Dental emergencies can catch you off guard and cause a great deal of anxiety, pain, and other potentially serious complications. When dental emergencies do occur, it is important to have easy and prompt access to a skilled dentist who has your best interests at heart. What is emergency dentistry and what are some of the most common procedures performed under this category? Are there any self-care tips you can follow during an emergency? When should you contact an emergency dentist? We will address these important questions in more detail in the information that follows.
What is Emergency Dentistry?
Emergency dentistry is generally described as dental procedures that are intended to diagnose and treat emergency situations such as tooth loss, breakage, infection, or trauma. Rather than standard or preventative care, emergency dentistry refers to procedures that come up short notice due to an unforeseen event such as facial trauma or infection. As the name implies, dental emergencies require immediate treatment to keep further complications from taking place.
The Importance of Not Ignoring Tooth Pain
If tooth pain is relatively minor or seems to improve after a period of time, many people may choose to ignore it or chalk it up to a random occurrence. However, tooth pain should always be evaluated by a dental professional even if it seems to get better on its own. Tooth pain occurs to alert the person to the presence of a problem. Cracks in teeth or other dental emergencies can sometimes allow infections to develop. Pain may be the first or only symptom that presents itself to allow the person to realize that a potentially serious issue is present. Ignoring the pain or brushing it off as insignificant could allow a minor infection to develop into a serious one that takes much longer to recover from. Various types of dental infections can occur. Infections can even become severe enough to spread to the bloodstream or to invade nearby bone structures of the face and jaw. Any occurrence of tooth pain, no matter how seemingly minor, should always be investigated and treated promptly.
Common Emergency Dental Procedures
There are several types of dental emergencies that occur on a frequent basis. The following is a list of common dental emergency procedures performed in the United States.
* Dental Implants
When a tooth is lost entirely, an empty opening remains that will eventually need to be filled with either an implant or dentures. If this does not occur, it can be difficult for the individual to chew or bite down on food properly.
* Root Canal Treatments
Root canal treatments may be required if a tooth suffers a crack or gets infected. By performing a root canal treatment, the dentist can clear out any infection and keep the tooth intact.
* Broken or Dislocated Jaw
Sometimes accidents or facial trauma can cause a broken or dislocated jaw. This is a situation that warrants medical attention right away.
* Dental Infections Requiring Antibiotics
Teeth with minor cavities, decay, or cracks can become infected at any point in time. A tooth infection can come on very suddenly and the person affected can experience a lot of pain. The majority of dental professionals will prescribe a course of antibiotics and pain medications to bring the infection under control. After the infection has improved, the dentist can address and treat the cause of the tooth infection to keep the problem from recurring.
Types of Emergency Dentists
The majority of dentists can handle specific forms of dental emergencies such as tooth infections and root canals. For some emergencies, a dental surgeon with specific skills may be required. For example, not all emergency dentists perform dental implants or are able to treat infections that occur within the jaw bone.
What to Look for in an Emergency Dentist
When you are faced with an unexpected dental emergency, it is a normal occurrence to be overwhelmed and anxious. This can be especially true if the situation is creating a lot of pain. The main thing you want to keep in mind is to look for a dentist with a lot of experience and compassion.
Self-Care Tips for Dental Emergencies
If you are faced with a dental emergency, it can be an overwhelming and frustrating time. When dealing with pain, be sure to contact a dentist right away for an evaluation. If you experience a traumatic blow to the face and have a tooth knocked out, it is recommended to keep the tooth on ice and take it with you to your dentist. Controlling any traumatic bleeding promptly and keeping the area clean is also an essential part of self-care until your dentist can treat your emergency.
Dental emergencies can be painful and scary to endure. It is important to seek prompt treatment from an experienced emergency dentist who has your best interests at heart. As a leading dental facility in Sugar Land, we have many years of experience in treating dental emergencies with accuracy. Please contact us today if you’re experiencing any dental issues that require prompt and compassionate care.