Do you need to make an appointment for a dental emergency? If you're not sure what a true emergency is and what can wait until the dentist has normal office hours, take a look at some questions to ask right now.
Are You in Pain?
No one should suffer in unnecessary dental pain. While minor discomfort experienced after flossing or over-brushing isn't always a cause to call the emergency dentist, some pain requires immediate attention. Contact the dentist's office for pain if the following situations apply to you:
You can't eat. Whether your tooth hurts, your gums are in pain, or you can't pinpoint the source of the problem, dental issues shouldn't get in the way of your ability to eat or drink. If you can't bite, chew, or swallow safely, schedule an emergency appointment.
You can't complete your normal activities. Can you work, attend school, care for your children, or do anything else you normally would? If dental pain makes it difficult (or impossible) to engage in normal daily activities, an emergency appointment is necessary.
You have other oral issues. Pain combined with swelling, bleeding, an odd taste/odor, or another similar issue requires an emergency dental visit.
If you're not sure whether your dental pain is a true emergency, ask the expert. Call your dentist's office for more information on what to do next.
Did a Tooth Fall Out?
Even though childhood tooth loss (non-permanent teeth only) is normal, an adult shouldn't have a loose or missing tooth. Tooth loss is a dental emergency if the following is true:
You have serious decay. When left untreated, dental decay can eventually progress into tooth loss. If this happens, you need immediate treatment to prevent the spread of infection.
You have other symptoms. Pain, swelling, bleeding, or other dental symptoms are not something to ignore—especially when the symptom is coupled with tooth loss. While these symptoms may indicate dental decay, other infections or periodontitis may also cause tooth loss.
You had a recent injury. Whether you fell and broke your tooth, were hit in the face, ate something sharp/hard, or had another type of injury, you need a dentist to evaluate your tooth loss immediately.
Complete tooth loss isn't the only dental emergency that requires a visit to the office. If you chip or crack your tooth, it's likely the dentist will want to see you right away. Save the tooth (or fragment of the tooth), use a clean cloth to control bleeding, and contact a dentist at a clinic like Professional Dental Center immediately.