While some dental repairs should be seen right away, they may not be considered a dental emergency. The following information will help you determine what you should define as an emergency.
What Is a Dental Emergency?
According to the publication, American Family Physician, about 22% of people have experienced some type of oral pain within the past 6 months – a statistic that reveals that dental emergencies often are commonplace. However, not every dental situation- albeit painful or worrisome- is not considered an emergency. To determine whether a dental problem is an emergency, you need to consider the severity of the dental pain, if applicable. Have you lost a tooth or is a tooth loose, but not painful? Are you suffering from an infection? If you are suffering from an abscess, this type of development can be life-threatening. If you have an infection, your gums may be swollen, or you may exhibit swelling around the face. Generally, any dental issue that needs to be treated immediately to reduce pain, alleviate bleeding, or save a tooth is considered a dental emergency. This definition includes infections that may be life-threatening too.
What Seems Like a Dental Emergency, But Isn’t
If you crack or break a tooth, you will need dental treatment. However, you may be able to wait a couple days before seeing us. While you are waiting to see us, rinse your mouth with a warm soft-water rinse and carefully brush when caring for your gums and teeth. A chipped or cracked tooth is only considered a dental emergency, if it produces a great deal of pain or leaves a sharp fragment, causing irritation or trauma inside the mouth.
Toothaches and Loose Restorations
A toothache can wait to be treated, as long as you are not experiencing severe pain and an abscess (pus-filled sac) has not developed. You can also wait to have a lost filling treated by sticking sugar-free gum in the hole. If your crown becomes loose, use a denture adhesive to keep it in place.
While some unexpected dental events may seem like an emergency, you can wait 1 or 2 days before you see us. Give us a call today if you would like to schedule an appointment for a dental exam and professional cleaning.