Unfortunately, emergencies happen – often outside of regular business hours. Fortunately, our general dentists at Value Smiles offer emergency dental care around the clock, so you can receive friendly, compassionate care when you need it most. Dental emergencies should be addressed as soon as possible to prevent the problem from becoming worse. Today, we will discuss common emergency dental scenarios, and talk about how to handle these situations when they occur.
What is Considered a Dental Emergency?
Simply stated, a dental emergency is any situation that causes acute pain, excessive bleeding, or severe infection. If you cannot eat, sleep, or function due to the discomfort, you are experiencing a dental emergency. Additionally, if you have facial swelling or an abscess, it can lead to serious, and even life-threatening, situations. Therefore, any pain, loose teeth, bleeding, swelling, or active drainage should be tended to immediately.
What is Not Considered a Dental Emergency?
Oftentimes, a chipped tooth is not considered a dental emergency. This is because the damage is typically superficial, and can often be repaired with a cosmetic treatment. However, if the chipped tooth has sharp edges that are irritating your tongue or cheeks, then you will want to have the problem addressed as soon as possible. Additionally, a loose or broken crown is not always considered a dental emergency. Many times, a situation such as this can wait about five to seven days. However, if the crown is causing discomfort or interfering with your bite, then it is important to have the issue addressed immediately.
If you are ever in doubt as to whether or not you need emergency dental care, call our office. Our team can help walk you through the steps to make sure you receive the treatment you deserve.
Common Dental Emergencies
By nature, emergencies are unpredictable. However, by knowing what to expect and how to handle certain situations, you can give yourself the best chance for a successful recovery. Listed below are a few of the most common dental emergencies, and a brief overview on how to handle them:
- Loose Tooth: Fortunately, loose teeth can often be stabilized by splinting them to adjacent teeth for support. If you notice a severely loose tooth, call us right away. If possible, you can stabilize the loose tooth on your way to the office by gently biting down on gauze.
- Knocked-Out Tooth: In the event that your tooth has been completely knocked out, locate the tooth and bring it with you to our office. As soon as possible, clean the tooth off (abstain from touching the root), and place it gently back in the socket. If this is not feasible, then place the tooth in a cup of milk or saline for transport. If addressed soon enough, knocked-out teeth can sometimes be saved.
- Fractured Tooth: If a crack or fracture is large enough, it could affect the internal structures of the tooth. Often, this will cause pain, because it is closer to the nerve. If possible, locate the broken piece of tooth and bring it to your appointment with you.
- Toothache: If you have a chronic toothache that will not go away, you may need root canal therapy or another restorative treatment. It is important to address the issue as soon as possible to prevent an abscess from occurring.
- Tissue Injury: If you suffer trauma to the lips, cheeks, gums, tongue, or other oral soft tissues, apply pressure immediately to slow the bleeding. If the injury is minor, call our office for further instruction. If you cannot lessen the bleeding with pressure, then go to your nearest emergency room.
Contact Us for More Information
If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of a dental emergency, schedule a visit right away. To learn more about the emergency dental care offered at Value Smiles, call our Lithia Springs, GA practice at (770) 489-9141 or contact us online.