What is Considered a Dental Emergency?

If you have no idea of what a dental emergency is, chances are you will have trouble knowing when to see an emergency dental service provider. Usually, people delay their oral treatment until it reaches a stage where they experience unbearable pain or excessive sensitivity in the tooth. Delay in the treatment won’t only cause extreme pain, but the problem can also extend to the surrounding nerves and tooth, damaging them. 

That’s why getting even minor discomfort checked as soon as possible is advisable. The sooner the doctor identifies the root cause of the issue, the faster they can treat it and the lower the chances of requiring tooth extraction. To help you understand what qualifies as a dental emergency and when the right time to see a doctor is, we have come up with this detailed post. Let’s find out the signs of a dental emergency. 

Dental Emergency

Dental emergencies are just like regular healthcare emergencies. To determine whether it’s an emergency, ask yourself if you can bear the pain till the next dental appointment or if you need to head to the emergency dentist in Lubbock immediately. It can be uncontrollable pain or extreme bleeding that won’t stop with over-the-counter medication. 

Sometimes, it’s an infection that’s likely to spread nearby or lead to a serious issue if not treated immediately. Whatever the cause is, only a dentist in Lubbock can diagnose the condition and its severity and recommend a suitable treatment based on the issue. Ideally, your case is considered a dental emergency if you experience one or more of the following problems.

  • Severe pain that doesn’t respond to painkillers
  • A shaking, inflamed, and heavily infected tooth that’s highly likely to break
  • Abscess in your mouth
  • Bleeding from the tooth, either after dental surgery or an accident that involved your face. Gum bleeding is also a sign you need to see a dentist. If you have continuous bleeding from the gum accompanied by a swollen gum, consult emergency dentists.
  • You have lost a tooth in an accident
  • You have a swollen and inflamed jaw. There’s a chance there could be an infection that can spread to the surrounding nerves.

Simply put, any dental condition requiring saving a tooth, stopping bleeding, or preventing infection with invasive or non-invasive procedures is considered an emergency. While most dental problems look like emergencies, not each one of them needs to be addressed immediately. 

Some issues can simply wait until your next dental appointment. For instance, a stain on the surface of your tooth doesn’t require immediate medical intervention. It’s a cosmetic matter that you can discuss with a dentist later.

Knocked-Out Tooth: What To Do?

The most serious dental issue is a knocked-out tooth. This happens when you get hit by a heavy object or sustain a serious injury that either loosens your tooth or removes it altogether from the mouth. If you see a dentist quickly, there’s a chance they might be able to re-insert the tooth. Here are a few things you can do before you get to the dentist:

  • Pick the broken tooth gently without touching its root. 
  • Wash it gently with plain water
  • Bring a container with water or milk and let the tooth sink in it. 
  • Head to the dentist as quickly as you can

In addition to a knocked-out tooth, a dental abscess is considered a medical emergency. It’s a serious issue in which the pus can cause an infection in your mouth. You might have an abscess if you experience a severe and persistent toothache, sensitivity, swelling, inflammation, and a lump on the gums near the affected tooth.  

What Does Not Fall Under Dental Emergency

Some issues that look like an emergency might not necessarily require immediate treatment. You can wait for a few days before seeing a dentist. Ideally, you should consult a dentist soon to avoid any serious infection or a problem in your mouth. But you can wait if you experience the following.

  • You have a broken tooth that doesn’t hurt or hasn’t left any sharp elements inside your mouth. A broken tooth is generally safe and not a cause for concern as long as you don’t feel anything sharp stuck inside your mouth.
  • Minor toothache that comes and goes and is not accompanied by swollen gums.
  • Lost fillings. You can try to put it back in place. You can wait for the next dental appointment if that doesn’t work. Until then, sugar-free gum can be an alternative to your fillings. 

If you experience any dental emergency, immediately consult an emergency dentist in Lubbock. They will check the issue, diagnose the root cause of the problem, and offer treatment accordingly.