Here at Lovett Dental Pasadena, we regularly receive calls that start with the words – I have a dental emergency. It’s understandably a scary experience for some of our patients, and it can be difficult to know what to do at the time. If you’ve broken a tooth, lost a tooth, or have a painful infection, it’s important to act fast.
But you might also be asking, but what do I do if I have a dental emergency outside of office hours? We know that emergencies sometimes happen at the weekend or in the middle of the night. If you experience a serious dental emergency, then you will probably need to see a dentist or an ER doctor regardless of the time.
How Do I Know If I Have a Dental Emergency?
Deciding whether you need urgent dental care can be challenging if you’re experiencing pain and discomfort. If you have any of these issues, it’s best to head to the dentist as soon as possible. You should see a dentist right away if you experience the following:
- Broken, cracked, or chipped tooth
- Swollen gums
- Lost filling, bridge, or crown
- Knocked-out Teeth
If you lose a tooth in a moment of impact, this is a serious emergency. If you act quickly, your dentist has a chance of reinserting your tooth. After losing the tooth, clean it with water, and keep it safe before heading straight to the dentist. If you take a blow to the face, our highly specialized maxillofacial surgeons are available for emergencies relating to injuries in the jaw and wider face area.
A tooth abscess is a serious and occasionally life-threatening problem. It occurs when pus within a tooth causes an infection. You’ll know that you have a potential abscess if you’re experiencing extreme sensitivity to hot and cold foods, a fever, soreness, swelling, and have a bump on your gums near the affected tooth.
Keep in mind that an abscess can be severe if the infection spreads to the jaw and surrounding area. If you suspect you might have an abscess, treat it as an emergency and head straight to your dentist.
What Doesn’t Count as a Dental Emergency?
Sometimes dental discomfort and pain don’t necessarily warrant an emergency trip to the dentist. If you’re suffering from a dull ache that might be from a missing filling, you can probably wait for a couple of days before scheduling an appointment.
General tooth pain is not usually a serious emergency. So long as you’re not experiencing a fever, swelling, or bumps on your gums, there’s no need to rush to your dentist.
How to Prevent Dental Emergencies
Many dental issues can be prevented with high-quality dental care. Schedule regular check-ups with your dentist and be proactive by following a good dental care routine at home.
It’s important that your dentist checks for any signs of cavities, infections, gum disease, and loose teeth. That way, if a problem does arise, your dentist can devise a treatment plan to prevent these issues from developing into dental emergencies.
Taking good care of your teeth with regular brushing and flossing will help you keep your teeth healthy. However, we know that sometimes no amount of diligent care will prevent a dental emergency.
If you’re in pain and have a dental emergency, act quickly to prevent it from getting worse. Lovett Dental Pasadena can assist you if you have a dental emergency. The words ‘I have a dental emergency’ don’t need to be surrounded by panic or fear. Visit Lovett Dental Pasadena or call 281-998-8800 to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.