While patients can avoid many oral problems with preventative care and regular visits to the dentist, emergency dental treatment is occasionally necessary. Dentists may administer this type of care during or outside of regular office hours to help patients with various oral problems, such as infections or missing teeth. Emergency dental treatment is care administered to relieve mouth pain without prior scheduling.
How Emergency Dentistry Works
Most dental practices offer routine checkups and cleanings with appointments. For most minor problems, patients can call ahead to schedule an appointment within a few days to resolve the issue. Emergency dentistry treats patients dealing with significant dental trauma who need immediate care.
“Emergency dentistry treats patients dealing with significant dental trauma who need immediate care.”
▣ When To Visit an Emergency Dentist
Not all oral problems require emergency dental care, so patients must examine their situation before making an appointment. Most minor issues can wait a few days for a scheduled appointment. However, there are several reasons to seek emergency dental care:
▣ Restorative emergencies: Accidents can occur at any time, and in the event of a missing or chipped tooth, it is best to seek immediate care. Restorative emergencies require dental care to preserve teeth, so they remain functional. Dentists can then replace teeth to restore the patient’s smile.
▣ Severe gum pain: According to WebMD, patients should visit the dentist if minor tooth, jaw, or gum pain lasts more than two days. However, those who are in extreme pain should visit the dentist immediately. Pain that persists despite taking over-the-counter medications, such as Aleve®, Tylenol®, or Advil®, could indicate a serious infection or gum disease.
▣ Tooth abscess: Tooth abscesses are caused by pockets of pus that develop underneath teeth. In addition to being extremely painful, a tooth abscess can lead to a life-threatening infection if left untreated. Seeking immediate care allows dentists to drain the pus that causes the pain before the problem becomes more severe.
▣ Lost fillings: When patients lose cavity fillings or crowns, the opening is susceptible to infection. Replacing lost crowns and fillings eliminates pain and reduces the chance of infection setting in. Waiting to receive this treatment could elevate patients’ pain.
“…there are several reasons to seek emergency dental care.”
▣ Benefits of Emergency Dental Care
Emergency dental treatment helps relieve mouth pain quickly and effectively. Dental trauma can occur from an accident or an injury. Seeking immediate care when a problem occurs prevents it from becoming a more extensive issue requiring harsher treatments. By taking control of dental emergencies and visiting the dentist immediately, patients can drastically improve their oral health.
“Seeking immediate care when a problem occurs prevents it from becoming a more extensive issue requiring harsher treatments.”
▣ Treatments for Dental Emergencies
Since there are many types of dental emergencies, treatment options vary. The dentist will first examine the problem to determine the best course of treatment. After diagnosing the issue, the dentist can either treat the infection, remove the infected tooth, or replace missing tooth fragments. The dentist may also prescribe pain medication or antibiotics to aid in recovery.
“Since there are many types of dental emergencies, treatment options vary.”
▣ What To Do While Waiting For Emergency Dental Treatment
If a patient is suffering from any kind of dental trauma, the first thing to do is contact the dentist for instructions. Treatment options vary depending upon the type of problem. For a lost filling or crown, patients can use a small piece of sugarless gum to cover the opening temporarily. Mouth pain can sometimes be alleviated with over-the-counter medications, while extensive dental trauma may require patients to pack their mouths with gauze.
“If a patient is suffering from any kind of dental trauma, the first thing to do is contact the dentist for instructions.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Does emergency dental care hurt?
Is emergency dental care preventable?
How can a displaced tooth be preserved during a dental emergency?
How is a restorative emergency different from another dental emergency?
What qualifies as a dental emergency?
How does emergency dental treatment benefit oral health?
A dental abscess is a pocket of pus the forms in the tooth root from a bacterial infection.
A dentist, also known as a dental surgeon, is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and conditions of the oral cavity.
▣ Dental Filling
A dental filling involves restoring the structure of the tooth by using metal, alloy, porcelain or plastic to fill the tooth.
▣ Facial Cellulitis
Facial cellulitis is a condition in which an infection from an abscess or plaque in the teeth causes pain and spreads throughout the face.
▣ Impacted Wisdom Tooth
An impacted wisdom tooth is a tooth that does not erupt from the gums properly that can cause pain and become infected without professional extraction.
▣ Irreversible Pulpitis
Irreversible pulpitis is when the pain in the tooth occurs spontaneously or continues to hurt after the patient removes the hot/cold substance that was causing pain. Normal pulpitis will cease hurting directly after removing what is causing the pain.
▣ Lateral Luxation
Lateral luxation is the displacement of a tooth that moves it in the wrong direction while it is still attached to the gums.
Pericoronitis is the inflammation of soft tissues surrounding a tooth that does not fully erupt from the gums and causes pain.
▣ Tooth Avulsion
Tooth avulsion is when the tooth completely displaces from the socket due to an accident or other health issues. We can replant the tooth if the patient seeks immediate care.
▣ Tooth Fracture
A tooth fracture can result from multiple sources including an accidental elbow to the face during a sports game, biting on something really hard, falling face first and more.