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What is Considered a Dental Emergency and What to Do if One Occurs

Posted by Cedar Walk Dentistry Team on Apr 17, 2020 12:09:35 PM

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Dental emergencies are more common than you might think. However, many dental problems are not emergencies, but simply dental issues that have been left untreated and are causing pain and inflammation.

A tooth that has fallen out, a toothache, a chipped tooth, or issues surrounding dental crowns may be serious dental problems, but may not be considered emergencies.

It’s best to learn what constitutes a dental emergency, and what steps to take if an accident takes place and immediate dental treatment is necessary.

 

What are Common Causes of Dental Emergencies?

Falling off your bike, car accidents, sports injuries, accidents that occur from work, or even tripping and falling can cause dental emergencies. You should always be careful when participating in sports and wear proper protective gear such as a mouth guard to prevent dental related injuries.

Take extra care when drinking from glass bottles and try to stay away from hard candies as they can easily break or crack a tooth.

 

What Are Some Common Dental Emergencies?

A few examples of dental emergencies would be a tooth being knocked out, an abscess in your tooth that has become infected, or a severe toothache.

If you have suffered trauma to your mouth including broken or missing teeth, or any other form of injury to teeth, or you are experiencing severe tooth pain you should always seek emergency care with your dentist right away.

Another form of a dental emergency is an infection in the mouth that leads to a tooth abscess. Left untreated, an abscess can cause further complications that would require immediate emergency treatment from your dentist.

While the following common dental problems may not necessarily be emergencies, they should be cared for as soon as possible. Your dentist may want to provide immediate treatment for:

  • A chipped tooth
  • A tooth filling that has come out of the tooth
  • Pain stemming from a dental crown
  • Repair for a broken tooth

Are Toothaches Considered Dental Emergencies?

While a toothache is not something you should ignore, it may not be considered a dental emergency. A toothache is typically a warning sign that you may have an underlying dental issue or condition that should be addressed and treated before further symptoms develop.

If you feel pain in your tooth, mouth or jaw, you should contact your dentist and they will assess whether or not you should be seen for immediate treatment.

 

How Do I Know if What I am Experiencing is Actually a Dental Emergency?

Not all dental issues that you experience require you to seek emergency dental care. However, if you experience direct trauma to your mouth, teeth, or gums, or are experiencing severe pain, it is always best to contact your dentist as you may need to be seen right away.

Dental injuries can lead to even more serious dental and health problems if not treated immediately. It’s always best to err on the side of caution and get in touch with your dentist as soon as possible to be assessed, as your dentist will direct you on a proper treatment plan or steps to take to ensure best possible outcomes.

 
What Should I do if I have a Dental Emergency?

Always contact your dentist right away. Do not wait for symptoms to become worse after dental trauma occurs or try to treat the issue at home. If your tooth is knocked out or becomes dislodged from your gums through any means, you should follow these steps and contact your dentist immediately:

  • Rinse the dislodged tooth in milk if it is dirty
  • Place the tooth back in the socket and hold it in place with gauze. This may make the difference if your tooth can be saved, since the tooth should only be out of the mouth for no more than 1 hour. 
  • For chipped and broken teeth, rinse and save the pieces in milk, if possible.

 

At Cedar Walk Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we are always available to provide care for a dental emergency. Contact us immediately if you are experiencing a dental emergency and one of our experienced dentists will provide you with an assessment to walk you through initial steps and treatment options.

Topics: Cedar Walk Dentistry, Charlotte NC, Cosmetic Dentistry, General Dentistry, Holistic Dentistry, Implants, Dentures, & Missing Teeth, Oral Health & Hygiene