You’re experiencing a moderate toothache that you wish would stop. You don’t want to schedule an appointment and possibly have to wait. You want quick treatment and would prefer treating your ailment in the comfort of your home.
What is a dental emergency? Is your tooth ache a sign of something serious that needs to be treated ASAP or can it wait a little bit longer?
Similar to medical patients, there are two extreme dental patients: those who overreact and rush to the urgent care with the first sign of sniffles and those who refuse to step foot in a doctor’s office when they have a major medical condition that needs immediate treatment.
Dental care can be expensive and patients can experience long waits and limited dentist availability. These often dissuade some patients from rushing to the dentist office at the slight feeling of discomfort.
However, there are cases where immediate dental care is required.
A dental emergency is one where there is imminent danger of a tooth or teeth “dying” or being lost.
Losing adult teeth are a big deal because, unlike bones, teeth don’t grow back. Once they are gone, they are gone forever. Same thing if a tooth gets cracked or chipped. The part of the tooth that breaks off or is damaged will not repair itself.
Because of this nature of teeth, the abovementioned situations qualify as a dental emergency.
To recap, the following are examples of dental emergencies:
- A loose tooth
- A tooth that has been knocked out
- A cracked, chipped or fractured tooth
Other dental emergencies that require an immediate visit to the dentist include:
- Lacerations in the lips, gums and soft tissue inside the mouth that causes bleeding
- Pain and aches of the face
- An infection or abscess in the mouth causing severe pain
A visit to your dentist is needed when you have profuse bleeding in your mouth, have facial pain, experience sever pain in the mouth, after receiving a hard blow to the face or mouth or have a tooth knocked out.
What to do in a Dental Emergency?
If you think you have a dental emergency, call your dentist office immediately. If it is after hours or outside of regular business hours, and alternative phone number will be given. This alternative phone number is usually the number to the dentist’s personal cell phone.
If you’ve knocked out a tooth, clean the tooth (and your hands) and hold the tooth in its socket. If for some reason, you can hold the tooth in place, have the tooth soak in milk until you arrive at the dentist office.
To alleviate any pain, take acetaminophen, not aspirin. For lacerations, gently clean the area with warm water and apply gauze to the area.
If your dental emergency happens outside your dentist’s business hours, you should go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital immediately to get help.
At Hazzouri Dental, we provide quick and attentive service to our patients. We have been proudly serving patients for more than 50 years. Our trained dentists can help diagnose potential dental problems that can reduce the likelihood of a dental emergency in the future.
If you think you have a dental emergency, don’t hesitate to contact us. We want to protect your beautiful smile.