Most dental clinics offer services during weekdays, and appointments are made during normal business hours. But emergency dentists treat patients during weekends and outside of typical office hours. These dentists assist patients with serious dental problems that require fast treatment.
So what exactly is a dental emergency? When should you seek emergency dental treatment? Many people ask themselves these questions. There are several scenarios that dental professionals consider emergencies. Read on to find out when you should go to an emergency dentist.
You Have Severe Dental Pain
Severe dental pain is a very common reason for emergency dental appointments. There are several signs that your pain warrants an emergency trip to the dentist. Some examples include:
- pain that is resistant to treatment with NSAID medications
- pain when you bite or chew
- pain when you change positions
- pain accompanied by bleeding
- pain that is sudden and spontaneous
Call an emergency dentist if you have any of the issues above. Pain accompanied by signs of a dental infection are very serious, too. Learn more about signs of infection below.
You Have A Lost Or Loose Tooth
If you’re an adult, a loose tooth likely warrants an emergency dentist visit. Healthy adult teeth should never come loose. A lost tooth is also considered an emergency. Ask yourself if any of the following bullet points apply to you.
- an unexplained loose adult tooth with or without any pain
- a looose adult tooth caused by an injury
- an unexplained lost tooth with or without pain
- a very painful cracked or chipped tooth
If one or more points apply to you, call an emergency dentist right away. It’s crucial to do so even if you aren’t in pain. Adult teeth are meant to be permanent, so a lost or loose tooth is not normal.
You Have A Dental Infection
Dental infections are serious and require urgent treatment. Infections spread fast and can spread to other parts of your body. Common signs of a dental infection include:
- persistent throbbing toothache
- sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
- difficulty chewing and biting food
- sudden facial swelling
- swollen or tender lymph nodes
- a foul taste in your mouth
- a foul odor coming from your mouth
- a fever in combination with other signs
You may experience these symptoms along with dental pain. That means an infection is likely, so seek emergency dental treatment quickly.
What To Do If You Aren’t Sure
If you feel uncertain, call an emergency dentist to describe your symptoms. It’s better to play it safe to avoid long-term dental problems. The dentist may recommend an emergency appointment based on your symptoms.