While some of your dental visits are regular check-ups, others are for dental emergencies. But what exactly is a dental emergency? How would you know if it’s actually an emergency?
What you might deem as a medical emergency can be different from a dentist’s perspective. For instance, a chipped tooth might be an urgent situation for you because it’s depriving you of smiling and conversing with people. But unless the problem is accompanied by swelling, fever, pain and discomfort, the condition can wait.
Learning the different dental emergencies can give you a glimpse of what scenarios demand urgent attention. We’ve listed below some of the common dental situations that you may experience. We’ve also included if each condition is an emergency or not.
Verdict: An emergency
When your mouth suffers from a hard impact, this may result in a knocked-out tooth. This requires prompt medical attention. Do your best to contact or see a dentist as soon as possible (preferably within an hour). He or she may still save your tooth.
You can also do the following:
- Pick up your tooth crown and gently wash it. Clean it thoroughly, but do not scrub to avoid the accidental removal of the vital tissues.
- Try to reposition the tooth, if possible, in the socket and hold the crown securely in its place. You can do it by biting down. If you failed to do that, put the tooth in a cup of milk to keep it moist.
Verdict: An Emergency
If you notice that you can wiggle or move an adult tooth, it’s probably out of alignment. To fix this, you should see a dentist right away. You can also apply very light pressure to carefully move the tooth into its proper position. Make sure not to force it, or else it will be removed completely.
Verdict: Not usually an emergency
A chipped tooth usually does not require emergency dental attention. It can wait for a few days for a dentist to check. However, it is crucial to pay attention and proper care for it. Observe what you eat and make sure not to chew food using the chipped tooth to avoid further damage.
A broken or fractured tooth
Verdict: An emergency
A fractured or cracked tooth is commonly accompanied by bleeding, pain and swelling. This should be treated to avoid further damage and get rid of the feelings of discomfort and pain. When a tooth is fractured, there can be both internal and external injury. Thus, immediate dental attention is needed. For instance, you may need to undergo an emergency root canal procedure to save your tooth if the soft tissue or pulp is damaged.
There are various things that you can do to cease the severity of a broken tooth issue. Of course, these are not intended to replace professional care, but you can try the following to lessen the adverse effects:
- Rinse your mouth with clean, warm water.
- Put an ice pack in the affected area, especially if you’re experiencing facial trauma. It will help reduce the swelling.
- You can also take a painkiller if you feel the pain is intolerable. Make sure to ask first your doctor what type of painkiller will be best for you.
Dental health is as important as your physical and mental health; it requires proper attention from the right professionals. In some instances, you may have to get urgent dental care due to some emergencies.
There are also issues that don’t warrant an emergency visit to your dentist. If you’re unsure whether your condition is an emergency or not, your family dentist is always the best person to ask.
If you’re looking for reliable and top-notch family dental care, Shoppingtown Dental is the best place to go. We offer a wide range of emergency, preventive and cosmetic dental services such as cleaning, routine checkups and oral surgery.
Schedule an appointment today!