When an unexpected dental event happens, it can be very challenging to deal with. From a knocked-out tooth to a painful toothache, there are many things that can happen to your smile to throw off your day. One of the most difficult things about a dental incident is deciding what you should do next. It can be hard to decide if you should go to your emergency dentist or the ER. Read on to learn the best choice for various oral health issues.
What Is Considered a Dental Emergency?
At a moment’s notice, there are a multitude of dental issues that can occur. While each of these health concerns will most likely need professional assistance, dental emergencies are different since they will require a same-day appointment to get to the root of the issue and provide immediate pain relief. To help you decide when it’s best to contact your emergency dentist, here are some common dental emergencies:
- A severe toothache.
- Painful facial swelling.
- Abnormal bleeding.
- Loose or missing permanent teeth.
- Damaged restorations (i.e., fillings, crowns, etc.).
When Should You Go to the ER?
There are a few exceptions regarding an oral health issue in which going to a hospital is the best route to take to care for your smile. These include:
- Severe swelling
- Lacerations inside or around the mouth
- A long-lasting infection of the mouth
- A broken jaw or a jaw fracture
- Intensive bleeding
How to Tend to Your Smile in the Meantime
While you wait to seek treatment for your issue, you can do some things to alleviate your discomfort. Here are some steps you can take in the meantime to remedy the pain:
- Clean your mouth: Gently brushing can help remove any debris that could be contributing to your pain. You can also rinse with lukewarm salt water to wash away harmful bacteria that have accumulated in your mouth.
- Take over-the-counter pain medication: It can help provide immediate comfort and minimize inflammation.
- Use a cold compress: By holding it on your cheek over the area where you feel pain, you can reduce swelling and minimize your pain.
An emergency dentist is the key to getting your oral health back on track when you have experienced an unexpected harmful dental event. By being aware of what constitutes a dental emergency and where to go for certain occurrences, you will be ready to seek treatment as soon as possible!
About the Author
Dr. W. Keith deJong is eager to help you keep your smile whole, healthy, and beautiful! He earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the LSU School of Dentistry and has been named one of the New Orleans Area Top Dentists every year since the award was first given. With over 30 years of experience, he can help you with any oral health issue, including a dental emergency. To schedule a same-day appointment, contact him through his website or call (301) 843-0225.