Not every oral situation should be considered a dental emergency - so how do you know when you have a legitimate crisis? There are some guidelines generally recognized as criteria for a dental emergency. The first of these is a situation where you're experiencing severe pain or bleeding from the mouth. If you have just lost a tooth or had one knocked out, prompt attention might be able to save that tooth. A loose tooth should also be considered an emergency, because adults should not have loose teeth for any reason, so something is wrong.
If you have an abscessed tooth or an obvious infection, that's also grounds for a dental emergency. There are some situations where this can even be a life-threatening case, so you should waste no time in contacting your dentist about an abscess. If you spot swelling of the glands or in the facial area, it's particularly important that you act fast. Any situation which involves severe pain, persistent bleeding, or possible infection should be treated like a dental emergency, and should not be deferred. Fast action may save a tooth that you've lost, or it may prevent something much worse.
We are aware of how dental emergencies can happen at any time of day, not just during business hours. That's why we have an emergency contact schedule for our patients, so we can treat any issues at the soonest possible time. Contact us at (732) 314-4218 so that you can receive the best dental care immediately, and so the crisis can be resolved by a qualified professional.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I have a loose tooth - is that a dental emergency?
A: Yes it is. Adults should not have loose teeth for any reason, so you should contact your dentist immediately, and describe the events which led up to having your loose tooth.
Q: Are teeth that are chipped, cracked, or fractured considered dental emergencies?
A: Chipped teeth are not necessarily an emergency, although you should protect the chipped tooth until it can be treated. Cracked or fractured teeth are more serious and should be treated as an emergency, because worse damage may occur if the tooth isn't treated promptly.
Q: How can I remove objects trapped between my teeth?
A: The best way to remove trapped objects is to gently floss the affected area, and work the object free. This does not constitute an emergency, because in the vast majority of cases, the situation can be resolved right at home.
Q: I have a severe toothache - is that a dental emergency?
A: If you have a persistent toothache, you should make an appointment with your dentist right away, but you probably will not need emergency treatment. Taking some aspirin will generally alleviate the pain for a few days, and then the problem can be handled by your dentist.
Q: What if I feel extreme sensitivity to hot or cold liquids?
A: This is not generally a dental emergency, although it may feel quite painful at times. Most sensitivity is due to receding gum lines, but there are cases where sensitivity is caused by an infection, and if this is the case, you should call your dentist's office right away.