You might not think about it, but there are important differences between urgent and non-urgent dental emergencies. These differentiators can save your life. Which do you think is most likely to happen to you? Do you have an emergency plan in place? Find out what you need to prepare for the next time.

What are Considered Dental Emergencies?

While most dental emergencies are pretty straightforward, there are some important distinctions to make. One of the most common ways to tell is whether or not it’s urgent.

In urgent situations, a dentist is needed quickly to resolve the problem. Most of the time, it’s because the pain is intense.

These include: 

  • Severe toothache
  • Dental abscess
  • Knocked-out tooth
  • Loose tooth
  • Broken tooth
  • Large crack or chip in tooth

These issues need to be addressed in less than three days. If a toothache isn’t addressed in a few days, the pain can worsen and lead to infection.

Dental abscesses are similar, as they can cause extreme pain. They occur when bacteria grow in the gum tissue and infect the tooth. It’s important to seek treatment within 48 hours of tooth pain.

Loose teeth are another serious dental emergency, as well as broken teeth. If a root breaks, the tooth is much more susceptible to infection. It’s important to have a dentist take a look at it right away.

Large cracks and chips require attention quickly as well, because they can become infected. Often, if you don’t go to a dentist within a few days, the problem will get worse and lead to a broken tooth.

What are Considered Non-Urgent Dental Emergencies?

Non-urgent dental emergencies aren’t as serious. These are also called true emergencies, compared to urgent dental emergencies.

Symptoms often take longer to show up. In some cases, the patient doesn’t even know that they have a problem until something happens.

These include:

  • Impacted wisdom teeth
  • Lost filling
  • Broken fixed appliance
  • Loose crown or restorations

Impacted wisdom teeth can cause problems in the future if they don’t come in as they’re supposed to. If you’re experiencing swelling, pain, or tenderness in your gums, it’s time to go to the dentist.

If you have lost a filling or broken a crown or fixed appliance, you should have it looked at by a dentist. Sometimes, these issues are minor and don’t need to be addressed.

How to Handle Your Dental Emergencies

Even with a dental emergency plan in place, sometimes you have to deal with unexpected situations. Here’s how to handle a dental emergency:

If you have sudden, extreme pain, you should go to the emergency room. It’s possible that you have a dental abscess or other deep infection.

Better Prepared Than Sorry

Dental emergencies can be scary, but as long as you have a plan in place and know how to handle them, they won’t take you by surprise.

It’s important to have a dentist in your life who you can count on to help you in an emergency. When you have a dental emergency plan, you’re more prepared to handle anything that comes your way.

Dental First is a reliable emergency dentist in Troy. We stand for quality, integrity, comfort, and comprehensive dental care. Get in touch with us.