Dealing with a dental emergency?
A trusted dentist should be the first person you call for an emergency dental appointment.
So how do you know if it’s truly a dental emergency? And how soon do you need to seek help?
Dental emergencies vs. non-emergencies
Understanding the difference between a true dental emergency and a less urgent dental issue is critical.
Many dental emergencies can be extremely time sensitive.
Delaying seeking treatment could mean the difference between losing and saving a tooth!
That being said, many people end up in the emergency room for issues that would have been much better treated by a dentist. For less urgent issues, waiting until the morning for your dental office to open may be the better option.
Dentists are better equipped and trained to care for dental issues than emergency rooms.
So again, remember – if you’re experiencing any dental issue, emergency or not, call your dentist immediately.
If your dentist isn’t available, the next best option is an emergency dental clinic or an alternative dentist.
A general emergency room should be your last resort.
How do you know if it’s a dental emergency?
Not sure if what you’re experiencing is a true emergency?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Have you lost a tooth?
- Do you have an infection, such as an abscess or swelling?
- Are you bleeding from the mouth?
- Do you have loose adult teeth?
- Are you in severe pain?
If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, seek an emergency dental appointment immediately.
Any situation that requires immediate care to stop bleeding, alleviate severe pain, or save a tooth is time sensitive and should be treated as soon as possible.
What is NOT a dental emergency?
Some dental problems can wait a day or so until you can get in to see a dentist.
Here are a few examples:
- A toothache with mild to moderate pain where no swelling or abscess is present.
- A small chip or crack in a tooth that doesn’t hurt or leave a sharp fragment in your mouth.
- A lost crown or filling (unless you’re in pain).
In these situations, an emergency dental appointment may not be necessary.
If you still aren’t sure or have any doubts, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Call your dentist to seek their advice on the recommended urgency of treatment.
How to avoid dental emergencies
Prevention is the best medicine, stopping small issues before they become big emergencies.
Proactively caring for your oral health keeps your smile healthy and strong, making it less likely you’ll have an unexpected dental emergency.
- Practicing a diligent oral hygiene routine: At a minimum, brush twice a day thoroughly, and floss once a day.
- Come in for regular dental check-ups every six months: During your check-up, your dentist can look for any warning signs such as decay, infection, gum disease, or loose fillings and crowns.
Unfortunately, even with the best of care, emergencies still happen.
That’s why it’s important to have a trusted dentist you can turn to.
At West Chester Dental Arts, we proudly offer same-day emergency care to our patient family whenever possible.
With great care and a bit of luck, you may never need an emergency dental appointment!
But just in case, it’s a good idea to save our number in your phone.
Experiencing a dental emergency?
Don’t delay. Give our office a call: 610-696-3371
We’ll do everything we can to see you as soon as possible and advise you on the best approach.
We proudly serve West Chester, PA, and surrounding communities in Chester County.