Many people only need the dentist for routine cleanings and exams, but there are also many people who need emergency dental care because of severe pain. If you would like to know more about dental emergencies and what you should do, keep reading.
What Are Common Examples of Dental Emergencies?
You may need emergency dentistry if:
- You have a cavity that is causing severe pain
- You have a tooth abscess or infection
- You have experienced tooth trauma
Ultimately, most dental emergencies involve pain, bleeding, or infection. If you have a tooth abscess, not only does the infection cause severe pressure and pain, but it may spread to other parts of the body. Similarly, if you've experienced tooth trauma, you may experience some bleeding, and you may have a higher risk of getting a tooth infection if the damage reached or killed the tooth's pulp.
You probably don't need an emergency dentist if:
- You have cavities in the enamel
- You have tooth sensitivity
- You have a small/surface chip
Since these usually cause little to no symptoms, most symptoms are easy to control. Instead, make an appointment with your regular dentist for the next available appointment.
Who Can Treat Dental Emergencies?
Ideally, you'll visit an emergency dentist, but if you don't have one in your area, it's outside their hours, or your insurance doesn't accept the provider, you may not be able to visit an emergency dentist. In this case, you can go to the ER, but treatment may be limited. They can, however:
- Prescribe antibiotics for infections
- Control severe pain
- Treat broken, fractured, and dislodged teeth
However, even after treatment, you'll likely need to visit a dentist to treat the underlying condition.
If you can find an emergency dentist, they may be able to fully treat the tooth or provide better treatment options and care. Treatments may include:
- Root canal treatment
- Post and core
- Dental crowns
How to Reduce the Risk of Dental Emergencies
Luckily, you can take a lot of steps to help avoid dental emergencies. Regular brushing, flossing, and eating a low-sugar diet can help reduce the risk of decay and dental infections. You can also reduce your risk of problems by wearing an oral guard during sports and high-impact activities. Other ways you can reduce your risk of a dental emergency include:
- Drinking lots of water to remove debris
- Limiting your intake of simple carbohydrates
- Limiting your intake of acidic foods/beverages
- Treating bruxism
Tooth emergencies are never fun and usually involve severe pain. The ER can help if needed, but ideally, look for an emergency dentist in your area. For more information, start looking for emergency dental care services in your area.