What Situations Qualify As Dental Emergencies?

 In Emergency Dental Care, Info Articles

Most people do not know what situation counts as a dental emergency and what does not. What happens quite often is that there are patients who rush to the dentist only to be sent back home right away. Others who come too late for restorative work to be successful.

Typically, when people experience “unbearable” pain in the mouth, they automatically classify their situation as a dental emergency. In some cases it is, but most of the time, it’s not, especially if the pain is caused by a cavity.

So what are the situations that qualify as dental emergencies? According to Dr. Kacos, the following situations are what they would consider emergencies:

A broken jaw

This is a serious situation that demands the immediate attention of a dentist. Not only will the patient be in severe pain, but also won’t be able to eat, speak and swallow properly, either. An X-ray has to be taken to determine the extent of the injury before treatment.

Any injury to the teeth or mouth

A broken or knocked-off tooth, luxated teeth, a cut lip – any injury to the face that has swelling, bleeding, and pain is considered a dental emergency. Time is of the essence for all the aforementioned situations. Promptness is required not only for a successful restorative treatment but to prevent additional complications.

A poking archwire (for braces)

Wires that are out of place in the mouth can lead to different kinds of injuries. You can cut your tongue, poke a hole in your cheek, and scrape your gums. While you try to put the wire back in place with a small long nose or pliers, a dentist can make a quicker and safer job of it.

A broken or removed crown

This is an emergency, firstly, because you don’t want to lose the crown. This can hurt badly because nerve endings will be exposed. A temporary crown has to be applied to protect the tooth and to prevent the risk of infection.

A toothache accompanied by fever.

This needs urgent dental attention because a fever always indicates an infection. It’s imperative for dentists to identify where the infection is coming from and how to control it. A dental infection can be quite dangerous because the mouth is located near vital organs (the heart and lungs), and should be treated right away.

If your situation is not included in those mentioned above, then there is no need to rush. You probably can wait a day or two to see the dentist. Also, give your dentist a call for advice on how to address the problem until you can visit them.



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