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According to the American Dental Association, in 2021 there were 201,927 dentists actively practicing in the United States. This equates to a ratio of 60.84 dentists per 100,000 people in the population. So there are plenty of professionals out there to help you if you think you are experiencing a dental emergency.

A dental emergency is any situation that requires immediate attention from a dental professional. While some dental issues can wait, others need to be taken care of right away.

Knowing what is considered a dental emergency can help you save your teeth and avoid severe complications. Let’s now look at some situations that often are considered dental emergencies.

Read on to learn if you have one now!

Severe Tooth Pain

Severe tooth pain is one of the most common reasons people seek emergency dental care. If you’re experiencing severe tooth pain that is persistent and interferes with your daily activities, it’s time to seek dental care. Tooth pain can be caused by various factors, including tooth decay, a cracked or fractured tooth, an abscess, or gum disease.

Delaying treatment can lead to severe complications. So if you’re experiencing severe tooth pain, contact your local dentist immediately. They can diagnose the issue, provide pain relief, and prevent further damage to your teeth.

Broken or Chipped Tooth

A broken or chipped tooth is another common dental emergency. A tooth can break or chip due to various reasons, including trauma, decay, or biting down on hard food. A broken or chipped tooth can lead to severe pain, sensitivity, and in some cases, an infection.

If you have a broken or chipped tooth, seek dental services immediately. Your dentist can evaluate the extent of the damage, recommend appropriate treatment options, and restore your tooth’s structure and function. Depending on the severity of the damage, your dentist may recommend a filling, crown, or extraction.

Knocked-out Tooth

A knocked-out tooth is a severe dental emergency that requires immediate attention. Losing a tooth due to a sports injury, trauma, or an accident is a serious dental emergency that needs attention right away. Seeking emergency dental care within half an hour of the injury is vital if you have a knocked-out tooth.

Before you see a dentist, try to handle the tooth carefully by holding it by the crown and rinsing it with water without scrubbing or removing any attached tissue fragments. If possible, try to reinsert the tooth gently into its socket or place it in a cup of milk until you reach the dentist. Your dentist can evaluate the damage, reposition the tooth, and recommend appropriate treatment options.

Loose Tooth

A loose tooth in an adult could be a sign of a severe dental problem and requires immediate attention. A loose tooth can be caused by various factors, including gum disease, trauma, and teeth grinding. If you have a loose tooth, seek dental services immediately.

Your dentist can diagnose the underlying issue, recommend appropriate treatment options, and prevent further damage to your teeth. Depending on the severity of the problem, your dentist may recommend a splint, root canal therapy, or extraction.

Severe Swelling

Severe swelling in the gums, face, or neck could be a sign of an infection and requires immediate attention. An infection can occur due to various reasons, including tooth decay, gum disease, or injury. Delaying treatment can lead to severe complications, including the spread of infection to other parts of the body.

If you’re experiencing severe swelling, contact your local dentist immediately. They can diagnose the issue, prescribe antibiotics, and provide pain relief. In severe cases, your dentist may recommend drainage of the infected area or a root canal procedure.

Bleeding

If you’re experiencing excessive bleeding in the gums or mouth, seek dental services immediately. Bleeding can be caused by various factors, including gum disease, trauma, or injury. Delaying treatment can lead to severe complications, including tooth loss and infections.

Your dentist can diagnose the underlying issue, recommend appropriate treatment options, and stop the bleeding. Depending on the cause of the bleeding, your dentist may recommend scaling and root planing, gum surgery, or extractions.

Lost Filling or Crown

A lost filling or crown can be painful and uncomfortable, and it requires immediate attention. A filling or crown can become loose or fall out due to various reasons, including decay, injury, or age. If you have a lost filling or crown, seek dental services immediately.

Your dentist can evaluate the damage, recommend appropriate treatment options, and restore the filling or crown. Depending on the severity of the damage, your dentist may recommend a new filling, crown, or root canal therapy.

How to Choose the Right Dentist

Choosing the right dentist is essential for your oral health and overall well-being. Here are some tips to help you find the right dentist for your needs.

First, ask for recommendations from family, friends, or co-workers. They can provide valuable insights into their experiences with their dentist, including the quality of care, convenience, and overall satisfaction.

Second, research the dentist’s credentials, including their education, training, and certifications. You can often find this information on their website or by contacting their office directly. It’s also essential to check if the dentist is licensed and registered with the state board of dentistry.

Lastly, consider the location and office hours of the dentist. You want a dentist whose office is conveniently located and has hours that work for your schedule. Plus, you may want to consider if the dentist accepts your insurance or offers payment plans if you don’t have insurance.

Determining a Dental Emergency

A dental emergency can be painful, stressful, and often comes at the worst possible time. It’s essential to know what is considered a dental emergency and how to determine if you should seek immediate dental services.

Delaying treatment can lead to severe complications. These can include tooth loss and infections that can spread to other parts of the body.

If you’re experiencing any dental emergency, consider contacting us at Sweet Tooth Smiles right away! We can diagnose the issue, provide pain relief, and prevent further damage to your teeth. Remember, prompt action can help save your teeth and avoid severe complications.