What is Considered a Dental Emergency?
Dental emergencies can cause a lot of pain, discomfort, swelling, and even lead to more significant issues down the road. But what is considered a true dental emergency?
A true dental emergency involves any dental problem with the potential to be life threatening. This includes: uncontrollable bleeding, acute dental infections and associated severe pain, trauma to the mouth/teeth and knocked out adult teeth**. Anyone experiencing any of these symptoms should seek emergency help immediately. If you are experiencing any difficulty breathing or swelling of the throat that inhibits swallowing you should call 911 and seek immediate help.
There are also urgent dental concerns that require treatment as soon as possible to address the issue, however, these issues typically can be addressed during normal business hours. Urgent dental concerns include, but are not limited to:
- Toothache (mild to moderate discomfort managed with OTC pain medication)
- Cracked/chipped teeth
- Trauma to the tooth that exposes the nerve
- Wisdom tooth pain
- Localized gum pain/swelling
- Lost or broken crown
**If your adult tooth has been knocked out/avulsed (entire tooth and root), please contact the on-call dentist immediately and follow the following steps:
- Pick up tooth by the crown only (chewing part of the tooth), avoid touching the root.
- Gently rinse the tooth with water or milk to remove any debris, no soap is needed,
- Gently place the tooth back into the socket root first Hold your tooth by the crown to avoid touching the root.
- If you are unable to reinsert your tooth, keep the tooth as moist as possible. Place the tooth in a glass of milk, your cheek (saliva helps keep the tooth moist), or saline solution. Avoid placing the tooth In a glass of water.
- Bite on a napkin, gauze or cloth to help hold tooth in place.