Have you ever had an issue with your teeth or gums and weren’t sure what to do? During regular business hours, you can always call your dentist’s office and find out. They’ll help you determine the urgency of your problem and schedule an appointment if necessary. But what if something happens on an evening, weekend, or holiday? In that case you may need emergency dental care. So how can you tell the difference between something that’s truly an emergency and something that can wait until the next day? Here are some tips from the emergency dentistry experts at ZDental to help you figure out if your dental situation is an emergency.
What is a Dental Emergency?
If you’re experiencing any of the following conditions, it is an emergency and you should contact an emergency dentist or ER immediately.
Severe Pain – Minor pain can usually wait but if the pain is severe it could be a sign of something worse. Damage to the roots, abscesses, and bad cavities can all cause intense pain, so if severe pain comes up suddenly, it could be a dental emergency.
Bleeding from the Mouth – Whether it’s a result of trauma or not, bleeding from the mouth is a bad sign. If you have blood coming from your mouth, it could be an emergency and you should get it checked out right away.
Loose Teeth – When you’re a child, it’s perfectly normal to have a loose tooth. As an adult, this condition could mean something is wrong with the root, or that you’ve experienced significant trauma. To ensure your tooth doesn’t fall out, be sure to see a dentist right away for this dental emergency.
Missing Tooth – If your tooth got knocked out or has fallen out, an emergency dentist may be able to save it, but only if you act fast. If possible, gently reinsert the tooth into the socket without touching the root. If you can’t do that, place the tooth in a container of milk and get to the emergency dentist immediately.
Abscess or Infection – These can be hard to spot but they are absolutely a life-threatening emergency that need to be dealt with immediately. Fever, extreme tooth sensitivity, toothache, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, facial swelling, and sores or bumps on the gums can all be signs of a dental infection, so get to the dentist right away if you have any of these symptoms.
What’s not a Dental Emergency?
Some situations may seem like an emergency but they can actually wait a day or two to be treated with no risk of further complications. A chipped tooth may seem like an emergency but as long as it’s not bleeding and doesn’t hurt, you should be fine waiting until normal business hours. Minor toothaches can probably wait but if the pain becomes severe or it’s coupled with any of the abscess or infection symptoms listed above, it could be an emergency. If your crown or bridge falls out, you should be able to wait a few days to get it repaired. By refraining from seeking emergency treatment unless it’s absolutely necessary, you’ll free up your local emergency dentists to treat the people who actually need their care. Speaking of emergency dentistry, ZDental offers emergency dental services to residents of New Jersey and the Philadelphia area, so don’t hesitate to call us if you have a serious problem. Head over to our Locations page to find out which of our five locations is closest to you!