While dental issues often come with pain or discomfort, it can be difficult to determine which are normal aches and pains that can wait until your regularly scheduled dental appointment and which necessitate a visit to an emergency dentist. In particular, if you begin experiencing issues at night or outside of your dentist’s regular business hours, how can you tell whether you should seek emergency treatment?
Emergency dentists exist to treat patients experiencing issues that are causing severe pain, present a high risk of infection, or may cause permanent loss of one or more teeth. If you experience any of these dental problems, contact an emergency dentist to prevent more serious issues:
- Severe tooth pain. Severe pain is a sign something has gone seriously wrong. If your tooth pain has worsened over time or is accompanied by sensitivity to temperature or touch, you should have the tooth examined by a dentist. Seeking emergency dental care can help you address the issue in a timely manner and provide much-needed pain relief in the process.
- Severe jaw pain and swelling. If your jaw pain is severe, lasting, and occurs along with swelling, fever, or difficulty swallowing, you likely have an infection. In some cases, jaw pain can signify an abscessed tooth – an infection in the tooth’s root and pulp system. Infection can easily spread to the surrounding jawbone and even your blood, causing a condition called sepsis; for this reason, it is essential to treat jaw pain as soon as possible.
- Fractured or broken teeth. While small cracks and chips may be able to wait until you can schedule an appointment during regular business hours, more severe tooth injuries require immediate care. If a large crack or other fracture has occurred or a piece of tooth is missing, seek help as soon as possible. Without care, you may experience continued pain and nerve damage.
- Loosened or knocked-out teeth. If your tooth is knocked loose or has been completely knocked out, immediate attention can help prevent permanent loss. If possible, avoid touching the root and place the tooth back in the socket, or place the tooth in a cup of saliva or milk while you secure emergency dental help. Taking the necessary steps to avoid tooth loss can ensure you do not experience the bite problems and bone loss associated with traumatic tooth loss.
If you experience one of the above dental emergencies, it is crucial to seek dental care even if the issue occurs after hours. Emergency Dental Service can help you find an emergency dental care provider in your area so you can receive the necessary treatment as soon as possible. Simply dial 1-888-350-1340, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to begin your search for your emergency dentist. Alternatively, request an emergency appointment online to schedule emergency dental care right away.