Dental problems can arise at any time of the day or night. Whilst many can wait until you can schedule a regular appointment, there are some scenarios that affect the health or function of your mouth so adversely, or cause you such considerable pain, that the best thing to do is to get seen by a dentist as soon as possible. These are dental emergencies and often, urgent treatment is the only way for you to achieve considerable relief from your discomfort and protect the long-term health and longevity of your smile.
Here’s what you need to know about emergency dental care.
How do I know if it is a Dental Emergency?
Often, one of the hardest aspects of any medical or dental problem is knowing when the situation requires emergency care, or if it can wait for a regular appointment. After all, nobody wants to take up an emergency appointment unnecessarily, or visit out of hours if they don’t need to. Fortunately, there are some ways to identify if you need emergency support.
Signs of a Dental Emergency
The following represent some of the typical symptoms of a dental emergency and indicate that you would benefit from an urgent appointment with your dentist.
- Persistent bleeding from the mouth
- Dental pain that isn’t being relieved with over-the-counter pain medications
- Pain that is so severe that it prevents you from eating, drinking or sleeping
- An obviously broken restoration, such as a dental crown, bridge or denture
- A significant crack or break in your tooth (save the broken part of your tooth if you can find it as it may be possible for it to be reattached)
- A knocked-out tooth (again, save the tooth if you can since it may be able to be replaced back in the socket)
- An abscess around a tooth
- Obvious signs of infection, which include inflammation, redness, visible pus and more
- Severe facial trauma affecting the mouth or jaw
If you experience any of the issues above, or if you simply aren’t sure if you need to be seen right away, it is worth calling your dentist since they may be able to triage your problem over the phone and recommend the best course of action.
What Will Happen at my Emergency Dental Care Appointment?
The goal of most emergency dental care appointments is to provide relief from the immediate problem and restore the function of your teeth. This may involve anything from providing strong pain relief and antibiotics in the case of an infection, to an invasive procedure such as an extraction if a tooth is too badly damaged to be saved. If you have a broken or lost restoration, it may be possible to fit you with a temporary version until a new, custom-designed crown, bridge or denture is made. Your dentist will be able to advise you what can be done at the time of your emergency visit, and what follow-up treatment is likely to be needed. This follow-up treatment will be carried out in a regular, scheduled appointment.
If you would like more information about emergency dental care, please get in touch with our experienced and knowledgeable dental team who would be delighted to offer their expertise and support.