When you are experiencing a sudden dental problem, it's important to know if you require urgent dental care or if you can wait until your dentist can see you.
Not all dental problems represent an emergency, even if you are in a lot of discomfort. In this article, we will tell you what is considered a dental emergency, what to do when you are experiencing one, and when it's time to call your dentist.
What Is Considered a Dental Emergency
According to the American Dental Association, a dental emergency is an issue that is life-threatening and requires urgent care to stop bleeding, treat an infection, or address severe dental pain.
Some examples of life-threatening dental problems include:
- Severe bleeding caused by an accident, trauma, or another event.
- Infection accompanied by swelling and pain. Keep in mind that infection can spread and affect more than just your teeth and gums, so be sure to ask for urgent care immediately.
- A severe blow to your face caused trauma to your teeth and facial bones.
While some issues are not life-threatening, they may still require emergency dental care. Some examples include:
- Debilitating pain caused by decay or a root canal infection.
- Pain caused by wisdom teeth.
- Pain after a tooth extraction caused by a dry socket.
- Pain from a tooth chip or crack.
- A loose tooth from trauma.
What to Do If You're Experiencing a Dental Emergency
There are several ways you can handle dental emergencies, depending on the type of problem you are facing.
- Knocked-out Tooth: If you or someone else knocked out a tooth, then the first thing you need to do is to help stop the bleeding. Call your dentist and in the meantime try to locate the tooth. If possible, place the tooth in a glass of milk. If not, try to gently put the tooth back into the socket or hold it under your tongue until you get to your dentist.
- Chipped or Cracked Tooth: Rinse your mouth with warm water. Place a cold compress on your face if the chip was the result of facial trauma. Call your dentist for an urgent appointment if you are experiencing pain or swelling.
How to Manage Pain
If you are in a lot of pain, you can try to ease some of your discomfort by applying cold compresses to your cheek. Call your dentist and ask if it's OK to use over-the-counter pain medication until they can see you.
When To Call Your Dentist
In some instances, you can address some dental pain without having to call your dentist. Pain medication and cold compresses are usually the best remedies for alleviating your discomfort until you can see your dentist.
But, if you are experiencing a lot of bleeding, if your pain is debilitating, or if you knocked out a tooth, then those are the moments when it's imperative that you call your dentist.
Are You Experiencing a Dental Emergency? We Can Help!
Are you in need of urgent dental care? At Ladd Family Dental you can get same-day appointments as well as after-hour appointments.
Just call us and tell us what your problem is and we will schedule you for an emergency dental appointment if necessary.