If you’re involved in contact sports or have had an accident that caused a broken, chipped, or fractured tooth, you may need emergency dental treatment. Or, you might have recently noticed a difference in how your tooth feels. Here are a few ways to tell whether your tooth needs emergency attention:**
When It´s Headed for Emergency…
- Toothaches. A toothache is one of the most common ways you realize something is wrong with your tooth. But tooth pain can vary a lot, from excruciating shooting pain to a dull ache. How do you know it’s headed for an emergency? If the pain suddenly increases in magnitude or frequency, you’re looking at a potential cavity, crack, or abscess. You’ll notice the difference between “sensitivity” and a pain that lingers after touch or a temperature change. Talk to our office if you’re experiencing symptoms like this and we’ll get you an appointment quickly!
- Cracked or broken tooth. Sometimes it is obvious that a crack is severe, such as when there is a large piece of tooth missing, or if it’s knocked out completely. You should seek immediate medical attention in these cases. If you’re experiencing erratic pain or sudden pain when your tooth is exposed to hot or cold, the status of the tooth may not be as apparent. Even if your tooth pain is intermittent, there could be nerve damage. Call 215-898-8965 and ask for an endodontist with the first hour available if you’re experiencing symptoms like this.
- Knocked out. If you’ve been in an accident and your tooth was completely knocked out, please seek emergency attention. While you wait to be seen, try to handle the tooth as little as possible. If it is still in its socket, be very careful not to bite down or accidentally swallow the tooth. If the tooth is out, rinse it off and keep it in a container of milk or saliva until you’re seen by a professional. You can apply a cold, wet compress to stop bleeding from the tooth socket.
Sometimes, non-emergencies can become emergency when they’re not treated in a timely fashion. According to the CDC, 31.6% of adults aged 20-44 have untreated dental caries. When untreated, a cavity may grow into a condition that is much more serious and require more invasive treatment.
One way to avoid needing emergency dental services is to continue annual/biannual checkups to ensure you’re on the right track. It’s always better to make a small investment now and avoid huge costs and discomfort in the future.
If you´re still not sure if you need emergency dental care, please get in touch with us right away so we can help you make that determination. Call our office at 215-898-8965 as soon as possible.
**The information provided in this article is not meant to replace medical advice. Please dial 911 if it is a true medical emergency.