What Is a Dental Emergency?
Any dental problem that requires immediate treatment to ease pain, stop bleeding, or save a tooth is considered a dental emergency. Some dental emergencies, like an advanced root canal infection, can even become life-threatening if left untreated. If you are experiencing significant pain or uncontrolled bleeding, call our office immediately so one of our team members can assess your symptoms.
Common Dental Emergencies
We encourage our patients to familiarize themselves with common dental emergencies and their symptoms. Our doctors can treat a wide range of dental emergencies that may include:
Enamel is the strongest material found in the human body, but it is susceptible to chips, cracks, and other forms of damage. A broken tooth can result from trauma, advanced decay, teeth grinding, and other causes. Depending on the extent and location of the damage, you may not notice pain associated with the injury.
Symptoms of a broken tooth include oral pain, sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks, and the sensation that your tooth has a rough or sharp surface (which is often noticed by your tongue). Even a small chip or crack should be treated by a dentist. Beyond causing discomfort, a broken tooth is more susceptible to decay and infection. The rough edge of the broken enamel can injury your tongue and cheeks. Once your broken tooth has been examined at our dental practice, one of our doctors can use dental fillings or a dental crown to restore the damaged tooth.
A knocked-out tooth can often be restored if prompt action is taken. Do not touch the exposed root. Pick up the tooth by holding the crown. Rinse the tooth if it is dirty and try to place the tooth back in the exposed socket if possible. The tooth must be kept moist. The best outcomes for restoring a knocked-out tooth occur when the patient reaches a dentist within 30 minutes of the initial injury.
An abscess is a pocket of pus that forms beneath the gumline. The bacterial infection may be visible, or it may form near the tooth root. Symptoms include pain, discomfort when eating, swollen gums, and tooth sensitivity. An abscess will generally not subside on its own and requires urgent treatment. Depending on the location and extent of the infection, one of our doctors will drain the abscess, perform root canal therapy, or extract the infected tooth.
When to Seek Medical Help
If your injured teeth or gums are causing significant pain or significant bleeding, you should treat the condition as a dental emergency. Our dentist will keep your comfort in mind during your treatment. We offer nitrous oxide and oral sedation in addition to local anesthesia. A dental emergency will not subside on its own. Only prompt and effective treatment by our experienced dentist can provide relief from a dental emergency.