Should the unexpected happen and you have a dental emergency, where do you go? And, what exactly qualifies as a “dental emergency?”
If you’re not sure of the answer, you’re not alone. According to a study conducted by the University of California San Francisco (UCSF,) one of the top avoidable three reasons for emergency room visits is due to dental issues. Perhaps surprising for many is that often even the most gritty dental incidents can be addressed by a dentist—from a toothache emergency to several knocked out teeth.
Again, you’re not alone in trying to determine when it’s best to head to the ER or consult your dental office. That’s where our helpful guide comes in —take a look!
In the Event of a Toothache Emergency Can Your Dentist Handle It?
It’s always best to investigate whether your primary dental practitioner is equipped to handle a dental emergency. In your search for a dental home, always add this question to your list. That way, you’ll know before a dental emergency occurs whether or not to call your dentist for a severe toothache remedy—rather than scrambling for a solution during the emergency. Most dental practices, Hospital Dental Group included, are able to handle just about anything thrown at them, including:
- Broken teeth
- Chipped teeth
- Knocked out teeth
- Lost fillings
- Cracked tooth
- Abscessed tooth
In the event you’re experiencing lingering pain, this is a toothache emergency in which your dentist should be contacted immediately. The unfortunate truth about dental health is that dental pain almost always because worse without treatment. Check out our blog on tooth pain to learn more about the type of pain you have, and the best possible treatment solutions.
If a dental emergency occurs during regular business hours, it’s wise to call your dental office to ensure there’s availability for treatment. If it’s after hours and your dental office does not have an emergency phone number, don’t assume that if you show up that a dentist will eventually arrive to address the emergency.
Time to Head to the Emergency Room
If you find yourself in a dental emergency and you’re either too far from your primary practitioner’s office, your dental office doesn’t handle emergency issues, or you are unable to reach a resolution by calling your dentist, then it’s time to go to the ER. Most emergency rooms are prepared to deal with minor dental issues, such as a toothache emergency, but can’t handle more complex problems.
If you’re hit hard in the face, and you think you may have broken something (your cheekbone, jaw, etc. ) definitely head to an emergency room. Even if you have a subsequent issue such as a damaged or dislodged tooth, your top priority should be addressing any broken/fractured bones in the face—you have 32 teeth (which can be replaced) but only one face!
Other incidents that may warrant a hospital visit can include:
- Swelling of the face accompanied by a fever
- When an emergency occurs during travel (when you’re physically unable to consult with your dentist)
- You’ve experienced loss of consciousness or a concussion
An Ounce (or More) of Prevention
Hopefully, you’ll never find yourself or a family member in a situation in which a toothache emergency room visit or other painful dental predicament arises. If you do, however, now you’re armed with the knowledge on how to proceed. And, it’s important to remember, that although not all dental emergencies can be avoided, some can.
Wearing mouthguards during sports, keeping sharp objects away from your mouth (and your child’s), and practicing routine dental hygiene can protect from dental emergencies.
Never be afraid to call our Hospital Dental Group professional, friendly staff whether you are experiencing a dental emergency or have questions regarding a toothache emergency, broken tooth, cracked tooth or related issue. Whenever possible, Dr. Ravin is up to the challenge of addressing unexpected dental problems. Call us now at 860-524-5194 for more information on non-emergency and emergency dental HDG services.