A dental emergency can be a stressful – and physically painful – situation. Our Calgary dentists explain what constitutes a dental emergency in this post, as well as what to do if one occurs.
What is a dental emergency?
Any dental issue that necessitates immediate attention from your dentist is considered a dental emergency. Many of us will have a dental emergency at some point in our lives, whether it is due to a sports injury, a chipped tooth, a severe toothache, or something else entirely.
Here are some common dental emergencies – and what you can do if one of these scenarios happens to you.
Severe toothaches can strike suddenly or over time, causing sharp or throbbing pain. You have a dental emergency if you have a severe toothache that you can't treat with over-the-counter pain relievers (such as ibuprofen).
Apply ice to your jaw, and go to your dentist’s office as soon as you can.
Object Lodged Between Teeth
Typically, dental floss is the tool of choice for removing objects from between your teeth, but if this does not work, your dentist will have to remove it. If you try to remove it with a sharp object, you risk injuring your gums or pushing it further between your teeth.
Your dentist may be able to put your knocked-out tooth back in place if you get to the dentist’s office within an hour.
Try to find your tooth, rinse it with water (no soap or chemicals), and replace it in the socket. Hold it in your cheek or put it in a glass of milk if you can't get it into the socket.
A lost tooth is considered an urgent dental emergency, so get to your dentist’s office right away.
Lost Crowns or Fillings
Because the interior of the tooth is exposed when a crown or filling is lost, the tooth structure may be weakened. It can also be excruciatingly painful and delicate. A missing filling is a dental emergency, and your dentist should replace it as soon as possible.
Broken or Chipped Teeth
In many cases, chipped or broken teeth can be repaired and saved. A filling can usually fix a small fracture, while a crown or root canal can fix more serious ones. If you have a broken or chipped tooth, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to have it repaired.
Lacerations to Lip or Tongue
A dental emergency occurs when an injury to the inside of your mouth results in a laceration of your lip or tongue. To stop the bleeding, use a clean cloth. Apply an ice pack to any swelling and seek medical attention right away.
Sometimes dental emergencies are obvious right away, and sometimes they aren't. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office. Our staff can assess your situation and advise you on whether it is urgent.