Many patients who long to improve their smile or address orthodontic problems wonder if Invisalign® is a possible course of treatment. By using clear plastic instead of metal brackets and arches, these aligners are a more discreet alternative to traditional braces. However, not everyone can benefit from this option. Continue reading to learn what problems…
How To Know If a Toothache Is a Dental Emergency
An individual suffering from a toothache may consider it a dental emergency if a great deal of pain is involved. Some toothaches are cause for immediate concern, so a visit to the emergency dentist is the appropriate option. In other cases, pain relief options can be utilized until a visit to the regular dentist can be scheduled.
What makes a toothache a dental emergency?
A few factors can help a patient determine if an immediate visit to an emergency dentist is necessary or if waiting until a standard dental appointment is available is a better solution. If a patient is experiencing one of these conditions, it could be an emergency situation.
One of the most common reasons for seeing a dentist for a dental emergency is to alleviate severe pain that is the result of a gum or tooth issue. Some individuals are able to take painkillers and wait, but root pain from a tooth issue can often be severe enough to cause issues with day-to-day activities. Although the source of the pain may not be an emergency itself, the severity of the pain can be cause enough to have the issue addressed immediately.
Broken or knocked-out tooth
Another common dental emergency involves a tooth that is damaged in an accident. A tooth that is cracked can often be salvaged with prompt treatment. If a piece is broken off, having a crown placed can often prevent removal of the entire tooth. If a tooth is knocked out completely, the issue should be addressed as quickly as possible to reduce the amount of damage to the tissues. In the case of prolonged bleeding from tooth damage, a visit to the emergency dentist may be needed to fix the gums and stop the bleeding.
Infection of dental tissues
A dental abscess or other infection can become serious quickly, so if an individual experiences a sudden increase in pain, fever or drainage involving the teeth or gums, an emergency visit to the dental may be warranted. Sudden swelling in the gums can be an indicator of an infection or other gum-related issue. Prompt treatment of an abscess or infection can prevent the spread of infection and reduce the amount of damage to the gums.
Problems outside of dental office hours
Sometimes a visit to an emergency dental practice has more to do with timing than anything else. If an issue arises on a Friday afternoon after the regular practice is closed but cannot wait until Monday, it makes sense to go ahead to an after-hours clinic for treatment.
Not every dental issue is a dental emergency, so learning the difference between what problems indicate an immediate visit and what problems can wait until an available appointment can save a patient the added expense of an emergency dentist. In cases of increasingly worsening infection, acute tooth damage or excessive pain, a visit to the emergency dentist may be the right course of action.
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