If you are like most people, seeing a dentist is something you do, at best, twice a year and it is not uncommon to see a dentist only when a problem occurs. Therefore, when a problem does happen, it is often challenging to determine what qualifies as an emergency and what does not. Fortunately,there are three occasions where it makes a lot of sense to see a dentist right away, regardless of where you are or when it is.
Severe Dental Pain (Alone Or With Other Symptoms)
Dental pain is the cause of many dental appointments, as it usually indicates a problem, but some types of dental pain are more serious. If it is accompanied by fever, swelling in the area of the pain or a change in your vision, you need immediate dental treatment. A broken tooth may hurt, but an infected tooth is agonizing.
If you experience any of the extra symptoms, you may have an infected tooth. In addition to the pain of a standard toothache, an infected tooth could quickly spread to your brain. In recent years, people have died from complications of a severely infected and untreated tooth.
The point is, that if you only have some pain and can make it through the night with hot or cold compresses and over-the-counter pain medicine, do so...but get an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
A Cracked Or Chipped Tooth (It Is Worse Than What You Think)
In theory, everyone knows that when you chip or crack a tooth, you should see a dentist as soon as possible. The reality is that doing so is not always an affordable option, and therefore it is easy to delay it. However, as mentioned above, a dental infection can kill you or make you very sick, very quickly.
What you may not know is that one of the most common ways for a tooth to become infected is through a crack or chip. Even a tiny one that you have had for months, without pain or complication, can set the stage for bacteria to enter. Therefore, see the dentist as soon as possible, even if the dentist does not consider it to be an emergency. It is also important to note that prompt repair of a chipped tooth can prevent the need for more expensive work, like a root canal, later on.
In conclusion, it is a good idea to remember that individual dentists (like those at Empire Dental emergency) may have different ideas as to what constitutes a dental emergency. The important thing to remember, if you want to avoid being in agony one day with a fever and a much higher bill from your dentist, ask for the next available dental appointment.