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What is Considered a Dental Emergency?

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considered a dental emergency

It is important to have a clear understanding of what a dental emergency is, especially during times when you are unsure whether you truly have an appropriate reason for seeking emergency care. A dental emergency requires immediate medical attention. While pain is a common indicator of a dental emergency, not all situations that require immediate dental care involve pain. Dental emergencies include dental trauma, infections, gum disease, failure of dental restorations, the possibility of oral cancer, and more. All dental emergencies should be treated as soon as possible under the supervision of a qualified dental health professional.

This article covers the basics of what exactly is considered a dental emergency, and what is not. When in doubt, however, especially if the dental situation involves a child, stay calm, and call a dental clinic near you to determine the best course of action.

Dental procedures that are not emergencies:

  • Cosmetic dental procedures such as teeth whitening
  • Professional teeth cleaning
  • Checkup visits for braces
  • Checkup and treatment visits for cavities that do not cause pain or discomfort
  • Regular dental checkups that are recommended but are not mandatory

To put it simply, any dental related issue that does not require immediate attention or treatment is not a dental emergency. As mentioned above, you can always contact your dentist in NE Calgary to check whether an incident requires emergency attention before you visit them.

Dental emergencies that require the immediate attention of an emergency dentist near you:

Dental emergencies are common, especially if you have children – but not every situation requires the immediate attention of an emergency dentist. Understanding the difference between a standard dental issue and a dental emergency helps both yourself and your emergency dentist in NE Calgary. Mentioned below are a few situations that call for emergency dental care.

  • Non-stop bleeding
  • Severe pain
  • Swelling of your gums
  • Treatment after dental surgery
  • Broken teeth
  • Fixing damaged braces
  • Biopsies

Apart from the above situations, asking yourself the following questions can help you determine whether you are facing a dental emergency.

  • Is your toothache unbearable?
  • Have you lost a tooth or have your teeth loosened by impact?
  • Are you experiencing a tooth infection and have noticed swelling of your gums?
  • Are you bleeding?

If you said yes to any of the above questions, it is definitely an emergency that requires urgent care. Ignoring tooth infections can even lead to fatal situations, therefore they should not be ignored at all. If you face an incident that knocks out a tooth, always try to keep it moist till you reach the dental emergency room. You can either place it back in the socket in a way that it does not touch the root or store it in a clean container filled with saline solution. Even placing it between your teeth and gums can also help. You can use a cold compress to keep any form of swelling down. For a chipped or cracked tooth, you should clean your mouth by rinsing with warm water. You can take over the counter painkillers to ease the pain if needed as well.

How to avoid dental emergencies 

The first step to avoiding a dental emergency is being on top of your oral hygiene and maintaining regular checkups with your dentist. This way, major dental issues won’t sneak up on you at an unexpected time. Apart from that, always wear a mouthguard when you are participating in contact sports or situations that may bring unexpected impact to your mouth or jaw area. Be mindful when you chew things. Try to avoid chewing on hard food such as popcorn kernels or ice that can chip or crack teeth.