A dental emergency is an umbrella term used to cover any problems involving the teeth, supporting tissues, gums, etc., that are urgent and need to be treated or fixed immediately by a dental professional.

Is there pain involved in emergency dentistry?

Pain is not always involved. However, pre-existing pain indicates that the tooth and/or surrounding tissues need immediate attention.

What kind of treatment is involved in a dental emergency?

This depends on the type of pain involved. An experienced dentist will determine the cause and treat the issue. Some examples of dental emergencies are:

  • Fungal/bacterial/viral infections.
  • Fractured teeth or dental trauma sustained by a tooth, the oral cavity, face or surrounding bone. This occurs frequently in children aged 8 to 12. The prognosis worsens with time if left untreated.
  • The fracture of or dental restorations impacts how you eat, speak and appear. This problem must be treated quickly as a loss of the tooth or surrounding tissue may occur if left untreated.

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What are some of the most common dental emergencies and how to handle them?

  • Toothache: Start by calling your dentist. Explain how it started and your symptoms. You could take an over-the-counter pain medication to ease the pain. Avoid putting the pills on your tooth. Place an ice pack against your face near the sore tooth for immediate relief. Avoid applying heat as it will only worsen the pain.
  • Broken or chipped tooth: Most broken teeth can be saved. Call your dentist immediately and explain the situation and request to be seen today. If it is a minor break, white filling might be used to fix it. For serious breaks, a more extensive procedure may be needed. A crown may also be required to ensure oral well-being.
  • Displaced or missing teeth: In adults, the dentist may try to put it back. However, you must act quickly. If the tooth is placed within 10 minutes, it may take root again. After 2 hours, the chances of it reattaching to the socket decrease. If the tooth seems clean, try to put it back into the socket. If you’re not able to, place it in a container of cold milk. Try to reach the dentist as soon as possible to try to have the best chance of saving the tooth.
  • Badly bitten tongue or lip: If you’re bleeding, apply pressure on the area by applying a clean cloth. If the lip swells, apply an ice pack to stop the bleeding. Visit your local ER immediately if the bleeding does not stop.
  • Lost filling: Place a softened sugarless gum in the spot of the missing filling to avoid further damage or food getting stuck in the cavity. Visit the dentist to repairs the tooth as much as possible.

Don’t ignore any kind of pain that develops in your teeth, gums or oral cavity. If you experience a dental emergency, call us and we will try and accommodate you as soon as possible.