Emergency Dental Treatment: When to head to the Emergency Room

Posted on: 1 February 2018

Your teeth are an important part of your anatomy, and just the same way you need to visit the emergency room when you have hurt your legs or arms, is the same way you will need to visit an emergency dentist for emergency dental treatment when you are suffering from certain dental ailments. It can be a bit tricky, distinguishing a dental emergency from a 'normal' dental ailment. So, here is a guide on what constitutes a dental emergency:

Severe cracks, breaks or Fractures to the teeth

Your teeth might break or become cracked for various reasons, such as biting into a hard piece of food, or from a severe impact during sports. Cracked and broken teeth could result in painful nerve damage if emergency dental treatment is not sought. On the other hand, fractures that reach the teeth's inner layer may become complicated if emergency treatment is not carried out. For instance, such fractures could lead to pulpal infection, and you may also end up losing your tooth permanently if you do not see a dentist within 24 hours.

Persistent Toothache

Toothaches are one of the most common reasons why people seek emergency dental treatment, however, not all toothaches are regarded as emergencies. A persistence toothache, also known as periapical periodontitis can at times be regarded as a dental emergency. This type of toothache is usually confined to one specific area, and there is a spontaneous pain which worsens when you bite something. There are instances, where the gum may be infected and abscess may form leading to a swelling of the face. When you are experiencing this kind of pain you will need immediate pain relief, hence, an emergency.

Bleeding associated with Trauma

There are instances where trauma caused by an accident can knock your teeth or tooth out. Normally your gum will bleed and the bleeding should stop after a few minutes, however, there are instances where the bleeding does not stop; this warrants immediate medical attention. In such a case, an emergency dentist will try to stop the bleeding by applying pressure on the affected area or by using a hemostatic agent.

If you suspect that you might be having a dental emergency, it is best to call a dentist and explain the problem to him/her. He/she will be able to advise you on the right cause of action. If you do not have a dentist on call, visit a hospital's emergency room for emergency dental treatment; the hospital might have an emergency dentist on call for such cases. 

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