When it comes to general dentistry treatments, many individuals are perplexed and overwhelmed. They are unsure about what a root canal or extraction is. Perhaps they are scared they will require the procedure or do not understand what it entails. Knowing what to expect from these treatments may help calm your nerves and make your…
When To See an Emergency Dentist
An emergency dentist is usually a general dentist who has the staff, resources, hours, and willingness to treat dental emergencies. A dental emergency may include a range of mouth injuries or developing oral health concerns. It can be helpful to fully understand when to see an emergency dentist for prompt treatment.
Signs that indicate a need to visit an emergency dentist
When an individual has an immediate need for dental treatment due to severely painful symptoms or symptoms that are likely to worsen or linger if not treated promptly, it is best to visit with an emergency dentist. Emergency dentists often recommend patients visit them if they have moderate to severe oral health concerns or for dental trauma that does not require other medical treatment.
Oral health concerns
Oral health concerns are a broad category that could include one or more of a range of possible issues. The more common oral health concerns that often require treatment from an emergency dentist include:
- Severely swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Severe toothache
- Loose teeth
It is often difficult to tell if an oral health concern is a dental emergency. Many symptoms are not severe and treatment can wait for a more convenient time. However, if the symptoms worsen and become intolerable, or if they have lingered for more than 24 hours, then a visit to the emergency dentist is likely in order.
Dental trauma refers to damage due to an injury to teeth, gums, jawbone, or soft tissue such as the lips or gums. Emergency dentists can treat most instances of dental trauma. Most notably, emergency dentists treat:
- Tooth chips and cracks
- Loose teeth
- Knocked-out teeth
- Bleeding gums
- Gum swelling
It is important to seek emergency treatment after dental trauma to minimize the long-term damage, as oftentimes, it can save teeth from becoming lost. Of course, more severe dental trauma where there is a life-threatening amount of blood loss will require treatment in the emergency room.
When treatment can wait
Not all instances of oral health concerns or dental trauma require treatment from an emergency dentist. It is important to assess the symptoms and severity of the symptoms when deciding if treatment can wait. When in doubt, call a dentist who treats dental emergencies to discuss whether to come in for prompt care.
When to visit the emergency room
Emergency dentists specialize in treating issues related to oral health, but they are not suited to treat medical emergencies. If other concerns exist along with dental trauma such as severe bleeding or broken bones, then a trip to the dentist may be secondary. Additionally, if a fever and more severe symptoms exist along with an oral infection, then general healthcare may be required.
Emergency dentistry FAQs
Here are the answers to several questions that emergency dentists are often asked:
What treatments can an emergency dentist provide?
Emergency dentists are educated and trained to perform all types of dental procedures, from repositioning and stabilizing an avulsed tooth to assisting with dislocated jaws. If the injury or oral health concern is not a life-threatening concern or a risk to the patient's long-term general health, then the emergency dentist can most likely treat and minimize the initial symptoms.
Do I need an appointment to see an emergency dentist?
This depends on the individual practice. The term “emergency dentist” may mean something different for each provider. For instance, some providers may accept walk-in patients right away with little to no notice. In other cases, the practice may ask that the patient at least call ahead. If an appointment is necessary, then they can usually schedule it within 24 hours. If the concern is severe and requires immediate care, then most emergency dentists can see the patient right away.
What happens if I do not visit the dentist right away for an emergency?
This depends on the type of emergency. In the best-case scenario, the patient may experience discomfort until the needed treatment is provided. In more severe instances, the concern could worsen and cause other oral health problems. For instance, an oral infection could put the long-term health of teeth in jeopardy and possibly spread to other areas of the mouth.
The bottom line
The best way to determine when to visit an emergency dentist is to get in touch with one whenever there is a doubt. Our office offers emergency dental services, and we encourage individuals to give us a call to find out how we can treat any current concerns.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Emergency Dentist in Garden Grove, CA.
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