What To Know About Emergency Dental Care

Ideally, you only visit the dentist for cleanings, routine exams, and X-rays. However, the world isn't perfect, and you may need restorative or even emergency dental care. If you want to know more about emergency dental services, keep reading.

What Constitutes a Dental Emergency? 

For the most part, a dental emergency involves severe pain. Severe pain may be caused by:

  • Big cavities
  • Tooth infection
  • Trauma

If a dental crown/bridge falls off, it may also cause severe pain. Without enamel, the tooth is highly sensitive to heat/cold/sugar. If trauma caused the tooth to fall out, with or without severe pain, you should consider it an emergency. In some cases, the dentist repositions and saves the tooth.

If you have little to no pain (or can manage the pain) and the tooth's pulp is not exposed, you probably don't need emergency dental services, and can schedule a regular appointment.

Who Provides Emergency Dental Services?

Your general dentist may provide emergency dental services. In many cases, even if they don't have open normal appointments, they can often find time for emergencies. However, if they don't provide emergency services or it's outside office hours, look for an emergency dentist in your area.

In a worst-case scenario, you can visit the ER or urgent care. The ER may have a dentist on staff to offer immediate treatment, but you'll probably still need to see your regular dentist for full treatment. Even if there is no dentist on staff, they may provide antibiotics or pain medicine.

What if You Wait to Contact Dental Services?

If you wait to contact dental services during an actual emergency, you may make the problem worse. For example, if you lose a tooth and don't seek emergency services, it may be too late for the dentist to save the tooth.

If you have a tooth infection, the pain may increase, or the infection may spread to other parts of the body or teeth. If the tooth's pulp is exposed, there is a high risk of developing an infection. Of course, even if it's not an emergency, make sure to visit your dentist as soon as possible to prevent complications.

Dental emergencies can happen to anyone. Trauma or severe decay can cause pain and other complications that require immediate attention. If you would like to know more, or if you think you need emergency dental services, contact a provider in your area today.