Sometimes dental concerns can wait for a regular appointment. However, there are occasions where you may need to see an emergency dentist. Knowing the difference between such scenarios will help you make an appropriate decision when booking an appointment.

Sports trauma requires immediate attention

Whether it's an accident on the rugby pitch or you've come into contact with a fellow boxer's fist, sports trauma that dislodges your teeth requires immediate attention. The same goes for serious lacerations to your gums. Should you dislodge a tooth, store it in milk to maintain its integrity and take it to the emergency dentist with you. The sooner you see a dentist, the easier it'll be for them to resolve the problem.

A cracked or dislodged tooth

Maybe you've eaten something that's a little too tough. Or, maybe you dislodged a tooth after falling over. Both are dental emergencies, as cracked and dislodged teeth act as a point of entry for bacteria. If bacteria enter through the crack, they may cause an abscess, which is another dental emergency in itself.

You're experiencing severe dental pain

Not all dental pains require a visit to an emergency dentist. However, if it's severe, accompanied by swelling, you have a fever, and there's heat in the area, you may have a dental abscess that's affecting the rest of your body. While dental abscesses sound like a minor assault on your oral health, they can soon become problematic. Sometimes the abscesse's bacteria spreads into the bloodstream, which then causes a systemic infection. In severe cases, this leads to sepsis.

If you believe you have an abscess and you're immunocompromised, this is an especially urgent reason to see an emergency dentist. Individuals who are immunocompromised include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Those with diabetes
  • Individuals with autoimmune conditions
  • People with HIV/AIDS

Scenarios that aren't dental emergencies

Seeking an emergency dentist's attention when you don't have a dental emergency causes problems for others. Such situations include:

  • A crown has fallen out
  • You have problems with your dentures
  • A minor toothache
  • Signs of an abscess without a fever

In such situations, scheduling a regular appointment with your usual dentist frees up the emergency dentist's time for true emergencies. 

Now's a good time to take better care of your oral health

As with any area of healthcare, prevention is better than cure. Brushing your teeth twice daily, visiting your dentist twice a year, and steering clear of eating and drinking too many sugary substances can prevent dental emergencies from arising.

If you're unsure as to whether your concern constitutes a dental emergency, give the emergency dentist's office a call. If you're in need of their attention, they'll soon call you in to rectify the situation.