When to Seek Professional Help for a Dental Emergency

oral health checking

If you’re experiencing dental problems, it’s important to know whether your problem is a dental emergency. Here are the signs you need to see a dentist immediately.

It’s a sad but true fact: a dental emergency waits for no one.

Click2Smile dentists know better than most that chipped teeth, infections, and lost crowns tend to happen at the worst possible moment! This often leaves patients scrambling to find the care they need fast.

Worse, it can sometimes be hard to tell when that fast treatment is warranted. After all, should you wait for a regular appointment, or do you need to reach out to your dentist for urgent care?

In some situations, prompt treatment can literally save your teeth! If you’re not sure when to seek quick care, here’s what to know about who to call, where to go, and what to do if a dental emergency happens.

What Is a Dental Emergency?
A dental emergency is any kind of major accident, injury, or oral trauma that happens outside of your routine check-ups. Often, these incidents come with severe pain or bleeding. Sometimes, they may involve lost, broken, or otherwise damaged teeth.

Here are a few common examples of dental emergencies:

  • Cracked, chipped, or broken teeth
  • Lost or dislocated teeth
  • Severe jaw or tooth pain
  • Excessive bleeding from the gums
  • Pain in one or more wisdom teeth (the third molars in your mouth)
  • An abscess with severe swelling or infection
  • Post-operation complications like dry socket
  • Defective, lost, or broken restorations that are causing pain
  • Bent or broken orthodontic wires
  • Pain or swelling around oral sutures

In some situations, however, you may be dealing with mild dental discomfort over extreme pain. In general, if you are experiencing an issue that isn’t bothering you, such as the need for a filling or extraction that’s causing little to no pain, you may not need urgent dental care. If you’re unsure, the best thing to do is to call your dentist for clarification.

Seeking Emergency Dental Care
The best time to start looking for emergency dental treatment is before an incident happens. There’s nothing more frustrating than a frantic search for a quality emergency dentist while you or a loved one is bleeding or in pain.

If you already have a relationship with a dentist, check to see whether they offer emergency dental services. Some dental practices don’t have the expertise or capacity to take on this kind of speedy emergency care. In an ideal world, your choice of dentist for an emergency will be the same as your usual provider, which can help with continuity of care.

Here at Click2Smile, we offer emergency service by giving patients in need priority appointments whenever possible. Our experts have a history of helping with a wide variety of injuries, infections, and other painful issues. From anesthesiology to tooth replacement to restorative dentistry, we can help protect your smile.

Whoever you choose for dental care, we recommend keeping their number saved in your phone to avoid delays in treatment.

Emergency Dentist vs. Emergency Room
If you’re in a lot of pain and can’t see a dentist, or if your pain is the result of a greater injury, you may be wondering whether a visit to an emergency room is your best bet.

Your nearest emergency room can help with many things, but they don’t have the expertise to tackle dental issues like infections and cavities, nor can they help with restorative dentistry. As a result, you should wait for an appointment with your dentist if you’re dealing with an issue with your teeth or gums.

However, ER personnel can help with issues like severe bleeding. If you’re experiencing a blood loss issue like dry socket, an urgent care clinic can often help you stop the bleeding until you can see a dentist.

In addition, you should always visit an emergency room if the trauma to your mouth is part of a larger facial injury. If you have puncture wounds or lacerations across your face, or if you suspect a broken jawbone, get emergency medical care before you visit your dentist.

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