It’s important you know which dental problems require emergency treatment so you can act swiftly. Ignore the problem, and it could make it worse. You could even risk further damage to your teeth. There are the usual telltale signs that mean it’s time to make an appointment with an emergency dentist: severe tooth pain, a knocked-out tooth, gums that won’t stop bleeding, etc. However, other dental-related problems come with symptoms that aren’t as noticeable. Here are five times when you need to visit an emergency dentist.
1. You Have Severe Tooth or Gum Pain.
The No. 1 reason to seek emergency dental care is tooth and gum pain. Depending on the severity of your pain, you might not be able to carry out regular day-to-day activities until you solve the problem. There are several culprits that contribute to tooth and gum pain. Underlying tooth decay, for example, can cause you discomfort over time. This is easily fixed, however. An emergency dentist might place a filling in your tooth to stop the pain or suggest a range of different treatments.
On the other end of the scale, you might have an abscess in your mouth — often caused by an infection in the space between your gums and tooth — which sometimes comes with flu-like symptoms. Hoping this problem goes away is not a good idea as forgoing emergency treatment could result in more infection. In rare cases, you might need to undergo a surgical procedure to resolve the issue.
If you are unsure as to whether you need emergency dental care, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Contact an emergency dentist and find out more information about your condition.
2. You Have a Knocked-Out or Extruded Tooth.
If you have a knocked-out or extruded tooth (when your tooth has moved from its original position), it’s time to visit an out-of-hours dentist. In both circumstances, you will probably experience discomfort and pain. If your tooth has fallen out, an emergency dentist might be able to put it back in its original place. If you don’t visit a dentist, however, you could lose your tooth permanently. It’s crucial, therefore, that you act quickly.
Many emergency dental offices stay open 24 hours a day, so you can access around-the-clock treatment when you really need it. Depending on the severity of your condition, waiting for your regular dentist to open the next day could be too late.
3. You Lost a Filling.
The crunch of an apple, tooth decay and infection are just some of the reasons why a filling might become loose and fall out of your mouth. Usually, a lost filling isn’t a major problem. You can make an appointment with your regular dentist and have it fixed it during the day.
Sometimes, though, you need emergency treatment. After your filling falls out, your tooth becomes exposed to air pressure, which could cause you sensitivity or even pain. If this is the case, make an appointment to see an emergency dentist straight away. A professional can resolve the issue and alleviate any discomfort you might have.
Don’t forget to see your regular dentist, though. Every six months or so, make a dental appointment to prevent future problems like loose fillings.
4. You Have Been in an Accident.
If you have been in an accident, you should seek emergency care immediately. A doctor might recommend that you visit an emergency dentist if you have damage to your mouth or jaw. Trauma to these areas can result in severe discomfort and pain, so it’s important to receive emergency treatment as soon as you can.
You might also need to visit an emergency dentist if you have knocked out your tooth during an accident. Experts recommend that you try and put the tooth back into your tooth socket or store it between your teeth and cheek. This will help protect the broken tooth until you see an emergency dentist.
5. You Have a Severe Sports Injury
Playing contact sports can increase the risk of damage to your teeth and gums. If you have knocked out a tooth during a sports game, call an emergency dentist. The process is simple: once you arrive, a dentist will usually take an X-ray of your teeth before he or she tries to resolve the problem.
Other instances when you should seek out emergency care after a sports injury include soft tissue fractures, tooth intrusion, avulsion and root fractures. An experienced dentist will provide you with the right treatment in your circumstances.
If you have lost or damaged a tooth as a result of a sports injury, you are not alone. Research suggests that anywhere between 13 and 39 percent of all dental injuries are sports related. Remember, wearing a mouthguard when you play sports could reduce your chances of developing an injury.
These are five signs that you need to visit an emergency dentist. Many people have a dental phobia — an irrational fear of seeing a dentist. However, choosing a dentist with lots of experience can provide you with the peace of mind you need.