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How to Know if You are Having a Dental Emergency or Not

Whether caused by underlying health or dental concerns or if you have experienced sudden trauma everyone may be in need of urgent dental care at some point in their life. Our Vancouver dentists share some advice on how to know if you are having a dental emergency and what the next steps are that you should take.

Dental Emergencies and Urgent Care Situations

Generally speaking, any serious concern involving your teeth or mouth would be considered a dental emergency. Specifically, this can include:

Knocked Out or Broken Teeth

While a chipped or broken tooth can be restored we would still consider this to be a dental emergency. The dentist may be able to repair the fracture or chip with a filling, whereas more serious breaks may need a crown or root canal.

If you have had a tooth knocked out then you will need to bring the tooth with you to the dentist within an hour in order to have the same tooth replaced in its socket. The tooth has a better chance of taking root again within this time frame. After the two-hour mark, the chances decrease significantly, and alternative measures will have to be considered.

Toothache That Can't Be Relieved

If you experience a toothache you cannot manage with over-the-counter pain medication, first, apply ice to the area and contact your dentist as soon as possible, as this is considered a dental emergency.

Toothaches should be taken seriously as they can be an indication of greater concerns occurring beneath the surface.

A Misplaced Filling

A lost filling is also serious as it exposes the interior of your tooth, weakening its structure. It’s important to see a dentist to have the filling replaced as soon as possible. You can protect the area until you get to the dentist by replacing the filling temporarily with a softened piece of sugarless gum.

Object Stuck Between Your Teeth

If you get an object stuck between your teeth then you will need to have it removed quickly to lower the risk of further complications. If you cannot dislodge the object with floss, do not use a sharp object to attempt to remove it yourself as this could push it further between your teeth - or injure your gums. In this case, you should contact your dentist right away.

Bitten Tongue or Lip resulting in Excessive Bleeding

We all know the feeling of biting our lip or tongue, but what happens if we bite hard enough to cause bleeding that won't stop? If this happens then you should get in touch with your dentists to have the injury examined. In the meantime, apply a clean cloth to the part of the mouth that’s bleeding and press down. Use an ice pack to reduce swelling, and look for urgent dental care.

Dental Abscess Caused By Infection

A dental abscess is a buildup of pus which forms inside the teeth or gums. This very painful condition usually develops from a bacterial infection, often within the soft pulp of the tooth or the root of the tooth. They can be caused by a cavity that’s been left untreated, severe gum disease or perhaps a chipped tooth.

If you are experiencing the symptoms of a dental abscess, they can include anything from a bad taste in your mouth to swollen glands, pain, pus or a fever. An abscessed tooth will usually need surgery to drain the infection and treat it properly. Root canal surgery and antibiotics are typically used to treat an abscessed tooth.

Are you experiencing a dental emergency? Our Vancouver dentists will make every effort to see you as soon as possible during our regular office hours.

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