Understanding what to do when you have a dental emergency can make all the difference for the future health of the tooth in question. Acting quickly and knowing when it is good to visit your dentist can help to avoid further complications and can even save a tooth. But what is a dental emergency? How do you know when it’s important to visit your dentist? And how can South Hill Dental help you, both in a dental emergency and also to avoid future emergencies?
When we hear the words dental emergency, we often think of a scenario where a person’s tooth is accidentally knocked out or broken. Whilst this is one type of emergency, there are other reasons it may be necessary to visit your dentist as soon as possible, some are more obvious than others but ignoring the signs of a dental emergency can cause longer term problems.
Dental emergencies include:
- When a tooth is knocked out- losing a tooth can happen in a number of ways - from playing sports without an adequate mouthguard to falling over or being involved in an accident. Having a tooth knocked out can be a traumatic event but doesn’t always mean the tooth cannot be put back into place. It’s important you visit a dentist as soon as possible - read more about the three biggest mistakes people make in this situation here
- Toothache that is severe and may be accompanied by swelling or bleeding - ignoring toothache is never a good idea, but severe toothache that is often a constant throbbing or an intermittent sharp pain that doesn’t go away with pain relief can be a sign of a dental emergency. This is because it is often a sign of a tooth infection which can compromise the tooth and even spread into the sinuses, depending on the location of the tooth. Other symptoms can include fever or a high temperature, swelling or bleeding and an abscess.
- When a tooth is chipped or broken - knocking a tooth out completely is an obvious dental emergency, but any damage to your teeth, including chips, cracks or a break in the tooth, opens up the possibility of bacteria getting into the root and causing lasting damage. Ignoring damage to your teeth can have lasting consequences and can even lead to the loss of a tooth.
- Losing a crown, veneer or bridge - prosthetic tooth coverings, whether they partially or fully cover the tooth, often protect an already weakened tooth. If you lose or break a prosthetic it’s important to visit your dentist as soon as possible to protect the health of your teeth and avoid further damage.
- If a filling falls out - this will require quick action to have it fixed and refilled to ensure your tooth function is optimal again. Fillings can break or come out for a number of reasons, sometimes depending how long it has been in your tooth and whether you grind your teeth. But bottom line, it is important to take action.
As with a medical emergency, acting quickly and effectively can make a massive difference in the long term. The problem is, unlike a medical emergency, many of us are more likely to ignore a toothache or dental trauma, which can actually lead to the need for more extensive dental treatment and can even lead to losing the tooth in question.
Visiting a dentist in Puyallup in the event of a dental emergency will ensure you get the right advice and treatment.
Your dentist can use their specialist knowledge and experience to diagnose and treat your dental emergency effectively, using specialist equipment, such as x-ray machines, and scanners.
The best way to avoid dental emergencies in the future is to ensure you have an oral and dental health regime that includes regular check-ups and where needed, appropriate preventative treatment. Here at South Hill Dental, we offer excellent preventative care for patients of all ages, with specific treatments for children - like fissure sealants and fluoride varnish, which work to coat and protect the teeth from bacteria and plaque which lead to cavities - and recall programmes for adults, where we can effectively manage and monitor dental and oral health.
What number do I need to call in a dental emergency?
Where should I go for emergency dental treatment in Puyallup?
How much does emergency dental care cost at your dental office in Puyallup?
How much will insurance pay for my emergency dental treatment?
Is emergency dental treatment more expensive?
Does my dental insurance cover chipped tooth?
How qualified is your team to deal with my dental emergency?
Can I get emergency dental care for free?
The old saying ‘prevention is better than cure’ is definitely true when it comes to dentistry, for both adults and children. This begins with a good oral and dental hygiene routine, which includes brushing and flossing daily and regular visits to your dentist and hygienist.
Here at South Hill Dental, we also offer a wide range of preventative dental treatments, depending on your individual oral and dental health needs. For children, this can include using sealants to protect teeth as they grow, and mouthguards to protect teeth during sports activities.
For adults, we also offer oral health and mouth cancer screenings, as part of our regular check-ups, and can provide advice and treatment on sleep apnea and snoring. Whilst this is often a condition we just put up with, sleep apnea and snoring can impact on not only your oral health but also your general health and well-being.