Emergency dentistry deals with diagnosing and treating dental problems that require immediate attention. Emergency dentists are specially trained to handle all dental emergencies, from simple toothaches to more complex problems such as fractured teeth or jaw.
Dental emergencies can cause pain, discomfort, and swelling, leading to more significant issues. But what is considered a dental emergency? When should you see an emergency and when can you hold off until your next dental appointment?
A wobbly tooth is usually caused by trauma to the mouth but can also be a sign of gum disease. Tooth loss is a devastating consequence of gum disease. Even if your teeth don't look visibly damaged, it's still important to see your dentist so they can check for any internal injuries.
A cracked tooth can be extremely painful and may require root canal therapy to fix properly. If you have a cracked tooth, clear blood and debris by rinsing your mouth with warm water. You'll need to see a dentist as soon as possible so they can determine the best course of treatment.
If you've had a tooth knocked out (also called avulsed), try to put it back in place if possible without touching the root. Rinse any dirt off the tooth but don't scrub it; then gently place it back into its socket before biting down on gauze until you can get to the dentist within 30 minutes.
A lost filling isn't necessarily an emergency, depending on where it's located in your mouth. However, if it's causing pain, you'll want to see a dentist immediately so they can fix it. Without the filling, bacteria can enter the exposed area and cause infection. Your dentist will likely recommend a replacement filling.
Your dental crown may break due to an accident or biting down on something hard. It is not always an emergency, but it can be if the tooth underneath is damaged. If the tooth is cracked or chipped, bacteria can enter and cause an infection. An infected tooth can be very painful and may require a root canal to fix.
An infection at the root of your tooth is called an abscess. This condition requires immediate treatment. Symptoms include severe pain, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and pus drainage. Depending on the severity of the infection, you'll need antibiotics along with either root canal therapy or extraction.
Our team will also give you instructions on how to take care of your teeth until you can come in for an appointment. Please see the emergency room or your general physician if you've had a head or neck injury before coming to us, even if your teeth are damaged. Contact us today if you have questions about dental emergency care.