Dental emergencies can come up at any time, and more people have been seeking emergency dental care at hospitals. Research has shown that over 50% of people seeking emergency dental care only have semi-urgent dental emergencies, and about 23% have non-urgent dental needs. This means that most people visiting emergency rooms for urgent dental care can get the right care needed at a dental office instead of an emergency department.
You would likely require dental care at some point. Suppose you are uncertain that your dental issue qualifies as a dental emergency. In that case, the information below will help you determine the kind of dental care that applies to your case and how you can find an emergency dentist if necessary.
Common dental emergency
Dental emergencies are dental issues requiring immediate dental treatment. Experts classify cracked or knocked-out teeth as common dental emergencies. Tooth abscesses, a dental problem resulting in infections from untreated cavities, may be considered an emergency dental issue in some cases. A tooth abscess may result in sepsis, facial swelling, difficulty in swallowing or breathing. These symptoms usually need immediate attention.
A soft tissue injury like a bitten tongue may also require emergency dental care. If you bite your tongue or lip, gently clean the affected area with water and apply a cold compress. If the bleeding does not cease, get medical care immediately.
Non-emergency dental problems
Most dental problems do not qualify as dental emergencies. Issues like cavities are common and do not require immediate dental care. However, seeking treatment on time is important. Having a cavity may lead to toothache, tooth pain or sensitivity whenever you bite down. Untreated cavities may result in other complications like tooth abscesses, so ensure you visit a dentist to get treatment and prevent the need for visiting an emergency dentist in the future.
If you have a non-emergency dental issue, ensure you contact your dentist to schedule an appointment as soon as possible, regardless of your immediate need for the treatment.
Finding an emergency dentist
If you think you have a dental issue that requires emergency dental care, call your dentist immediately. Most dentists have time in their schedules to treat emergency dental problems, so your dentist may be able to see you immediately. If your dentist’s office is far from your current location, you can search online to find an emergency dentist near you.
If your dental emergency occurs during out-of-business hours, such as weekends, bank holiday or overnight, try contacting your dentist. You may reach the dentist or a voicemail message instructing you on what to do or contact information of your local on-call emergency dentist.
If your emergency dentist is unavailable and you can’t find an emergency dentist through your local provider, visit your local hospital’s emergency room. However, this is not a suitable option for emergency dental care because most hospital ERs do not have the right equipment for dental emergencies.
Treatment at hospital emergency rooms usually involves only painkillers and antibiotics. These medications may help prevent infection and severe pain, but you need to immediately visit your dentist to treat the underlying dental issue immediately.
Treatment for dental emergencies
When you visit an emergency dentist, they will check the severity of the dental problems to determine the best course of treatment.
If you have a knocked-out tooth, the dentist may try to placing it back, which may be successful if you see the dentist within 30 minutes of sustaining the injury. In a few cases, placing back a knocked teeth is possible, even after a long time.
If you have cracked teeth, your dentist may recommend dental restorations like crowns or fillings to repair the affected teeth, but you may need extraction if the teeth are severely damaged.
For tooth abscesses, the dentist will treat the infection by making a small incision on the abscess to remove the pus. Your dentist may also offer root canal treatment. If the dentist cannot salvage the affected tooth, you would need a tooth extraction.
Emergency dental care is available for all dental emergency, so ensure you seek immediate care if you have a dental emergency to manage the discomfort and treat the underlying issue.
You can search with ‘emergency dentist near me’ online when you need urgent dental care.
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