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A dental emergency is scary, whether you suffer a knocked-out tooth, painfully chipped teeth or an abscess. Whatever the cause of your emergency, how can you get the treatment you need on a weekend, during a holiday or at night?
Thankfully, your dental professionals at Carolina Dental Arts provide emergency dentist services. With two locations in Raleigh and one in Goldsboro, North Carolina, the help you need is close to home.
Having access to 24 hour urgent care through your regular dental office provides convenience and peace of mind when you need it most. For any dental issue that cannot wait until the next business day, you can rely on Carolina Dental Arts’ caring professionals. They provide the same compassionate care for an emergency that you receive as part of a routine dental exam.
So, how do you know the difference between a dental emergency and a tooth problem that can wait until the next business day? Below is more information about when to call your emergency dentist.
Knowing When to Call an Emergency Dentist
Almost one in four Americans have experienced dental pain in the past six months, according to survey results published by American Family Physician.
These dental emergencies included:
- Painful gums
- Severe toothache
- Broken or cracked tooth
- Loose tooth
- Missing tooth
- Loss of a filling
- Gum swelling associated with a tooth
- Emergency issues concerning metal braces
- Emergency tooth extraction
But not every type of dental pain or problem is an emergency. Some situations can wait for treatment during office hours.
If you have any of the following symptoms, call your emergency dentist:
- Severe pain
- Sports injury
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Lost tooth
- Loose teeth in adults
- Infection or abscess
- Swelling or knots on gums or face
- A painful or damaged tooth
- Swollen jaw
If you experience ongoing bleeding, severe pain or a damaged tooth, you likely have a dental emergency. The same is true for serious infections or injury caused by accidents. An oral infection, such as a tooth abscess, can threaten your life. Call your emergency dentist immediately to ask whether you need treatment. Describe what caused the problem for guidance and support.
Problems that Do Not Require the Services of a 24hr Dentist…. And Can Safely Wait Until the Next Office Day
If you suffer an oral problem that is not urgent, prepare to call the dentist’s office for a non-emergency oral exam. Sometimes self-care is the right course of action until the dentist’s office is open.
Having a chipped or cracked tooth is not always an emergency, as one example. But if the tooth damage is painful or exposes sharp fragments that can injure soft oral tissues, call your emergency dentist. Otherwise, for a damaged tooth that does not cause pain, you can wait until the next business day to see the dentist.
For a toothache, wait for an appointment if the pain is manageable and you do not see signs of an abscess, fever or swelling. If you experience severe pain, swelling or high fever, call Carolina Dental Arts.
Losing a crown or filling is not typically a dental emergency. This treatment can wait a few days. If you want to temporarily fill the space left by a lost filling, simply place a well-chewed piece of sugarless gum into the cavity.
The Most Common Dental Emergencies
Among the most common dental emergencies are knocked-out teeth, cracked or chipped teeth, and abscessed teeth. Each one of these injuries requires urgent dental care. Below is some more information about these common scenarios and how to handle them while you make your way to the emergency dentist at Carolina Dental Arts:
If you suffer a knocked-out tooth, your emergency dentist can save that tooth. With quick action, they can reinsert it into its socket and enable its permanent reattachment.
To preserve your knocked-out tooth for the dentist, carefully pick it up by its crown. Do not touch the root. Carefully rinse the tooth without rubbing or scrubbing it.
Then, if you can, place the tooth back in its socket and hold it gently with gauze or your tongue. If you cannot put the tooth back in its original place, put it into a small container of milk or your own saliva to preserve it while you make your way to the emergency dentist.
Cracked or Chipped Tooth
A fractured tooth can cause serious pain. Gently rinse your mouth with warm water. To reduce swelling, apply a cold compress to your face. Avoid taking any painkillers or using numbing gels, as these sometimes damage gum tissue. If you have severe pain, take acetaminophen before making your way to the emergency dentist.
When a pocket of pus forms in your tooth, this leads to an infection called an abscess. It may sound like a minor problem, at first. But a dental abscess can threaten your life. As a result of the infection, you may experience tooth sensitivity, pain, swelling, tender lymph nodes in your neck, and fever. You can also possibly see a pimple-like bump at the site of the infection.
An abscess is a dental emergency. The infection can quickly spread to other tissues and parts of your body. Before making your way to your Carolina Dental Arts emergency dentist, rinse with slightly warm salt water to reduce pain. This also draws out pus at the infection site.
Prevent the Need for an Emergency Dentist
You can prevent dental emergencies by keeping up with your six-month dental exams and cleanings. As part of these regular dental appointments, your dentist looks for loose fillings or other signs of problems.
It is through both the visual examination and the X-ray, your dentist can find an infection, decay, and gum disease. Of course, preventative maintenance for your teeth is the main way to prevent the need for most urgent care. Sometimes these dental needs necessitate treatments like fillings, root canal therapy, or tooth extraction. You can also watch for signs of problems when you brush your teeth each day.
Dental emergencies still happen from time to time, even when you take great care of your teeth and gums. If you have an emergency and need treatment for a damaged tooth, severe pain, bleeding, abscess, or other dental problem, call your Carolina Dental Arts emergency dentist. Call the New Bern Avenue office in Raleigh at 984-242-0568, the Glenwood South office in Raleigh at 919-670-4944 Durham office at 919-683-1847, or the Goldsboro office at 919-778-0098.