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What Is Considered a Dental Emergency?

You may have noticed that many dental offices offer emergency dental services. While it is pretty simple to determine what can be considered a medical emergency, dental emergencies may be harder to determine. There are a number of different dental problems that can be considered a dental emergency.

At Aspen Hill Dental in Wheat Ridge, we offer a variety of dental services, including emergency services. In this blog, we wanted to talk more about what is considered a dental emergency, since it can be hard to decipher on your own. Read on to learn more and be sure to contact us today if you are experiencing any of these situations.


What Is a Dental Emergency?

Before we dive into specifics, we wanted to talk about what is a dental emergency. There is a difference between urgent dental needs and emergency dental needs. If your issues can wait a few days before visiting the dentist, then it is not an emergency. However, if you are in extreme pain or your issue cannot wait, then it is considered an emergency. Now, let’s look at what issues are considered to be dental emergencies.

Knocked-Out Tooth

Having your tooth knocked out can be very painful, which can make this a dental emergency. However, the fact that the tooth can be saved if you act fast enough is what truly makes this situation an emergency. If you act quick enough, your dentist may be able to reinsert and preserve the tooth. If you find yourself with your tooth knocked out, be sure to carefully pick it up by the crown or the top and try to not touch the root. Rinse the tooth without scrubbing. If possible, gently place the tooth back in the socket and gently hold it in place. If not possible, place it in a small container of milk and get to the dentist as quickly as you can. They may be able to save your tooth!

Chipped, Cracked, or Fractured Tooth

A chipped tooth does not technically qualify as a dental emergency unless it is causing you extreme pain. This is an issue that the dentist can take care of in a few days if it is not painful. If your chipped tooth isn’t causing pain and discomfort, schedule an appointment and be sure to be careful when chewing so you don’t chip it more.

A cracked or fractured tooth, however, is a serious issue that constitutes a dental emergency. A crack or fracture generally means that damage has occurred both on the inside and outside of the tooth. If the fracture is severe enough, the tooth may not be able to be saved. If you do find yourself with a cracked or fractured tooth, be sure to contact your dentist right away. You will also want to gently rinse your mouth with warm water, ice your face if a facial trauma caused the fracture to reduce swelling, and take acetaminophen (not aspirin) to alleviate pain. Do not use painkillers that you apply to your gums as they could burn the gum tissue.

Abscessed Tooth

A dental abscess is a serious problem and could potentially be life-threatening. An abscess is a pocket of pus in the tooth that could lead to infection. This dental issue could cause fever, tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, a toothache that is persistent, swelling in the face, tender lymph nodes in the neck, and a bump on your gum. If you have any of these symptoms, be sure to contact your dentist right away. Because this could cause an infection that could spread throughout the rest of your body, it is considered an emergency and should be treated right away. You can gently rinse your mouth with mild saltwater to reduce pain and draw the pus to the surface.

Gum Infection

Similar to a tooth abscess, a gum infection is also considered a dental emergency because of the fact that it can spread throughout the body and possibly be life-threatening. If you have an infection in your gum, be sure to contact your dentist right away to get an emergency service.

These are the most common dental emergencies that we see and can help treat. It is important that you seek emergency dental services right away if you are experiencing any of these issues. If you are looking for an emergency dentist in Wheat Ridge, be sure to contact Aspen Hill Dental today! We can help ensure that you are taken care of quickly and compassionately.