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How to Know if You are Having a Dental Emergency or Not

Many people will experience a dental emergency at some point, occasionally as a result of hidden injuries or conditions affecting their oral health. Our Calgary dentists offer guidance on how to recognize an emergency dental situation and what to do.

What is a dental emergency?

Any problem with your teeth, mouth or gums that requires urgent dental treatment is a dental emergency. Specifically, this can include:

Broken, Chipped, or Knocked Out Tooth

A broken or chipped tooth can usually be repaired but will require urgent dental care. The dentist may be able to repair the fracture or chip with a filling, whereas more serious breaks may need a crown or root canal.

A dentist may be able to replace a knocked-out tooth within an hour of the incident if the tooth can be saved. Within this time frame, the tooth has a better chance of regaining its root. The likelihood dramatically decreases after two hours, necessitating the consideration of alternate measures.

Severe Toothache

If you experience a toothache you cannot manage with over-the-counter pain medication, first, apply ice to the area and contact your dentist as soon as possible, as this is considered a dental emergency.

Toothaches can indicate potential major dental issues, and so it is important to take them seriously.

Lost Filling

The interior of your tooth is exposed when a filling is lost, weakening the tooth's structure. It's crucial to visit a dentist right away to have the filling replaced. A piece of softened sugarless gum can temporarily replace the filling in order to protect the area until you can see the dentist.

Object Lodged Between Teeth

When something gets stuck between your teeth, it can be dangerous and needs immediate attention from your dentist. Avoid using a sharp object to try to remove the object yourself if you are unable to do so with floss because doing so could push it deeper between your teeth or harm your gums.

Bitten Tongue or Lip

You should go to an emergency dental clinic if you bite your tongue or lip and then experience uncontrollable bleeding. Apply a fresh cloth to the bleeding area of the mouth and press down in the interim. Seek out urgent dental care while applying an ice pack to reduce swelling.

Dental Abscess

A dental abscess is a pus-filled collection that develops inside the gums or teeth. Usually, a bacterial infection within the tooth's soft pulp or the root causes this extremely painful condition. They may be brought on by an untreated cavity, severe gum disease, or even a chipped tooth.

Symptoms can include anything from a bad taste in your mouth to swollen glands, pain, pus or fever. An abscessed tooth will usually need surgery to drain the infection and treat it properly. Treatment for dental abscesses can involve root canal surgery. 

Are you experiencing a dental emergency? Our Calgary dentists will make every effort to see you as soon as possible and can often offer same-day appointments.

From Our Team

  • At Arbour Lake Dental Care, we understand the constraints a busy schedule can place on our patients' availability for dental appointments. To better accommodate your schedule, we offer extended, flexible office hours.
    - Dr. Ian Miller

Your dental care in Calgary.

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