How to Know When I'm Having a Dental Emergency

How to Know When I'm Having a Dental Emergency

Because dental emergencies can cause severe pain and are sometimes the result of a traumatic accident, many people head to the emergency room for dental issues. However, emergency rooms aren’t equipped to treat the root cause of your dental emergency. Not to mention, emergency room visits can be time-consuming and quite costly 一 up to two billion dollars per year!

At Goodman Dental Center in Queen Creek, Arizona, Brian Goodman, DDS, and Tanner Goodman, DMD reserve time to treat dental emergencies, and encourage our patients to come to visit when they need care fast. 

Below, we highlight the top signs that you’re having a dental emergency and could benefit from emergency care.

1. Your tooth is knocked out

A knocked-out tooth 一 officially known as an avulsed tooth 一 is a common and well-known dental emergency. Sports injuries and auto collisions are two common culprits of knocked-out teeth, but the reality is that any blunt force to the face can knock out a tooth.

Swift treatment is the key to successfully saving your tooth. Ideally, you should receive dental care within 30 minutes of losing a tooth. In that time, keep your tooth moist by:

Even if we can’t save your tooth 一 not all avulsed teeth can be saved 一 our team guides you with tooth replacement options so you don’t lose functionality of your mouth.

2. Your tooth is broken

Your tooth doesn’t have to be fully knocked out in order to qualify as an emergency. Broken, chipped, and cracked teeth can also be problematic. Not only do fractured teeth hurt, but they can increase your risk of developing an infection if bacteria enters through the crack. 

Treatment restores the appearance of your tooth while stopping bacteria from entering through cracks.

3. You have a severe toothache

Toothaches range from nagging to severe, but there’s no denying that once a toothache sets in, you need dental care. Toothaches can quickly escalate, and unfortunately, the only way to permanently eliminate a toothache is to treat the root cause of your pain.

Treatment depends on the underlying issue and may include fillings, crowns, root canals, and extractions.

4. You have an abscess 

An abscess is a pocket of pus that resembles a pimple on your gums. This forms as the result of a bacterial infection and can cause facial swelling, severe pain, and fever. Because infections can quickly spread to other parts of your body, it’s important not to brush off an oral infection. Treatment may include antibiotics, draining the abscess, performing a root canal, and in severe cases, pulling the tooth.

If you need an emergency root canal, our team removes all damaged and infected pulp material from the inside of your tooth. Our team then cleans the inside of your tooth and fills it with a special material called gutta-percha. Root canals preserve your tooth and help you avoid an extraction.

5. Your filling or crown is broken

Fillings and crowns are designed to help treat dental problems, such as severe decay, but if these restorations become damaged or fall out, it can cause pain 一 especially if your tooth nerves are exposed.

You can temporarily find pain relief and protect your tooth by using a temporary filling (in a dental first aid kit) or covering the filling with a piece of orthodontic wax. Once you arrive at our office, we can replace or repair your damaged restorations.

Visiting the emergency room versus dentist’s office

While the emergency room isn’t equipped to perform a root canal or splint a broken tooth, there are times when it’s most prudent to visit the nearest emergency room. You may need to call 9-1-1 if your dental emergency is accompanied by any of the following:

The hospital staff may minimize your pain with medication and prescribe antibiotics, if needed. Once you’re discharged from the hospital, give us a call to address your dental needs.

Even if you don’t require a trip to the hospital, we know that dental emergencies can be painful and even overwhelming at times. Remember to take a deep breath and stay calm. It’s our mission to help deliver top-notch dental care, including in emergent situations. 

If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, give us a call at 480-807-4000, or book an appointment online with Goodman Dental Center

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