Dental trauma is probably not something you think about when it comes to medical emergencies. However, problems with your teeth can be severe and debilitating. They call for immediate care just as much as a bodily injury would. The dental staff at Bright Smile Dental alleviates toothaches, executes emergency root canals and fixes cracked or missing teeth on short notice.
Not all dental treatments require emergency treatment, but there are certain dental problems that can arise that require immediate attention. Emergency dental appointments work similarly to trips to the ER at the hospital: these appointments are designed to get you dental care as quickly as possible for a serious dental health need.
Finding an emergency dentist can be an overwhelming task. Not only are you concerned about your oral health, but you have to find an emergency dentist near me who can make an appointment and take care of your needs so you can get back to better dental health. Knowing what constitutes an emergency dental need compared to a non-emergency need can help you understand when to find an emergency dentist and when you can make a regular appointment.
The ADA (American Dental Association) has recommendations for what classifies a dental emergency compared to urgent and non-urgent dental needs. While each patient and case is different, these recommendations are a good starting point to determine if you should make an emergency or urgent appointment for your dental needs.
The ADA classifies a dental emergency as anything that is potentially life-threatening and/or anything that requires immediate attention to stop bleeding, alleviate infection, or ease severe pain. This includes:
- Trauma to facial bones, especially those that may obstruct the airway
- Cellulitis or soft tissue bacterial infection
- Uncontrolled bleeding
According to the ADA, urgent dental care is that care which addresses immediate concerns to prevent infection and/or relieve severe pain as well as to prevent the potential of hospital emergency department visits. These may include:
- Loose tooth
- Knocked-out tooth
- Large chip or crack in tooth
- Broken tooth or large piece of tooth missing
- Severe toothache
Other dental needs are considered non-urgent, and can be addressed through a regular appointment. These include dental needs such as:
- Routine cleanings and preventative visits
- Oral examinations
- Extraction of asymptomatic teeth
- Restorative dentistry
- Orthodontic procedures (except those that address acute pain, trauma, infection, etc.)
These guidelines are intended to give you an idea as to whether your dental needs are an emergency or not. If you have a concern, call your dentist and explain your need. If you need an emergency appointment, one can be scheduled for you.
Emergency Dental Services
Dr. Cheung and the rest of the staff at Bright Smile Dental can help with the following:
Toothache Remedies: Toothaches often seem like a minor problem, but they can lead to major dental issues. Prolonged aches and pain can lead to or exacerbate tooth decay. If you're feeling any pain or discomfort, contact Bright Smile Dental right away.
Breaks, Chips, or Cracks: You can't prevent accidents, but you definitely shouldn't avoid going to the dentist in the case of a dental emergency. Contact us to set up your visit as soon as possible. If you've been injured, clean your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress on your face to alleviate pain and swelling. Because Bright Smile Dental may be able to reattach any broken or chipped pieces during your dentist visit, simply bring the tooth to your appointment in a wet towel. Postponing immediate dental care can result in emergency root canals later.
Loosened or Avulsed Teeth: Playing sports is excellent for your health, but sometimes results in injured teeth. Sports wounds can cause chipped teeth and even totally avulse the teeth in certain situations. Bright Smile Dental can help with emergencies including loose or avulsed teeth. Depending on the situation, it is possible to briefly attach your missing tooth until you can see the dentist. If that's not a possibility, rinse the tooth under a faucet. Do not rub, as that may cause root damage.
Q. How do I know if my need is an emergency?
A. The ADA guidelines indicate that a dental emergency is anything that is potentially life-threatening and/or anything that requires immediate attention to stop bleeding, alleviate infection, or ease severe pain. This includes bleeding, bacterial infection, or trauma to facial bones.
Q. How do I know if my need is urgent?
A. The ADA guidelines indicate that an urgent dental care addresses immediate concerns to prevent infection and/or relieve severe pain as well as to prevent the potential of hospital emergency department visits. This includes damage to teeth, such as cracking or breaking, as well as severe toothache or abscess.
Q. What are some signs that I have an infection that needs to be addressed?
A. A bacterial infection is one type of dental care need that should never be ignored. Some signs of infection include:
- Persistent, throbbing toothache
- Radiating pain into jawbone, neck, and/or ear
- Sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures
- Sensitivity to chewing or biting
- Swelling at the area of pain
If you think you have an infection, it is a good idea to make an appointment for an evaluation and possible treatment to prevent complications.
Q. What is an abscess and how do I know if I have one?
A. An abscess is a pocket of pus in or near a tooth that is caused by an infection. If you have an infection that isn't treated, it can develop into an abscess. Symptoms of an abscess are similar to an infection. In addition, you may experience bad breath, have pus oozing from the site, or have severe cavities on the affected tooth.
Q. Why is a damaged tooth (cracked, chipped, etc.) an urgent dental need?
A. If you have a damaged tooth, the area under the enamel that is exposed from the damage is at risk of infection. In addition, even a small chip or crack can lead to more damage and a higher risk of infection. Fixing your damaged tooth right away will keep you in better oral health and prevent the tooth from getting infected.
Q. What if I'm not sure about whether I have an emergency?
A. Contacting your Powell emergency dentist will help. You can explain your dental needs, and the office can help you determine the best way to address your problem. If it is an emergency or urgent dental need, they will help you schedule an immediate appointment.
Q. What if I have a regular appointment coming up?
A. If you have an emergency or urgent dental need that arises before your regularly scheduled appointment, you should call your dentist to discuss your options. Depending on your need and how soon your appointment is, you may be able to wait. If the problem is more serious, you may need to schedule an emergency appointment.
Call Bright Smile Dental for your Emergency Needs
Contact Bright Smile Dental as soon as you can in the circumstance of a dental emergency. Our emergency dental team is committed to the Powell and greater Ohio area. Bright Smile Dental is not open 24/7, but we will get you treated as soon as possible. See our office hours at the bottom of our page. You can call our Powell, Ohio office at 614-552-3993.