Taking care of your teeth isn’t always as simple as brushing twice a day. There are many reasons why you may need to see your dentist; however, it is important to differentiate the difference between needing to see your regular dentist and needing an emergency dental appointment. Accidents happen every day, but some injuries will require immediate treatment, while others can wait for the regular business hours in which your dentist operates.
When should I visit an emergency dentist?
Knocking out a tooth is the most common reason behind visits to the emergency dentist. Whether the tooth is cracked, broken or knocked out completely, the quicker you get to a dentist, the better off you will be.
You can cause trauma to your teeth through:
- Sporting injuries
- Biting down on hard material or food
- Hard blows to the mouth
If your tooth has been damaged, you should judge the severity of the trauma to see whether it requires an emergency dental appointment.
Cases of cracked or knocked-out teeth will require an emergency appointment; however, if the tooth is chipped or has a minor fracture, you may just need to book a regular dental appointment. Very severe trauma to the teeth can dislodge a large chunk of the tooth or leave the nerve endings exposed (ouch!). In cases like this, you should seek immediate medical attention. If the source of your dental pain is not immediately apparent, such as abscesses or severe toothache, an emergency dentist may be needed.
What to do whilst waiting for your emergency dental appointment
Be sure to call your dental practice if you think you need to be seen immediately, as we often leave some appointments open for emergency cases. If the dental practice is closed, please call our emergency number for advice on what to do if you have damaged a tooth. Failing this, head to your nearest emergency room and wait to be seen. You will be examined to see if you require immediate medical attention or if it can wait to be seen by your regular dentist.
There are certain precautions you should take when waiting to be seen, especially if you have knocked a tooth out entirely. If the tooth has been knocked out, try to handle it as little as possible, and try putting it back into the socket whilst being cautious not to swallow the tooth. If your tooth will not go back into the socket, try biting down on a moistened compress and rinse off the tooth. Then, keep it in a container with either milk or your saliva until you are visited by a professional.