeth that have fallen out
Having a knocked-out tooth or teeth that have fallen out can be extremely distressing and frightening. Luckily, there is help available!
Do you, or someone you know need dental work but can’t leave their house? One of our trained dentists will travel on-site to help you or your loved one get the treatment they need.
An oral abscess is a pocket of pus that forms inside the mouth due to an infection. This can occur due to poor dental hygiene, tooth decay, trauma, or periodontal disease. If left untreated, an oral abscess can grow bigger and spread throughout the body, leading to further medical complications. In some cases, it can even lead to sepsis or death.
ABOUT THE DENTISTS OF GERIATRIC HOUSE CALL DENTISTRY
Geriatric House Call Dentistry was founded by Dr. Alisa Kauffman over 30 years ago. Since then, we’ve grown to help patients get high quality dental care from the comfort of their home.
The Dentists of Geriatric House Call Dentistry specialize in working with patients who may be homebound, bedbound, and/or suffer from a form of dementia.
How To Get Care
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A well qualified dentist will coordinate a time to travel to you and get you, or your loved one the care they deserve.
Geriatric House Call Dentistry Frequently Asked Questions
The core services of Geriatric House Call Dentistry include emergency visits, second opinions, dental exams, teeth cleanings, small fillings, tooth extractions, non-invasive cavity treatment (no drilling), complete and partial denture fabrication, crowns (caps) and bridge repair, and teledentistry.
Yes, I have advanced training in treating all forms of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinsons diseases. In the case of the patient refusing to open, I have kind methods that always work. In the rare case that we cannot get the patient to comply, I work with an oral surgeon who is highly trained in geriatric sedation. Of course this is only used in the case of an emergency and as a last resort. And I always coordinate any surgical treatment with the primary care physician or nurse practitioner before starting.
NEVER try at home repair kits you find at the pharmacy or online. Once you touch them a lab will not agree to the repair. Hold on to the broken pieces and call me ASAP!!! I can definitely fix it. And NEVER use crazy or gorilla glue…or you will be throwing it out forced to get a new one. This is a great service and the turn around period can be a day or a few days at the most.
This is almost like a new denture, and a great service if the dentures are loose or falling out during speaking or eating. The lining is soft and comfortable and alleviates the situation where the patient needs to get used to a new pair. This is a great treatment for the patient with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. (A denture reline will not improve the aesthetics. If the aesthetics of your denture are a serious concern, a new denture should be considered).
Yes, extractions can be performed in the home, on dementia patients. Anesthesia via a very small needle numbs the area, and a personable and professional dentists performs this routine tooth removal. The extraction site is packed with a special material to avoid pain and bleeding. Surprising as it may seem, extractions can indeed be performed on a dementia patient in a recliner or bed.
If you are worried that the proposed treatment your present dentist has given the homebound patient may not be what they can handle or absolutely need, we are happy to give you a second opinion. Sometimes, no treatment is the best treatment, and we can help you decide.
Patients deserve the best treatment that’s necessary for them, and oftentimes that takes a specialist who has experience working in this niche field.
A dentist can recement a crown or bridge on a tooth stub as long as if there is a non-decayed stub present. If a crown breaks with the tooth attached, it cannot be recemented. If possible, we ask you to take a simple photo with your smart phone to give our dentists a better idea whether or not recementing is possible. There is no reason to waste a visit on bad news – alternatively, we may want to consider and explore the option of a tooth extraction for these scenarios.
There are few cases where the patient cannot be handled due to behavior issues or extractions that are too complicated or risky to do in the home. Together with an oral surgeon (highly trained to treat this delicate and frail patients) we treat these patients in the office under light and safe sedation (light sleep). It’s done quickly and safely and there is no waiting in a crowded waiting room. This is sometimes the only way to be safe and we never take chances that risk a possible complication.
Unfortunately, many of our dentists do not participate on any insurance plans due to coverage and the current laws. However, we definitely will fill out the necessary paperwork for reimbursement from your private insurance plan if this is an option.
We are doing our best to play a role in healthcare reform and look forward to the day when the golden generation gets the coverage they need, and deserve.