A dental emergency can be sudden and terrifying and often requires immediate care to protect not only the affected tooth but also the health and wellbeing of the patient. While certain things may seem scary or even bothersome, however, do they qualify as a dental emergency? Knowing the difference between a dental emergency and not can help you determine if you need to hurry down to our office for a same-day appointment or if you can temporarily delay treatment for a later date. We here at Metropolitan Dental Specialty Group encounter dental emergencies fairly frequently here at our office and can help you determine if you are currently in the middle of one yourself.
What is a Dental Emergency and What Should I Do if I Have One?
First and foremost, not all dental emergencies automatically warrant an appointment at our office. For instance, if you have just sustained head trauma and you suspect that you may have a concussion, you may need to bypass an appointment with us and head directly to the emergency room. They can help ensure that you do not have a greater problem that needs attention.
Some problems may seem like an emergency but are not. This can include a chipped or broken tooth that is not associated with any pain. While it may be embarrassing to have a broken tooth, it does not hurt, then you can schedule an appointment with us for a future date. Another situation that may seem like an emergency is a minor toothache. Now please understand that there is a difference between a minor toothache and one that does require an immediate appointment. However, if it hurts just a little bit when you eat or bite, this may be a routine concern that can wait for a few days.
A broken tooth that does hurt does require a same-day appointment with us. This may mean that your dentin or your pulp, which are both vulnerable to infection, have been exposed. We need to address it right away to prevent loss of your tooth. A more severe toothache may also need immediate attention from us. This is especially urgent if you have lost a filling since we need to repair and replace it right away to avoid infection or loss of your tooth.
If you are bleeding, then we may need to see you right away, as well. This can include abrasions and cuts to your mouth and broken or dislodged teeth. If your tooth becomes dislodged (falls out), place it in a glass of milk or your saliva and head to our office now. We will fit you in to make sure your tooth is not permanently lost. A dental abscess also needs prompt intervention, as that is a clue that you have a major infection in your mouth. This needs to be treated urgently, as an abscess can quickly turn deadly if not taken care of right away.
Call Us if You Have a Dental Emergency
Knowing the difference between a dental emergency and something that can be delayed for a day or two can save you from a lot of pain and suffering. If you suspect that you have a dental emergency, however, you cannot risk delaying treatment. Give us here at Metropolitan Dental Specialty Group a call at (301) 585-0400 right now for prompt care if you believe you have a dental emergency.