man holding mouth in pain

What is Considered a Dental Emergency?

Caring For Your Dental Emergency

Some of our patients tend to downplay their symptoms to avoid going to the dentist until the very last minute — which can lead to a dental emergency. In other cases, many patients that experience trauma to their mouth are in shock and often don’t realize they should go to the dentist.

In either case, knowing when to seek the emergency care you need and what to do to prepare for your appointment is essential to protecting your oral health. Here’s what you should know:

What is a Dental Emergency?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), dental emergencies are potentially life-threatening and require immediate treatment. Certain dental situations require immediate care by your dentist. Some of these common causes of a dental emergency include:

  • Trauma to your mouth or facial bones (such as your jaw).
  • A bad toothache with sharp shooting pain.
  • Tissue bacteria in a patient’s airway.
  • A tooth that appears infected.

If you’re unsure that you have one of these conditions, it’s also important to look out for these signs to tell you if you should make an emergency trip to your dentist:

  • Uncontrollable bleeding.
  • Sharp shooting pain.
  • Missing teeth.

Urgent Dental Care vs. Dental Emergencies

There are certain dental procedures you may have to have done that should be done urgently but aren’t classified as an emergency — including dry socket treatment, post-operative dressing changes, biopsies, suture removal, and more. These appointments should be scheduled accordingly and attended to avoid infection or pain.

Dental emergencies don’t require a scheduled appointment because you should go to your dentist as soon as possible for immediate treatment.

What Do I Do if I Break or Knock Out a Tooth?

Whether it is due to trauma, or eating hard foods, a broken tooth can be the result of various circumstances. A broken tooth can range from minor chips in your enamel to more severe cases where a part of your tooth may be missing altogether.

No matter the size of your chip or break, it’s important to visit your dentist as soon as possible for proper treatment — especially if you knock out a tooth altogether.

In contrast to a routine visit, you’ll want to follow these steps before your emergency dental appointment to protect your tooth and ensure an easier visit:

  • Rinse your broken tooth with warm water to ensure there’s no debris on it.
  • Take the broken pieces of your tooth in a dry container to your dentist.
  • Use a cold compress if your tooth is sensitive or your gums feel swollen.

If your tooth is knocked out completely, you should try to preserve the tooth in milk if possible and pack the tooth socket with gauze on your way to your appointment.

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What Should I Do If I Have a Dental Emergency?

Our caring team at Nilda M. Woolard, DDS is always available to care for your emergency dental needs. If you believe you have a dental emergency, you should contact us right away — especially if you experience a blow to the face that may have damaged your teeth or if you have one of the symptoms mentioned above.

Emergency Dental Services in Valencia

At Nilda M. Woolard, DDS, we take the emergency dental care of our patients seriously and will try our best to see you as soon as possible.

Call our team today for immediate service: (661) 387-2553. To book a cleaning or non-emergency service, contact us online.