What is considered a dental emergency?
Dental emergencies can be any type of dental issue that requires immediate dental or medical attention. Realistically, many people will experience a dental emergency at one point or another, whether it be from sports, chipping a tooth, developing a tooth ache or something else.
Here are some common dental emergencies – and what you can do if one of these scenarios happens to you.
Developing a Severe Toothache
Severe toothaches can come on suddenly or gradually and can result in sharp or throbbing pain. If you have a severe toothache you are unable to manage with over-the-counter pain medication (such as ibuprofen), you’ve got a dental emergency.
Apply ice to your jaw, and go to your dentist’s office as soon as you can.
Object Getting Lodged Between Teeth
Dental floss is an optimal tool to remove objects from between your teeth, but if this does not work it might need to be removed by your dentist. Do not use a sharp object to try and dislodge it, as you could injure your gums or push it further between your teeth.
Knocked Out Teeth
Your dentist may be able to put your knocked-out tooth back in place if you get to the dentist’s office within an hour.
Try and locate your tooth, rinse it off with water (do not use soap or chemicals), and put it back in the socket. If you are unable to place it in the socket, hold it in your cheek or place it in a container of milk.
A lost tooth is considered an urgent dental emergency, so get to your dentist’s office right away.
Lost Crowns or Fillings
If you lose a crown or filling, the tooth structure may be weakened as a result of the tooth’s interior becoming exposed. It can also be quite painful and sensitive. That’s why a missing filling is a dental emergency, and your dentist should repair it as soon as possible so that it can be replaced.
Breaking or Chipping a Tooth
Chipped or broken teeth can be repaired and saved in many cases. A small fracture can usually be repaired with a filling and more substantial breaks with a crown or root canal. If you have broken or chipped a tooth, make an appointment with your dentist to have it repaired as soon as you can.
Lacerations to the Lip or Tongue
If an injury to the inside of the mouth results in a laceration to your lip or tongue, this is considered a dental emergency. Right away, you should use a clean cloth to help stop the bleeding. For any swelling, apply a cold ice pack to the area and seek treatment right away.
Dental emergencies are sometimes recognizable right away, and sometimes not. Do not hesitate to call our office if you have any questions. Our staff can screen you and provide advice on whether your issue is urgent.