What is a Dental Emergency?
Maybe you’re here because you were up all last night in pain, or woke up this morning with a toothache… maybe you’re here because you bit a little too hard into that piece of food and felt something chip. You’re asking yourself, “What do I do now?” What exactly constitutes a dental emergency? How do you know if it’s something you should see a dentist about right away, or maybe something not so serious? Below are some symptoms and what treatment may be indicated.
A tooth that has a hypersensitive, lingering sensation to temperature could have suffered from pulpal damage. This is a condition known as “irreversible pulpitis,” and the symptoms may worsen over time. Unfortunately, a root canal may be required to treat this condition.
A small chip in a tooth is a pretty minor problem, which can often be fixed with a composite restoration. However, a larger crack may require a crown.
A cracked or fractured tooth is more serious, and must be evaluated to assess the extent of the damage. A tooth with a shallow crack may be salvaged with a crown. A deeper crack may require a root canal or extraction. In this case, a dental implant may be a great option to restore the area.
Bleeding gums are often caused by gingivitis, or “gum disease.” In this case, a routine dental cleaning will help, along with improved oral hygiene routine at home. However, bleeding can also be indicative of a more serious condition called periodontitis. This is a more severe form of gum disease, which results in gradual loss of bone support for the teeth, and sometimes infection. Scaling and root planing, or “deep cleaning,” will help with this issue. Call and make an appointment, so we can assess whether you have this condition.
Unfortunately, severe pain from a tooth can be caused by a variety of factors, such as a fracture, excessive decay, or infection. In some cases, the pain can actually be coming from a source non-dental in origin. As such, it can be difficult to assess without a visit to the dentist.
An abscess or facial swelling is often due to infection caused by a necrotic tooth. A root canal or extraction is indicated to remove the source of the infection: the bacteria inside the tooth. If you’re experiencing facial swelling, this may be a condition known as cellulitis, and may be a serious medical emergency.
With all the stressors we deal with in our everyday life, a sudden dental emergency can be quite an inconvenience. Luckily, most can be treated with a simple dental procedure. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, please give us a call or schedule so we can adequately diagnose the problem. We want to deal with your dental problems so that you don’t have to.