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What is Considered to be a Dental Emergency?

Whenever you are faced with a dental problem, your Ottawa dentist should be the first person you contact. But what happens if you are dealing with a dental issue over a weekend, holiday, or in the middle of the night? If you encounter a severe oral health program outside of regular office hours, you will likely need an emergency dentist. But what is considered to be a dental emergency?

It is crucial to understand the differences between a usual dental issue that can be dealt with in the morning and a real dental emergency that could threaten your health and even cost you a tooth.

What is Considered to be a Dental Emergency: Full Guide

Dental emergencies are more common than you may think: according to American Family Physician, 22% of the population have experienced oral or dental pain in the past six months.

However, not every single dental problem should be considered an emergency. To determine whether it can wait or if you need to see an emergency dentist in Ottawa as soon as possible, consider the following questions:

  • Have you lost a tooth? If treated quickly, the tooth could potentially be saved.
  • Are you experiencing severe pain? Bleeding and severe pain mean that it is time to pay a visit to the nearest Ottawa emergency dentist.
  • Do you have an infection? Swelling or knots on the gums or swollen face may signal an infection. A serious infection or an abscess in your mouth could be potentially life-threatening and should be treated as soon as possible.
  • Do you have loose teeth? Even without pain, a loose tooth signals a serious problem.
  • Is your mouth bleeding? This could be a sign that you need emergency care.

So what is considered to be a dental emergency in Ottawa? Overall, any dental issue requiring immediate dental treatment in order to alleviate serious pain, stop bleeding, or save a tooth is considered an emergency. Furthermore, any infections that could be life-threatening are dental emergencies.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may require a visit to an emergency dental clinic in Ottawa. Call your Ottawa dentist right away and describe in detail what happened. If your dental clinic is closed, you may need to contact an emergency dentist or even the emergency room.

What Does Not Require Emergency Dental Care in Ottawa

In general, if you can wait to see your dentist in the next few days, it is not an emergency. Many times, issues that seem critical at first sight can actually wait for a couple of days if you take good care of yourself.

  • Chipped or Cracked Tooth | Broken Tooth | Emergency Dentist OttawaA broken tooth is only an emergency if the fracture has left sharp fragments traumatizing the inside of your mouth or you experience severe pain. If the chipped tooth doesn’t hurt, a dentist visit can wait a few days.
  • A toothache treatment can also be delayed if the pain is not severe and you do not have an abscess. However, if you notice signs, such as bumps on the gums, high fever, or swelling, contact your dentist immediately.
  • If you have lost a filling or a crown, you can probably wait several days to see the dentist. If your crown falls out, you can try putting it back in place with over-the-counter dental cement or denture adhesive until you see your dentist. In case you lost a filling, you could temporarily replace it with a piece of sugar-free gum.

Common Dental Emergencies: What to Do?

If you are experiencing any of these common dental emergencies, here are a few first-aid tips until you can see your dentist.

Knocked-Out Tooth

The American Association of Endodontists states that quick and correct actions after a tooth has been knocked could potentially save your tooth.

What to do with a knocked out tooth:

  1. If your tooth has been knocked out, carefully pick it up by the top part (the crown), – it is important to avoid touching the root.
  2. Carefully rinse the tooth without scrubbing.
  3. If it is possible, reinsert the tooth in the socket.
  4. If you are not able to do so, place the tooth in a glass of milk and get to the dentist as fast as possible.
  5. Getting timely Ottawa dental help will increase the chances of saving your tooth.

Chipped or Cracked Tooth

When thinking about what is considered to be a dental emergency, chipped or cracked teeth could be a tricky one. Usually, chipped teeth that do not hurt are not considered an emergency. However, you should be extra careful while chewing in order to prevent it from chipping more.

A cracked or fractured tooth presents a serious issue, as it usually suggests that damage has happened not only to the outside of your tooth, but also to the inside. Sometimes, fractures are so extreme that the tooth cannot be saved.

If you have a serious fracture that causes you pain, call your dentist right away. While you await your appointment, follow these steps:

  1. Rinse your mouth with warm water.
  2. Apply a cold compress to your cheek in order to reduce swelling.
  3. You may take acetaminophen to minimize pain.
  4. Avoid using a numbing gel or pain killer, as it could damage your gums.

An X-ray may be required in order for your dentist to diagnose the condition. If the tooth pulp is damaged, you may require a root canal. If it is not, you may only need a crown.

Dental Abscess

When thinking about what is considered to be a dental emergency, dental abscess inevitably comes to mind. An abscessed tooth occurs when a pocket of pus inside of the tooth causes an infection. It is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition. It could cause tooth sensitivity to cold and hot, high fever, tender lymph nodes in your neck, a consistent toothache, swollen face, and bumps on the gums near the affected tooth.

A dental abscess constitutes a dental emergency, as the infection could spread into the jaw and other surrounding tissues. Until you are able to see a dentist, use salt water rinse several times a day in order to draw the pus to the surface and alleviate the pain.

How to Avoid Potential Dental Emergencies

The best way to avoid dental emergencies is to take good care of your teeth and gums on a daily basis and have regular check-ups and cleanings with your Ottawa dentist. During these routine visits, your dentist will check if there are any loose crowns and fillings, as well as any signs of gum disease, decay, or infections.

A customized treatment plan can be devised to address any issues well before they turn into an emergency. If you understand what is considered to be a dental emergency, you can listen to your body and look for signs that you may be developing dental problems.

Looking for an Emergency Dental Clinic in Ottawa? Contact Rockcliffe Dental & Denture Centre!

Even though a dental hygiene routine can help keep these circumstances under control, dental emergencies do happen. Now that you know what is considered to be a dental emergency, you understand that timely treatment is crucial to prevent the situation from getting worse. Luckily, skilled emergency dentists at Rockcliffe Dental & Denture Centre are here whenever you require emergency dental services.

Call our office today!

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