When something goes wrong with our teeth, it can often require emergency dental treatment to put things right. Dental pain can be extremely severe and cause a high amount of distress. Likewise, the prospect of losing a tooth or dealing with a painful injury to the mouth area can be an incredibly complicated and upsetting experience. In many cases, seeking emergency dental treatment quickly, rather than waiting for a more routine appointment can make all the difference to how comprehensively and effectively the dentist or dental surgeon can fix the issue at hand.
So, what constitutes a dental emergency? We all know that dental services can be stretched right now, with lots of people seeking dental treatments and support. However, this should never put anyone off seeking help in a genuine dental emergency. Even if you are not registered with a dental surgery, you may still be able to access emergency dental treatment from them and should make contact as soon as you can after the emergency strikes, to see how they can help. Here are six examples of when an issue with a tooth, teeth or the mouth, gums or face becomes a genuine and pressing dental emergency.
Broken or cracked tooth
Teeth can get broken for a number of reasons, from sports injuries and impacts to biting down on something hard or walking into a door or lamppost. Speed is of the essence here, especially if the tooth is knocked clean out of the mouth. Rinse the mouth with warm salt water to keep it as clean as possible and to help relieve any pain. Call your emergency dentist ASAP to fix an appointment to get emergency dental treatment to repair or replace the tooth.
Toothache can signal a whole raft of concerns, from a loose crown to an untreated filling; a lodged piece of food or debris to an abscess. When the pain is severe, it can be unbearable and significantly impair your ability to function normally. Toothache of this nature should be investigated by a dentist ASAP to find out its cause and alleviate its symptoms. When calling for your emergency dentist appointment for toothache, try and give as many details as possible about the type of pain to help the dental surgery prepare for your arrival and your emergency dental treatment.
Lost filling or crown
Losing a filling or crown could be seen as an inconvenience, rather than something requiring emergency dental treatment, especially if there is little or no pain involved. However, left untreated, this can quickly turn into a more serious concern. The hole where the crown or filling once was can become a breeding ground for bacteria, as food will get trapped in there more easily. The surrounding tooth can also be more prone to damage and further breakages, especially if the surface is delicate. You may need to have a new one fitted, but taking along the old one if you still have it will still give the dentist a good idea about the shape and size of the replacement that is needed.
Many dental patients would agree that the pain associated with an abscess in the tooth, gum or mouth is one of the most excruciating kinds there is. Abscesses will not get better on their own – this is certainly an example of the type of emergency dental treatment that an emergency dentist can and should provide ASAP. As soon as you notice the symptoms of an abscess, seek help, as it is more easily treated in the earlier stages of development. Once the abscess has been treated, it is a good idea to schedule some more routine appointments with your dentist to ensure that it will not return.
Talking of painful problems, when a tooth’s nerve becomes exposed, this too can cause a very high level of discomfort and pain. It will hurt whenever you breathe in, drink, eat or move your mouth. Exposed nerves can be caused by gum disease leading to deterioration, as well as harsh tooth brushing, smoking, grinding teeth and cracks in teeth. Again, the pain levels can be high enough to cause significant disruption to daily routines, and therefore emergency dental treatment should be sought.
Broken dental appliance
If you or your child breaks off a piece of a brace, Invisalign, mouth guard, denture, retainer or similar, this can be extremely annoying. It is also important to get sorted quickly, as the break can cause various ongoing problems. It can cause food and debris to become stuck in the device, leading to a greater chance of bacteria getting in to harm the teeth and mouth. Additionally, the damaged pieces can rub and injure the mouth and break off even more, leading to more significant – and costly – repair work.