Understanding Dental Emergencies
Understanding Dental Emergencies
Dental emergencies happen for a variety of reasons, but there’s one thing the different types have in common – they need immediate attention! But what exactly is a dental emergency? And what should you do when you have one? Our dentists, who offer current patients emergency dental care, help break down the topic.
What is a dental emergency?
The short answer – any dental problem that requires immediate attention to alleviate severe pain, save a tooth, or stop bleeding.
Dental emergencies include the following types:
- A broken tooth or teeth
- Unexpected tooth loss
- Accidents that cause tooth or gum damage
- Unbearable pain around gums or teeth
- An abscess (swelling with pus) around a tooth
- Serious tooth infection
- Inflammation and swollen jaw
Is it a dental emergency, or can it wait?
Typically, minor pain or sensitivity can wait, but that doesn’t mean you should hold off months or even weeks. You should schedule a dental check-up as soon as you can so that your problem doesn’t turn into a dental emergency! On the other hand, if you have unbearable pain or tooth or gum damage, then it’s a dental emergency, and depending on the severity, you can contact your dentist or go to the emergency room (ER).
During your visit, the pain and cause of the problem will be addressed first. If extensive restorative work is needed, such as a crown, denture, bridge, or dental implant, this will typically be completed in a follow-up visit.
What should you do in a dental emergency?
Step one is to stay calm. If your dental emergency isn’t life-threatening, contact your dentist who will discuss your symptoms over the phone and have you come in ASAP. Even if it’s outside of your dentist’s regular business hours, he or she can most likely be reached by following the directions on the after-hours recording. For example, our Mableton dentists offer emergency dental phone consultations for regular patients during and after hours, to ensure timely care.
A few tips for common dental emergencies
According to the American Dental Association:
- Knocked-out tooth: Keep it moist and, if possible, put it back in your socket without touching the root. If this can’t be done, place it in milk and contact your dentist ASAP.
- Cracked tooth: Rinse your mouth immediately using warm water, and then apply a cold compress to your face. Call your dentist for an appointment.
- Toothache: Rinse your mouth and gently floss to remove food caught between teeth. Often, a cold compress or over-the-counter pain reliever can temporarily help. Pain can occur for a variety of reasons, but even if it’s minor, it shouldn’t be ignored. Make an appointment to find the cause of your toothache.
Call us for emergency dentistry in Mableton, GA.
If you’re a current patient of Dr. Steinhaus, we’re here for you when you need us most. In addition to emergency dental care, we offer preventive, general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry in Mableton and surrounding communities of West Cobb County. You can contact us by calling 770-948-9200 to schedule an appointment or speak to the Doctor. If you call outside of regular business hours one of our patient contact specialists will call you back as quickly as possible.