What is a dental emergency?
A dental emergency is any dental issue that requires immediate attention from your dentist. Many of us will experience a dental emergency at some point in our lives, whether from a sports injury, chipped tooth, severe toothache or something else.
Here are some common dental emergencies – and what you can do if one of these scenarios happens to you.
Severe toothaches can strike suddenly or gradually, causing sharp or throbbing pain. If you have a severe toothache that you cannot treat with over-the-counter pain relievers (such as ibuprofen), you have a dental emergency.
Apply ice to your jaw, and go to your dentist’s office as soon as you can.
Object Lodged Between Teeth
Usually, dental floss would be the tool of choice to remove objects from between your teeth, but if this does not work it must be removed by your dentist. Do not use a sharp object to try and dislodge it, as you could injure your gums or push it further between your teeth.
Knocked Out Teeth
If you arrive at the dentist's office within an hour, your dentist may be able to replace your knocked-out tooth.
Locate your tooth, rinse it with water (no soap or chemicals), and replace it in the socket. If you are unable to insert it into the socket, place it on your cheek or in a container of milk.
A lost tooth is considered an urgent dental emergency, so get to your dentist’s office right away.
Lost Crowns or Fillings
If you lose a crown or filling, the tooth structure may be weakened as a result of the tooth’s interior becoming exposed. It can also be quite painful and sensitive. That’s why a missing filling is a dental emergency, and your dentist should repair it as soon as possible so that it can be replaced.
Broken or Chipped Teeth
In many cases, chipped or broken teeth can be repaired and saved. A small fracture can usually be repaired with a filling, while larger breaks require a crown or root canal. If you have a broken or chipped tooth, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to have it repaired.
Lacerations to the Lip or Tongue
A dental emergency occurs when an injury to the inside of your mouth causes a laceration to your lip or tongue. To stop the bleeding, use a clean cloth. Apply a cold ice pack to the affected area and seek treatment as soon as possible.
Dental emergencies are sometimes recognizable right away, and sometimes not. Do not hesitate to call our office if you have any questions. Our staff can screen you and provide advice on whether your issue is urgent.