What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?

You might have taken a tumble on the stairs and injured a tooth. Or maybe you chomped down on a caramel candy and dislodged a filling. How serious are these issues?

The mouth has an amazing ability to heal itself, but what types of oral problems require a visit to the dentist right away?

You might hesitate to call the dentist’s emergency number, but Robert Berger, DDS, and his caring team at Berger Family Dental are here to help you, whether it’s for routine or urgent care. Here’s the lowdown on true dental emergencies.

How do you define a dental emergency?

You can injure your mouth in a number of ways. Sometimes, you may not need treatment right away. At other times, time will be of the essence. Here are some common problems and what you should do about them:

Dislodged tooth

If a tooth pops out, this is definitely a dental emergency. You will need to act quickly to save your tooth. Handle your tooth by the crown and never its root. If there is debris on it, clean it with lukewarm water, and rinse out your mouth as well. 

If possible, place it back in its socket and bite down gently on some gauze to keep it in place. If you can’t put it back in its socket, soak it in milk or hold it between your gum and cheek to prevent it from drying out. Finally, try to get to Dr. Berger or an emergency room within 30 minutes.

Partially dislodged tooth

If you’ve partially dislodged a tooth, you should request an urgent visit with Dr. Berger. Even though the tooth is still in your mouth, the trauma may have compromised the health of your tooth.

Severe tooth pain

If you have severe tooth pain, you should request an emergency visit so Dr. Berger can address the source of the pain. Furthermore, tooth pain can prevent you from sleeping, working, and functioning normally. 

Mouth or gum laceration

Anytime you suffer facial trauma, there’s a chance one or multiple teeth could be affected. After getting injured, rinse your mouth with warm saltwater and apply a cold compress to the injury site to stop the bleeding. Then get to us as fast as you can.

Loose tooth

Unless you’re a child, you shouldn’t have a loose tooth. If you have one, it might be due to an injury or infection. Either way, show it to Dr. Berger as soon as you can so he can try to save it. 

Tooth abscess

Tooth abscesses normally cause excruciating pain and produce pus. You also might feel very ill and develop a fever. This is a dental emergency that requires immediate attention. 

Lost filling or crown

If you have a lost filling or crown, make an appointment within a day or two. If you have the crown, you can use dental cement ― which is usually available in drugstores ― to put the crown back temporarily. You can also use dental cement to temporarily fill the void left by the lost filling. 

Chipped tooth

This may or may not be an emergency, but call us so we can advise you about when you should see us and how you should care for your tooth until then. 

If you have a dental emergency, Dr. Berger will work to save your tooth and eliminate your pain. The team at Berger Family Dental is available when you need us, even if it’s right away. To learn more, request an appointment online or over the phone today at (614) 866-3368.

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