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What is Considered a Dental Emergency?

Understanding Emergency Dental Procedures

When you're experiencing discomfort affecting your teeth, it's important to know whether or not your ailment may be a serious cause for concern. The dental health experts at Mi Casa Family Dentistry outline which dental health issues may warrant an emergency dental appointment.

Root Canal

A root canal is a dental procedure done to remove bacteria from the affected tooth's root canal. During this dental procedure, the infected pulp is removed, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned, filled, then sealed to help save the tooth. This procedure helps to prevent further infection and reinfection.

Common symptoms that may suggest that you need a root canal include :

  • Pain when chewing or biting.
  • Chipped or cracked tooth.
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold that lingers.
  • Swollen or tender gums.
  • Random tooth pain that keeps you up at night
  • Abscess (pimple-like lesion) on the gums.

Crown Replacement

Dental crowns are caps, typically made of porcelain or metal, that are used to strengthen damaged teeth and improve their appearance. More often than not, crowns are made to look like the rest of your teeth to ensure a natural appearance.

While crowns can last for decades when done properly, there are some instances in which your crown may need to be replaced. Some reasons to get them replaced immediately include:

  • Tooth decay beneath the crown.
  • Inflammation of the gums around the crown.
  • Gums receding around the crown.
  • Your crown is cracked, bokeh, or worn down.
  • Pain affecting your tooth or gums.

Tooth Extraction

As the name suggests, tooth extraction is a dental procedure where your tooth is removed. While many people are familiar with wisdom tooth extractions, there are plenty of reasons why tooth removal may be the right course of treatment for tooth discomfort.

Some reasons for tooth extraction include:

  • Periodontal disease.
  • Tooth damage that can not be restored.
  • Pain after a root canal or filling.
  • A fracture in the tooth root
  • Insufficient space in your mouth for this tooth.
  • Aiding in orthodontic treatment.
  • Tooth has erupted abnormally.
  • You cannot brush or floss this tooth normally.
  • The tooth affects your bite.

Denture Repair

Just like your natural teeth, issues affecting dentures and partial dentures can require emergency dental treatment. Although dentures are designed to be durable, they can become damaged, which can be harmful to your oral health if left unaddressed.

Some issues that damaged or ill-fitting dentures can cause include:

  • Infections.
  • Sores and blisters.
  • Trouble chewing.
  • Headaches.
  • Cuts and scrapes.
  • Jaw pain.

Common dental repairs include:

  • Relining.
  • Rebasing.
  • Adjustments for proper fit.

Palliative Care

Palliative dental care is typically done to help relieve aches and pains affecting your dental health without treating the underlying cause of the pain. This is one of the most common reasons to have an emergency dental appointment while waiting for another appointment at a later date to actually treat the dental problem at hand.

Some common causes for palliative dental care include:

  • Examining the affected tooth and prescribing antibiotics or pain medicine.
  • Filing sharp edges of broken or fractured teeth.
  • Dressing and applying medication to oral lacerations.
  • Applying temporary crowns.
  • Opening a tooth or gums for drainage.
  • Addressing swelling and inflammation.

If you think you may be experiencing a dental emergency, be sure to call your dentist’s office immediately.