How To Know If Your Dental Pain Is An Emergency

How To Know If Your Dental Pain Is An Emergency

Team Emergency

Dental emergencies require immediate attention and can happen due to trauma, infection, and decay, among other causes.

The following situations are often considered dental emergencies:

  • Knocked-out teeth
  • Partially dislodged teeth
  • Cracked or broken teeth
  • Dental abscess
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Severe toothache
  • Any lost restoration, like a crown or filling that is causing severe pain

These issues may require prompt attention, but dentists do not usually treat them as emergencies:

  • Lost or broken crown or bridge
  • Lost filling
  • Mild toothache
  • Chipped tooth

What to Do in a Dental Emergency

Knocked-Out Tooth

The first action you need to take if your tooth is knocked out is to find the tooth. If you receive emergency dental care within an hour, your dentist may be able to replant the tooth.

Hold the tooth by the crown without touching the roots. Carefully rinse the tooth in lukewarm water and carry it inside your cheek or in a small cup of milk or saliva.

Partially Dislodged Tooth

Call your emergency dentist immediately if your tooth becomes loose or partially dislodged. You can also relieve pain by putting a cold compress on your cheek or taking over-the-counter pain medication.

Cracked or Broken Tooth

If your cracked tooth causes pain, see your dentist immediately. You can use orthodontic wax, found at any pharmacy, to cover any sharp edges.

Dental Abscess

If your jaw or cheek is swollen and you have a severe toothache, you may have an infection called a dental abscess. If the infection spreads to the bloodstream, an abscess can be dangerous. Call your dentist immediately.

Soft Tissue Injury

For a minor soft tissue injury, like a cut cheek or split lip, press clean gauze on the area. Use ice packs to relieve swelling.

Severe Toothache

If your toothache is bad enough to interfere with daily activities, it is an emergency. While you wait for your emergency appointment, rinse your mouth with warm salt water or use ice packs. If necessary, take over-the-counter pain medication.

Lost Restoration

A lost restoration is only an emergency if it causes pain. If you lose a restoration like a filling or crown, visit your dentist as soon as possible to have it replaced. Save a dislodged crown or bridge because the dentist can usually replace it in the mouth.

When to Go to the Emergency Room

If you experience uncontrolled bleeding, severe soft tissue injuries, broken facial bones, or facial trauma, your first call should be to the hospital emergency room. After your medical situation stabilizes, your dentist can address your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Emergencies

Why isn't a lost filling a dental emergency?

A lost filling typically requires prompt attention but is not an emergency. If your lost filling does cause pain, let us know as soon as possible.

What should I do if I have something stuck between my teeth?

Rinse with warm salt water and try to remove the object with floss or an interproximal brush. You can get an interproximal brush at any pharmacy.

Call Kalmar Family Dentistry

We provide emergency care for patients of all ages. If you believe you have a dental emergency, please don't hesitate to call our Huntington, NY, office at 631-673-0670. We can evaluate your issue and schedule a priority dental visit.