In most cases, emergency dental surgery is only really pressing when it is absolutely necessary to remove a tooth within one to two days.
In the case where a tooth or the area around it is badly infected and all former treatments have proven futile in preserving the tooth, an emergency tooth extraction might be the best choice.
However, it can be hard figuring out what is and isn’t a dental emergency.
What Counts As A Dental Emergency?
Minor dental issues that are not deemed dental emergencies may include a missing crown/filling, or a chipped tooth. These do not require emergency care unless you are in extreme pain. Situations that do qualify as dental emergencies are:
- Severe dental pain – If you are experiencing severe dental pain, an emergency dental appointment might provide the necessary care to relieve your dental pain in a timely manner
- Uncontrollable bleeding from the mouth – Uncontrollable bleeding from the mouth is considered a dental emergency and you should see your dentist as soon as possible. It can also be a symptom of a deeper issue, such as gum disease.
- Knocked-out tooth – If your tooth has fallen out due to impact, injury, or another cause then an emergency dental appointment could possibly save the tooth if the appointment is booked rapidly after tooth loss.
- Infection – An abscess in the mouth is considered a dental emergency as a serious infection could be life-threatening. If you are experiencing swelling in or around your mouth or can feel knots in the jaw, you should speak to your dentist immediately.
In short, you should contact a dentist if you are unsure about any of the symptoms you are experiencing.
What Do I Do In The Meantime?
Aside from being painful, dental emergencies can feel frustrating. Whilst you are waiting for your appointment, it is important to understand how you can best look after your oral health until you can see a dentist. Even if you are not sure what is causing the problem, looking after your oral health is especially important when you are experiencing dental problems.
If you have a serious chipped or fractured tooth, then it is important to take care of your tooth in the waiting period. Once you have booked your emergency appointment you can care for your fractured tooth in the meantime by cleaning your mouth carefully with warm water and applying a cold compress on the outside of your mouth to relieve any pain.
An abscessed tooth can be a serious and life-threatening condition. If you suspect that you may have an abscess, you should book an emergency dentist appointment right away. Whilst you are waiting for your emergency appointment, you should avoid hot foods and drinks. Use a soft toothbrush and avoid flossing the affected area. Before your emergency appointment, carefully swill your mouth with warm salt water to draw the pus to the surface.
A gap in the gums caused by a missing or loose tooth can cause remaining teeth to move and can cause weakening in the jaw. However, with rapid action an emergency appointment could save your tooth.
Whilst you are waiting for your appointment, you should clean your tooth with running water and be careful not to touch the root. If it is possible, place the tooth back into the socket. If this is not possible, you should place your tooth in a glass of milk until you go to the dentist. This will help to maintain the pH balance of the tooth and preserve any living elements of your knocked out tooth, which increases your chances of saving the tooth.
If you’re concerned you need emergency dental care but are worried about expenses, then contact Dr. Luke’s office today at (301) 880-4439 or on the website to schedule a free emergency dental consultation as soon as possible!