Emergency dental treatment usually refers to any dental problem that requires prompt medical attention to stop bleeding, alleviate severe pain, or save a tooth. Examples of dental emergencies include knocked-out teeth, severe swelling or bleeding in the mouth, severe toothaches, abscesses, broken or fractured teeth, and other conditions that require immediate intervention to prevent further complications or damage to the teeth or gums. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is recommended that you seek immediate dental care from us.
The most common causes of dental emergencies are:
- Severe toothache – is a pain in or around the teeth and jaws that is usually caused by tooth decay. It can have various causes, most of which are serious and require prompt treatment. Some possible causes of a severe toothache include tooth decay, dental abscess, cracked or damaged tooth, loose or broken filling, infection, or problems with braces.
- Badly cracked tooth – is when a crack runs from the biting surface of the tooth down towards the root, sometimes below the gum line. It can be caused by chewing hard foods, grinding your teeth, injury, or aging. It can damage the soft, inner tissue of the tooth and lead to tooth loss. Common treatments include crowns, veneers, and root canals.
- Knocked-out tooth – is a tooth that has been dislodged from its socket due to an injury or accident. If it’s an adult (permanent) tooth, it can usually be saved by putting it back in place or in milk as soon as possible, before seeing us at the dentist. If it’s a baby tooth, do not put it back in as it could damage the tooth growing underneath. It’s best to get help and contact us as quickly as possible.
- Dental abscess – is a buildup of pus that forms inside the teeth or gums due to a bacterial infection. It can occur in different areas near the tooth for different reasons. It needs urgent treatment by a dentist as it will not go away on its own. Signs of a dental abscess include intense toothache or pain in your gums, redness inside the mouth, sensitivity to hot or cold food and drink in the affected area, a bad taste in your mouth, difficulty opening your mouth and chewing food, a swollen face or jaw, and a high temperature. If you think you have a dental abscess, you need to arrange a time to see us promptly.
- Lost or broken dental restoration – is when a dental filling, crown, or other type of restoration becomes loose or falls out. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including decay or damage to the tooth or restoration itself. If you have a lost or broken dental restoration, it’s important to see a dentist as soon as possible to have it fixed. There are several ways to restore a broken tooth, including dental crowns, bonding, cosmetic contouring, and more.
- Severe soft tissue injury – Refers to damage to the soft tissues in the mouth, such as the tongue, cheeks, gums, or lips. One example of a severe dental soft tissue injury is periodontitis, which is a serious gum infection that damages the soft tissue around teeth. Without treatment, periodontitis can destroy the bone that supports your teeth and can lead to tooth loss.
If your toothache lasts longer than 1-2 days, is severely painful, causes your face to swell or droop, or is accompanied by fever, pain on opening your mouth, contact us for an emergency appointment right away.