What is Considered a Dental Emergency?

June 1, 2020 Kalamazoo Smiles

dental emergency kalamazoo miEveryone dreads a dental emergency. But they don’t have to be as scary when you know what to do ahead of time. In general, a dental emergency means that you have a severe toothache, knocked-out tooth, or a deep crack in your tooth that’s causing pain.

If you aren’t sure if you’re experiencing a dental emergency, call our office anyways. Even if you don’t require urgent dental care, it’s still important for us to determine what’s causing your dental pain and discomfort.

Here are the different types of dental emergencies and how you should handle them until you’re able to see Dr. Bandos.

Severe Toothache

Don’t ignore a toothache! Pain is your body’s way of letting you know something is wrong. Often a severe toothache indicates a deeper underlying problem, such as an infected tooth that needs an emergency root canal. That’s why it’s important that you call our office as soon as possible for a severe toothache.

While a mild toothache can wait a few days, a severe toothache needs immediate attention. During your emergency appointment, Dr. Bandos will examine the inside of your mouth and take X-rays to find the source of your dental pain. Then, she’ll be able to start appropriate treatment to restore your oral health.

Deep Crack in Tooth

A deep crack in your tooth is extremely painful and requires immediate care. Once the crack extends to the tooth’s root, your only option will be to extract the tooth. That’s why it’s so important that you call our office at the first twinge of dental pain.

If we catch a crack in your tooth early we can treat it with a crown or root canal. The longer you wait to schedule an appointment, the crack will get larger until your tooth is no longer salvageable.

You may have a cracked tooth if you experience sensitivity to heat and cold. You may also feel pain and discomfort while chewing. Either of these symptoms requires a call to our office so we can diagnose the source of your pain.

Knocked-Out Tooth

It’s best to see Dr. Bandos within 30 minutes of knocking out your tooth. The sooner you call our office the better our chances of re-implanting the tooth in your mouth. Don’t wait to seek emergency dental care!

Follow these steps for a knocked-out tooth:

  1. Pick up the tooth by the crown (top), NOT by the root.
  2. Line your sink with a towel so you don’t drop your tooth down the drain by accident.
  3. Gently rinse any dirt off your tooth with water only. Do NOT use soap, scrub, or dry the tooth.
  4. If possible, place the tooth back in its socket. If not possible, submerge the tooth in a container of milk. Your tooth needs to be kept moist.
  5. Call our office to schedule an emergency appointment.

What is Not Considered a Dental Emergency?

There are many situations in which you can wait to see our dentist during our normal office hours. For example, if you lost your dental crown Saturday evening, you can wait until Monday morning to see our dentist.

Here are some other dental situations that aren’t considered emergencies:

  • Lost filling or crown
  • Mild toothache
  • Small chip in a tooth
  • Small crack in a tooth that isn’t causing pain

While the above situations aren’t “emergencies” per se, it’s still important that you schedule an appointment with our office as soon as possible. That way, Dr. Bandos will be able to examine your mouth and repair whatever damage has been done to your teeth before it worsens.

Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Bandos

Have a dental emergency? Our dentist in Kalamazoo, MI, and her team will do everything in their power to protect your oral health in the event of a dental emergency. To request an emergency appointment, call Kalamazoo Smiles at (269) 353-3700.

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