When Should You See an Emergency Dentist?

While nobody wants to spend any more time than necessary at the dentist, it’s important to recognize when you should see an emergency dentist. Failure to do so could result in further medical complications and expenses. Here are the appropriate steps to take in various dental emergencies.

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Knocked Out Tooth

A knocked out tooth is a definite dental emergency, but if you follow the appropriate steps there is a high likelihood that your dentist will be able will be able to reinsert and preserve the tooth. First, pick up the tooth by the crown (not the roots, this can cause damage) then gently rinse the tooth to clean it. Do not scrub or attempt to wash it in any other way. If possible, gently place the tooth back in its socket and slowly bite down, if not place the tooth in a small container filled with milk. Call your dentist immediately, the sooner you get there the higher the likelihood is of the tooth being saved.

Loose/ Misaligned Tooth

A loose or wobbly tooth requires an immediate call to the emergency dentist. In the meantime you may attempt to reposition the tooth back into its normal position with light pressure from your finger. Your dentist will probably splint the loose tooth to a sturdy neighbor for stability.

Chipped/ Cracked Tooth

If a tooth is chipped but you aren’t feeling any pain it probably doesn’t constitute an immediate emergency. Be sure to be careful not to chip the tooth further and visit your dentist when convenient. However a cracked or fractured tooth does constitute a dental emergency, as this often means that the tooth has been damaged internally as well as externally. Immediately call your dentist and arrange an emergency appointment then follow these steps: Gently rinse your mouth with warm water, and then apply a cold compress to the affected area. Next, take an over-the-counter painkiller to minimize pain. Be sure to never apply a gel painkiller to an area with a fractured tooth, this can cause permanent gum damage and lead to infection. If the soft tissue inside the tooth is damaged you may need a root canal, if the injury is merely external you may only need a crown.

General Emergency Guidelines

Here are some questions you can use to determine if a situation qualifies as a dental emergency: Are you bleeding from the mouth? Are you in severe pain? Do you have any loose teeth? Have you been hit in the face or mouth? Do you have any swelling in the mouth or facial area? Do you have any bulges, swelling or knots on your gums?  If you answer yes to any of these questions, then you should call a dentist immediately.

To schedule an appointment to talk to your dentist about dental emergencies, please contact Annapolis Dental Care by calling (410) 267-0766 or visit AnnapolisDentalCare.com today! We look forward to getting to know your family and improving your oral health care!


Consumer Guide to Dentistry


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