What Is Considered A Dental Emergency?

Dental Emergency

If your tooth hurts, you’ll want to get in and see a dentist as soon as possible. But, is your tooth pain truly an emergency? Can it wait until the next business day? Or should you call the practice’s after-hours emergency line?

Factors To Consider

There are certainly times when you need to seek dental care immediately to avoid impacting your dental health and wellness. Here are some questions to ask when deciding if you should seek emergency dental care.

  • Is your mouth bleeding?
  • Are you experiencing severe pain?
  • Are any of your teeth loose?
  • Were you struck in the face or mouth?
  • Is your mouth or facial area swelling?
  • Are there bulges or knots on your gums?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s best to call your dentist immediately. Be sure to tell the dentist exactly what happened and describe exactly what you feel. Learning how to manage specific injuries until you can see your dental professional is vital.

Tooth Injuries

Cracked, broken, or knocked-out teeth can occur when you bite down too hard on a hard piece of food, suffer from a sports-related injury, or fall on your mouth in some other type of accident. Depending on the location and severity of the injury, you may be able to wait until normal business hours. Chips or minor fractures fall into this category. However, if the tooth is completely missing or significantly cracked or broken, you should contact us immediately. Depending on the extent of the injury, your dentist may need to fit you with dental crowns or dental implants.

If the tooth is completely out of socket, follow these tips until you can get dental care:

  • Handle the tooth only by the crown, never by the root.
  • Rinse it off under running water. Don’t scrub it or remove any tissue that’s still attached.
  • Try to put the tooth back in the empty socket. Hold it in place by biting down gently.
  • If you can’t get it back in the socket, put the tooth in a cup of milk or a clean container.

Tissue Wounds

If you’ve injured the inside of your mouth, you’ll need to seek emergency care, quite possibly at an emergency room instead of a dental practice. Tears, puncture wounds, and lacerations to the cheeks, lips or tongue should be cleaned immediately with warm water. If the tongue is bleeding, try pulling the tongue forward and use gauze to apply pressure to the wound.

Toothaches and Pain

When your tooth hurts, it can be all you think about. An abscess or infection can cause pain that a dentist needs to address. It’s not necessarily an emergency though. It really depends on how much pain you’re in and whether you’re experiencing pain when you bite down. If you are, contact your dentist. If the pain can be alleviated or lessened with over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, you might be able to wait until the next business day to seek treatment. In many cases, a toothache can wait until the next day and won’t require an after-hours visit. Our practice keeps slots open for dental emergencies, so you can rest assured you’ll get a same-day appointment.

If you’re experiencing mouth or tooth pain, there are several things you can try. If you’re experiencing pain due to hot or warm foods, ice water might alleviate the pain. Sip on ice water and hold it in your mouth periodically until you can see your dentist. Sensitivity to cold can be managed by simply avoiding cold foods or breathing through your nose if the air is cold.

Caring For A Dental Emergency At Bonham Dental Arts

Remember, smoothing a chipped tooth or recementing a crown probably doesn’t constitute a dental emergency. However, if you do experience a severe fracture that requires a CEREC crown in Largo or a dental implant, Bonham Dental Arts stands ready to assist you during the day or night.

If it’s after hours, contact our main number at 727-513-4658. Follow the menu options to be connected to our emergency service. A provider will return your call promptly and make arrangements to see you. Don’t be scared during a dental emergency, be prepared!