What Is Emergency Dentistry? How to Handle a Dental Emergency?

By Girish Bharwani

When faced with sudden dental pain or injury, knowing how to respond can make a significant difference. Emergency dentistry is an essential area of dental care that focuses on treating conditions requiring immediate attention to alleviate severe pain, save teeth, and prevent complications.

In this blog, we will explore what constitutes a dental emergency, how to handle dental emergencies, and how Dr. Bharwani’s expertise at GB Dentistry can help you in these urgent situations.

What is emergency dentistry?

Emergency dentistry means the urgent care provided for dental issues that require immediate professional attention. This branch of dental healthcare is critical because some dental problems cannot wait until regular office hours.

Imagine suddenly cracking a tooth on the weekend or experiencing unbearable toothache pain in the middle of the night. These scenarios require immediate action to prevent further damage or extensive pain, and that’s where emergency dentistry comes in.

At GB Dentistry in Memorial, Houston, Dr. Bharwani and his team are equipped to handle all dental emergencies with professionalism. Emergency dental care often involves treating severe infections, saving teeth that have been knocked out or badly damaged, and addressing any dental discomfort that cannot wait.

With the right knowledge and quick action, you can effectively manage dental emergencies until you receive professional attention.

What dental emergencies need emergency dental care?

Understanding what situations qualify as dental emergencies can help you decide when to seek immediate care from an emergency dentist. Dr. Bharwani emphasizes the importance of recognizing these critical conditions to prevent further complications and ensure the best treatment. Here are several types of dental emergencies that require immediate attention:

  1. Severe toothache: Pain that is intense and unrelenting can be a sign of serious issues such as infection or decay reaching the nerve of the tooth. It’s important not to ignore these symptoms as they can worsen rapidly.
  2. Knocked-out tooth: If a tooth has been completely dislodged, timely treatment is critical. Successfully replanting a knocked-out tooth is most effective within an hour after the accident. Keeping the tooth moist and handling it properly by the crown, not the root, increases the chances of saving it.
  3. Broken or cracked tooth: Any damage to a tooth, whether it results from an accident or biting on something hard, requires urgent care. A cracked tooth can cause pain and is vulnerable to infection, which can spread to the bone and surrounding teeth if not treated timely.
  4. Dental abscess: An abscess is a severe infection that occurs around the root of a tooth or in the space between the teeth and gums. This condition can lead to swelling and severe pain and the infection can spread if the abscess isn’t drained and treated.
  5. Lost fillings or crowns: When a filling or crown falls out, the exposed tooth becomes vulnerable to damage and decay. It’s important to see a dentist as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
  6. Uncontrolled bleeding: If bleeding from the gums or soft tissues in the mouth doesn’t stop with first aid measures, consider it an emergency. Persistent bleeding can be a sign of more critical emergencies that need immediate professional intervention.
  7. Severe infections: Any signs of infection, such as severe swelling, fever, or pus, indicate a need for urgent care. Infections can deteriorate rapidly, affecting not just oral health but overall health as well.

What to do in a dental emergency?

When a dental emergency occurs, the actions taken in the first few minutes can impact the outcome. Dr. Bharwani and his team guide you through these urgent situations. Here’s what you should do if you find yourself or someone else facing a dental emergency:

  1. Stay calm: Keeping calm helps you think clearly and act quickly, which is crucial in a dental emergency.
  2. Contact your dentist immediately: In cases of dental emergencies, time is of the essence. Most dental offices, including GB Dentistry, have an emergency contact number. Call as soon as possible to describe the situation and receive immediate care.
  3. Manage bleeding: If there is bleeding, apply gentle pressure with a clean gauze or cloth. Persistent bleeding requires immediate attention, so contact your dentist or go to the emergency room if it doesn’t stop.
  4. Preserve a knocked-out tooth: For a knocked-out tooth, handle the tooth by the dental crown (the part that is above the gum line), not the root. Rinse the tooth with water if it’s dirty but do not scrub it. If possible, reinsert the tooth in the socket and hold it in place using a clean cloth or gauze. If you cannot reinsert it, keep the tooth moist by placing it in a cup of milk and bring it to your dentist immediately.
  5. Address pain: For severe toothaches, rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it and use cold compresses on your face to reduce swelling. Avoid using aspirin directly against the gums or the aching tooth as this can cause tissue damage.
  6. Cover sharp edges: If a broken tooth has left sharp edges, cover them with wax or sugarless chewing gum to protect your tongue and cheeks until you see your dentist 77079.
  7. Use over-the-counter pain relief: While waiting to see the dentist, use over-the-counter pain relievers to manage discomfort. Follow the recommended dosage and consider medications that also reduce inflammation, such as ibuprofen.
  8. Avoid certain foods: Avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the emergency has occurred. Stay away from hard, sticky, or chewy foods that can exacerbate the problem.
  9. Follow specific care instructions: For issues like lost crowns or fillings, if you can, try to put them back in place temporarily using dental cement, which can be found at most pharmacies. Do not use super glue or any other non-dental adhesive.
  10. Seek professional help: If you’re unsure whether your situation is a dental emergency, it’s better to err on the side of caution and consult with your dentist in memorial, Houston.

Understanding these tips and acting quickly can help alleviate pain and increase the chances of a successful treatment following a dental emergency. Always remember, timely intervention by a professional like Dr. Bharwani is critical in managing dental emergencies effectively. You can like our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Dental emergencies can be stressful and full of uncertainty. To help you better understand how to handle these situations, here are some frequently asked questions about emergency dental care:

Can a knocked-out tooth be saved?

Yes, a knocked-out tooth can often be saved if you act quickly. The best chance for successful re implantation is if the tooth is returned to its socket within an hour of being knocked out. Handle the tooth by the crown, rinse it gently if it’s dirty, and try to place it back in the socket or keep it moist in milk until you can get to a dentist near you.

What should I do if I break a tooth?

Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area and use a cold compress on your face to reduce swelling. Collect any pieces of the broken tooth you can find and bring them with you to your appointment. Avoid eating on that side of your mouth and call your dentist immediately for further advice.

How do I manage tooth pain until I can see a dentist?

Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it out and use a cold compress on the outside of your cheek to help reduce pain and swelling. Over-the-counter pain relievers can also be used to alleviate discomfort. Avoid placing aspirin or other painkillers directly against your gums or the aching tooth.

Is bleeding from the gums a dental emergency?

If the bleeding is minor and stops quickly, it may not be an emergency. However, uncontrolled or prolonged bleeding could indicate a more serious condition and requires immediate dental attention.

Should I go to the ER for a dental emergency?

For most dental emergencies, it’s best to contact your dentist because most ERs are not equipped to handle specific dental procedures, such as repairing broken teeth or reimplanting knocked-out teeth. However, if you have severe swelling, uncontrollable bleeding, or trauma to your face or jaw, you should go to the emergency room.

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