Dental issues and injuries do not always happen during regular business hours. Often, urgent dental concerns, such as a knocked-out tooth, occur on the weekend, over holidays, or in the middle of the night. In that instance, you need an emergency dentist.
It is important to know what an emergency dentist does and what to do if you need an emergency dentist. Read on to learn what to do if you or a family member has a dental emergency and how an emergency dentist can ease your pain and discomfort or even save your teeth.
An emergency dentist performs many of the same procedures and solutions a general dentist does. The primary difference is that an emergency dentist can provide the help you need when you need it, without an appointment, and even outside regular office hours. This availability can significantly increase your chances of saving a tooth or preventing infection from spreading.
What Does an Emergency Dentist Do?
Emergency dentists focus on treating dental injuries and infections that require immediate attention. For example, you may need to see an emergency dentist right away if you have swelling in the soft tissues of your mouth or if you are in unmanageable pain, meaning you cannot relieve the pain with over-the-counter pain relievers or topical treatments such as warm compresses.
An emergency dentist can quickly evaluate your condition and take the necessary steps to repair the damage and protect your other teeth. They are skilled at treating oral health issues of all types, from lost fillings to serious abscesses and tooth loss.
You can learn more about dental emergencies and the many emergency services Westchase Smiles Institute in Tampa, FL, has to offer by calling (813) 920-9144.
When Should You See an Emergency Dentist?
Some mouth injuries and issues are obvious, while others may be puzzling. If you experience any of the following problems, you should see an emergency dentist, especially if you have severe pain, swelling, or fever.
- Traumatic mouth injuries: Traumatic mouth injuries are serious injuries such as missing or dislocated teeth resulting from a hard impact. Mouth injuries not only harm your teeth but may also damage the gums and lead to swelling, bleeding, and pain.
- Broken or chipped teeth: A damaged tooth may not require a visit to an emergency dentist, but it is a good idea to call them for advice. A small chip can wait for a scheduled appointment, but a significant break could become very serious if you wait.
- Loose or broken crowns: A dental crown protects the vulnerable remains of the tooth and nerve pulp beneath it, so when it cracks, loosens, or falls out, it leaves the tooth beneath susceptible to food particles and bacteria. A broken or missing crown requires a temporary crown to keep the area clean and protected until the permanent crown is ready.
- Sudden, unexplained mouth pain: Any sudden mouth pain with no explanation should be referred to an emergency dentist. Likewise, stabbing pain in the jaw, unresolved toothache pain, or sores of any kind in the mouth should also be examined by an emergency dentist right away.
- Exposed nerve: An exposed nerve can result in a great deal of pain and discomfort. However, that hurt is a good sign in this case. If an exposed nerve stops hurting, it may indicate a dead nerve, which can point to more serious dental issues. Call an emergency dentist immediately.
A dental abscess is one of the most common dental ailments seen by an emergency dentist. Abscessed teeth all start with the same problem: a cavity. When tooth decay is not properly cared for, it weakens the tooth around it and makes it a prime target for bacteria.
A tooth abscess is an infection that has reached the soft tissues at the tooth’s root, also known as the pulp. The infected area will become swollen and inflamed, and pus may be visible at the root or between the tooth and the gumline.
Your emergency dentist can drain the pus and flush the area clean, as well as prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection.
A knocked-out tooth, known medically as an “avulsed” tooth, is a permanent tooth that has been knocked out by an impact or other trauma. In many cases, a knocked-out tooth can be put back into place or replanted, but time is of the essence.
If you or a family member loses a tooth and you can save the tooth, root, and all, it’s best to bring it to an emergency dentist as soon as possible. First, place the tooth in milk to keep it moist. If you do not have milk available, the tooth’s owner can tuck it carefully in the pocket of their cheek. The key is to prevent the tooth from drying out. Once the tooth is secure, visit an emergency dentist as quickly as possible.
Find More Information About Emergency Dental Services in Tampa
Now that you’ve found some answers to the question, “What does an emergency dentist do?” you can understand the importance of knowing what emergency dental services are available in your area.
The friendly professionals at Westchase Smiles Institute understand that going to the dentist isn’t easy, especially when pain and discomfort are already involved. They strive to provide the highest quality emergency dental services in Tampa, delivered in a warm, calm-inducing environment. Their caring staff and exceptional service have made them one of the city’s most trusted emergency dental clinics.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Westchase Smiles Institute today at (813) 920-9144 or visit www.westchasesmilesinstitute.com/.