When Do I Need Emergency Dental Care?

While not ever welcome, dental pain is common. In fact, American Family Physician reports that nearly 22 percent of people have experienced dental or oral pain in the last six months. Dental pain is certainly a warning sign that something in your mouth needs attention. However, not every dental situation should be considered a true emergency that warrants immediate treatment. Many patients who have experienced unexpected dental pain or trauma want to know whether they can wait to be seen by a dentist or if an emergency dental visit is in order.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself if you or a loved one has suffered dental pain:

  • Is the pain severe?
  • Is there bleeding involved?
  • Have you lost a tooth?
  • Do you have a loose tooth (with or without pain)?
  • Do you have signs of an infection or abscess (swelling, redness, knots on gums or fever)?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, it is best to see your dentist as soon as possible or schedule an emergency dental visit. Bleeding and infection should be addressed promptly to avoid worsening conditions, and a loose or avulsed tooth needs quick action to potentially save the tooth.

Be very cautious about going to the hospital ER for your dental emergency instead of your dentist. Uncontrolled bleeding can be an exception, but most ER’s are not equipped with a dentist and proper dental tools. It could be a wasted visit that only addresses your pain instead of effectively treating the cause of your pain. In addition, many dental emergencies involve trauma to the teeth that should be repaired by a dentist who can use both restorative and cosmetic dentistry techniques to rebuild your smile.

What Isn’t a Dental Emergency

If you are unsure whether your dental problem can wait, call the office. At Park South Dentistry, we would much rather you call and get guidance from our dentist before you assume you can wait a few days to come in. There are situations in which sudden dental issues can wait and not be treated as an emergency repair.

In some cases, you can let pain be your guide. If you have fractured or cracked a tooth but are not in pain when biting down or discomfort form the sharp tooth edges, you can often wait to see a dentist. Don’t delay treatment too long, however, as the health of the tooth is vulnerable to bacteria when the outer tooth enamel is damaged. Another dental situation that can avoid same-day care is a lost filling or crown without pain.  Until you can get to the dental office, it can be helpful to temporarily stick a piece of sugar-free gum into the cavity after losing a filling or reattach a lost crown with denture adhesive or over-the-counter dental cement.

Contact an Emergency Dentist in NYC

At Park South Dentistry, we are proudly equipped to treat all types of dental emergencies in one place. Our office offers same day dentistry with access to general, restorative and cosmetic dental treatments. Whether you need endodontic therapy or dental implants, you can trust that your emergency dental treatments will be handled with the highest level of precision and care. Most importantly, we work hard to keep you comfortable and relaxed from the moment you walk in our doors. Call today to schedule your emergency dental visit in New York.

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