When you’re suffering from a dental problem, you should seek prompt treatment from your family dentist. But, what if your issue occurs after hours, on the weekend or on a holiday? It’s important to understand the difference between a typical dental issue and one requiring immediate attention.
What is a Dental Emergency?
It’s not uncommon for people to experience dental or oral pain from time to time. While some problems can wait, others demand timely attention to eliminate pain or prevent serious infection.
Emergency dental care is typically needed to address mouth trauma and broken teeth, along with loosened or broken fillings. With that said, it’s not always easy for patients to determine whether their specific affliction requires emergency dental care.
In most cases, you can identify an emergency dental or oral issue by asking yourself any of the following:
- Are you experiencing severe pain or bleeding
- Have you lost a tooth which could be saved with prompt treatment?
- Do you have a loose adult tooth?
- Are you showing signs of an infection, including fever, a foul smell or swelling around the gums or face.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should seek prompt care from one of the attentive dental professionals at your nearest Gentle Dental.
What Isn’t a Dental Emergency?
If your dental issue can wait a day or two, you don’t need dental emergency care. In some cases, problems that seem critical are actually less serious than patients think. For instance, if a cracked or chipped tooth doesn’t hurt and doesn’t have sharp fragments that could harm your mouth, you can wait to see your dentist during office hours. You also usually won’t need emergency treatment for a toothache, as long as the pain isn’t especially severe, and you don’t have any signs of an abscess, such as bumps on the gums, swelling of the face or a high fever.
If you have lost a filling or crown, you can usually wait a few days to see your dentist. If you have a lost crown, you can try to temporarily affix the crown back in place using over-the-counter dental cement or denture adhesive. If you have lost a filling, you can temporarily insert a piece of sugar-free gum into the cavity
Why is Emergency Dental Care Important?
Prompt dental treatment can help preserve teeth and function, while reducing the risk of serious infections that can have long-term consequences. Emergency dental care can also alleviate severe pain, so patients can continue to meet work and family responsibilities. Emergency dental care is also an intelligent alternative to traditional emergency rooms, which can only offer limited care and tend to charge exorbitant fees.
How Does Gentle Dental Handle Emergency Dental Cases?
Gentle Dental offers timely dental care for emergency dental issues outside of typical office hours. During standard office hours, our team will do our best to get you in for a same-day appointment. You will also get the chance to speak on the phone to one of our treatment coordinators, who can provide guidance on how to care for your issue before your appointment.
For existing Gentle Dental patients, we also have after hours on-call service. Simply call our office number and follow the prompts to leave a message for one of our knowledgeable on-call dentists, who will return your call as soon as possible.