3 Reasons You May Need to Visit an Emergency Dentist
Dental emergencies can be unexpected and occur at any time. Seeking an emergency dentist can provide quick relief and prevent further damage to your oral health. Here are a few scenarios when visiting an emergency dentist is essential.
Severe Tooth Pain
Various factors, including tooth decay, gum disease, trauma or an abscess, can cause tooth pain. Severe tooth pain can be debilitating and needs immediate attention.
As a first step, you can rinse your mouth with a saline solution and lightly floss around the tooth that is causing discomfort to eliminate any food particles that could be irritating. If that doesn't provide immediate relief, the pain could result from a cavity. Avoid chewing on the affected side and using aspirin or any painkiller directly on the gum or tooth. Instead, apply a cold compress to your cheek or take an over-the-counter pain reliever as directed. If the pain persists, seek help from an emergency dentist.
The dentist may take an x-ray or perform a physical examination to determine the root cause of the pain and recommend a suitable treatment plan. Depending on the severity of the issue, they may suggest a filling, a root canal, an extraction or other procedures to relieve pain.
Dental trauma can occur due to accidents, sports injuries or other unexpected events. If you have a broken or knocked-out tooth, it's crucial to act fast to save it and prevent further damage. A knocked-out tooth, in particular, has the best chance of survival if reinserted within the first hour of the injury. Therefore, time is of the essence when dealing with dental emergencies.
If you have an avulsed tooth, grab it by the upper portion (crown) and refrain from handling the root. Rinse the tooth gently with saline or milk, if available, and try to reinsert it into its socket if possible. If you can't reinsert it, place it in milk or saliva and take it to the emergency dentist.
Emergency dentists have specialized training and equipment to repair or replace broken or knocked-out teeth. They may use dental bonding, crowns or implants to restore your teeth's shape, function and aesthetics. They may also prescribe antibiotics or painkillers to prevent infection or manage pain during healing. The sooner you see an emergency dentist, the better the outcome for your teeth.
Infections or Abscesses
Dental infections and abscesses are severe conditions that can affect the health of your teeth, gums and even your entire body. Symptoms of an abscess include severe toothache, swelling, redness, fever and foul-tasting or smelling drainage from the affected area.
An emergency dentist can diagnose and treat dental infections and abscesses using a combination of antibiotics, drainage and root canal therapy. They may also prescribe pain relievers and advise you on caring for your teeth and gums to prevent future infections.
Finally, in addition to these three main reasons, other dental emergencies may require the expertise of an emergency dentist. If unsure whether your dental issue qualifies as an emergency, contact an emergency dentist for advice.