Why is it Important to visit an Emergency Dentist?
Accidents can happen anytime and anywhere. When a dental disaster strikes, time is not favorable. Having the right information about what to do when one occurs can make a huge difference between saving and losing a tooth. Getting a proper diagnosis and finding immediate relief is the top priority. With the growing need, dentistry introduced another beneficial facility called emergency dentistry. Now, like other health problems, all your oral health emergencies are treated in an emergency room. The dentists are now available throughout the day and night to ensure your smile stays beautiful.
What is considered a dental emergency?
When dental problems knock on your door, your dentist should be your first friend you run to. But what if you encounter a dental problem while it’s a holiday, weekend, or in the middle of the night? What if you’re dealing with a severe dental problem during post office hours, you will likely need an emergency dentist.
Who Is an Emergency Dentist?
An emergency dentist is an oral healthcare professional that treats patients that need immediate medical attention and treatment. Some emergency dentists will see their patients within 24 hours to ensure they help them with their oral health, and to protect their teeth, jaw, and gums.
How To Know If It’s A Dental Emergency
To recognize a dental emergency the first step is to understand the difference between a normal dental issue that can wait until the next morning and a real emergency that can be a serious concern for your health or cost you a tooth.
According to Indian Dental Association, about 25 percent of people have experienced dental or oral pain in the last six months, which shows just how common dental emergencies can be.
Here’s everything you should know about recognizing dental emergencies:
When should we see an emergency dentist?
Not every dental situation should be misunderstood as a dental emergency. To help you determine if you can wait to see your dentist or if you need to make an immediate visit to an emergency dentist, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you experiencing severe pain?
- Did you get hit in the face or mouth? Did you lose a tooth? Immediate treatment can potentially save a tooth.
- Do you have any loose teeth? Adults should never have loose teeth. If you have a loose tooth, even without pain, it is a serious problem.
- Did you have any form of swelling in the mouth or facial area?
- So do you notice any swelling, bulges, or knots on your gums?
- Do you have an infection? Do you sense swelling or knots on your gums or swelling around the face? Any abscess or serious infection in your mouth can cause serious life-threatening problems.
- Are you bleeding from the mouth? This is a possible sign of an emergency.
Generally, any dental problem that demands immediate treatment such as to alleviate severe pain, stop bleeding, or save a tooth is considered an emergency. This also applies to severe infections that can be life-threatening.
If you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms, chances are you may be experiencing a dental emergency. You should call your dentist immediately and describe your condition. If your dentist’s office is closed, you may need to visit an emergency dentist.
What Qualifies As A Dental Emergency?
One must never ignore toothache – it surely indicates something isn’t right, even if your tooth appears healthy. Tooth pain is mostly caused by dental decay and/or infection. Mild or intermittent tooth pain can usually be managed with over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol until your next regular appointment with the dentist becomes possible. However, if the painkillers don’t work or fail to work, or the pain becomes unbearable, it’s time you should call the emergency dentist.
A knocked-out tooth is a dental emergency and it needs urgent attention. Luckily it’s possible for your dentist to reinsert and preserve your tooth if you immediately follow the appropriate emergency steps after the tooth has been knocked out,
Pick up the tooth by the crown or the top carefully, take care not to touch the root, and carefully rinse it with water without scrubbing. If possible, reinsert the tooth in the original position. If not, keep the tooth in a small container of milk and visit the dentist quickly to increase the possibility of saving your tooth.
Loose tooth, tooth out of alignment
If you feel a tooth is out of alignment or loose, you should call your dentist for an emergency appointment right away. Meanwhile, you can try to put the tooth in the socket using your finger with very light pressure without force. Hold a bite to keep the tooth from moving. The dentist may want to brace the tooth to the adjacent teeth (the teeth on each side) in order to stabilize it.
Chipped, cracked, or fractured teeth
One of the serious issues causing a dental emergency is a cracked or fractured tooth. Fractured or cracked teeth mostly indicate that damage has occurred to the inside of the tooth as well as to the outside. Some fractures can be extremely severe that the tooth cannot be saved. Call your dentist immediately if you experience a fractured tooth for an emergency appointment.
A dental abscess is a severe and potentially fatal condition in which a pocket of pus in the tooth leads to an infection. A tooth abscess may show symptoms like fever, tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, a constant toothache, tender lymph nodes in the neck, swelling in the face, and a bump-like pimple on your gums near the infected tooth.
This condition is a dental emergency as the infection can spread into your jaw, surrounding tissue, and other areas of the body and cause life-threatening issues. Before you can see the dentist, lightly rinse your mouth with salt water a few times to reduce the pain as it helps to draw the pus to the surface.
Tissue injury and facial pain
Any type of injury in the mouth such as cuts, stab wounds, tears on the lips, cheeks, mouth, and tongue are tissue damage and a dental emergency. If you experience any type of tissue injury, make sure to clean the area immediately with warm water. Get immediate help from an oral surgeon or nearby hospital emergency room as soon as possible.
To alleviate any type of facial pain related to tissue injury, you can take acetaminophen as directed on the packaging label.
Other dental emergencies
Generally, any dental problem that demands immediate treatment in order to save a tooth, control tissue bleeding or alleviate severe pain is considered a dental emergency.
What Isn’t a Dental Emergency
If the dental problem you have can wait for a couple of days until your dentist sees you next, it isn’t a dental emergency. Sometimes problems that might seem critical can actually wait for a day or so, with proper self-care.
For example, a cracked or chipped tooth is an emergency if the fracture is causing unbearable pain or has left sharp fragments that cause trauma inside your mouth.
A toothache can also wait for treatment for a few days as long as the pain is not severe and you do not have any symptoms of an abscess such as face swelling, bumps on the gums, or a high fever. Similarly, with lost a crown or filling, you can likely wait a few days to see your dentist.
Can an Emergency Dentist Pull Teeth
Generally, there are a few reasons that demand an emergency tooth extraction. One of the most common is dental trauma. If a serious oral injury causes a damaged or broken tooth, it may not always be possible to save it.
Infected teeth are another reason that may need emergency tooth extractions. A crack in the tooth might cause infected teeth which shall expose the underlying pulp, or by a cavity that destroys the outer layers of enamel and dentin in your tooth in most cases, saving an infected tooth is possible with root canal therapy. But in severe cases, this might not help, hence a tooth extraction and replacement are needed. The final reason an emergency tooth extraction may be required is if the wisdom tooth is not fully erupted or impacted. If your wisdom tooth has difficulty erupting properly, it can cause infection or damage the surrounding teeth. The best way to avoid these complications and get relief from pain and discomfort is by extracting impacted wisdom teeth.
If you have a dental emergency, make sure you visit an emergency dentist as soon as possible.
Here are some simple precautions you can take to avoid accidents and injuries to your teeth:
Few simple precautions you can take to avoid accidents and injury to your teeth:
- Always wear a mouth guard during sports or recreational activities.
- Avoid chewing ice, bones, and hard candy, all of which can crack a tooth.
- Never use your teeth, to tear things.