When you have a medical emergency, it’s typically pretty obvious. Whether you’re experiencing severe discomfort, you have a bad illness that’s making it impossible for you to function throughout the day, or you suffered an injury while playing sports, you know when it’s time to go to the emergency room or doctor. However, dental emergencies can be more difficult to confirm. With the help of a dentist/oral surgeon, that changes today!
Know Which Questions to Ask
When you know what to look for, confirming a dental emergency is easier than you think. These questions include:
- Do you notice severe pain or discomfort?
- Are you bleeding from the mouth? Does the bleeding stop if you apply pressure?
- Are you missing any teeth? Did you lose your tooth following a physical injury or after biting into a piece of food?
- Does your tooth feel loose, as if it’s about to come out?
- Do you notice swelling or knots in your gum tissue or around your face?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, you are likely experiencing a dental emergency and should call an oral surgeon right away.
These are NOT Dental Emergencies
When a dental issue can be seen several days later, it’s not considered to be a dental emergency. For example, chipped and fractured teeth may be an emergency if there is severe pain present. However, if you experience little to no discomfort and no fragments of the tooth are stuck inside of the mouth, you can wait until regular business hours to be seen.
Additionally, toothaches can easily become dental emergencies if they are accompanied by swelling, large bumps on your gum tissue, or a high fever. These signs indicate that an infection is present. If your toothache is not particularly severe and all you experience is minor discomfort, you can wait a few days to be seen.
Finally, many people will be worried when a dental crown or filling comes loose and falls off of a tooth. In most cases, you can wait to have the crown or filling replaced. As a temporary solution, you can even reattach your restoration using an over-the-counter dental cement or denture adhesive. You can also use sugar-free chewing gum if you can’t get to the store or don’t have dental adhesives in your house.
While these situations are not necessarily dental emergencies, you should still call a local practice to schedule an appointment for a later date.
Who Should You Visit for Emergency Treatment?
While dentists can manage many different kinds of dental emergencies, oral surgeons are actually better equipped to do so because they have both the training and resources to get you out of pain sooner and more effectively diagnose the cause of your dental issue. This is especially the case if you have an oral infection and need to have root canal performed the same day. Furthermore, if you require sedation before you can get treated, you’ll find that oral surgeons will often have multiple options available depending on your needs.
No matter what your dental issue is, don’t be afraid to call an oral surgeon for help in getting it treated. It could make a difference in your long-term oral health and smile!
About the Author
Dr. Stewart Moreland is trained in many facets of dentistry and oral surgery. As an expert in treating impacted wisdom teeth, oral infections and oral tumors as well as performing surgical dental implants and reconstructive surgery, he’s the doctor you want to have by your side both during and after a dental emergency. If you believe you’re experiencing a dental emergency, you can contact him through his website!