Dental emergencies can be scary, painful, and confusing, and in some cases, it can be hard to decide if you need to make an emergency appointment. This brief guide is designed to help you decide whether or not you need to contact an emergency dentists. If you are experiencing any of the following situations, you should call the dentist as soon as possible.
Knocked Out Tooth
Sports injuries, car accidents, and similar types of trauma can cause one of your teeth to get knocked out. If this happens, rinse the tooth and try to replace it in the socket. If that is not possible, place the tooth in a small container of water or saliva and contact the emergency dentist for an appointment immediately. When handling the tooth, try to only touch the crown or top of the tooth. Handling the root can lead to damage.
Broken or Chipped Tooth
A broken or chipped tooth is not as serious as a knocked out tooth, but depending on the extent of the damage, you should still contact an emergency dentist. Again, if you place the chipped off piece in water or saliva, the dentist may be able to reattach it to your tooth. When you call your dentist, they will let you know if you need to come in immediately or if you can wait until the next day.
Lacerations or Cuts
When you have received trauma to the mouth, you may experience cuts or lacerations in the soft tissues of your mouth. An emergency dentist can help by stitching wounds as needed, prescribing antibiotics to help your body fight infections, and examining your mouth for additional damage. You can contact an emergency dentist, but you may also go directly to a hospital emergency room.
A dental abscess is a pocket of infection around your tooth. Signs you have an infection include swelling, pus, rotten odors, and a fever. You need to contact an emergency dentist as soon as possible if this is happening. Do not ignore these signals. The infection from an abscessed tooth can spread to the rest of your body and cause serious damage. To control the pain, take an over the counter pain reliever and place an ice pack on that side of your face.
In some cases, you can get intense toothaches that are not related to a dental abscess. Instead, the pain stems from a cavity that is not infected yet. This situation is not as dire as an abscessed tooth, but if ignored, the tooth may become abscessed. You do not necessarily need to see a dentist immediately for a toothache, but you should contact the emergency dentist, talk with them about your pain levels, and make an appointment for the next morning or as soon as possible the following day.
If you are experiencing jaw pain, swollen gums, or any other dental issues, make sure to contact your dentist. They can let you know if you should schedule a regular appointment or contact an emergency dentist.