Dental emergencies require prompt care from a dentist, as they can easily go from bad to worse in a very short amount of time. Yet it is not unusual for minor problems that can be treated at home to manifest symptoms that may resemble those of a dental emergency. If you are ever in doubt, call us right away. As a general rule, severity and duration matter. Here is what you should know about emergency dental care.
Pain Scale – 1 to 10
Pain is subjective, and different people experience it in different ways. Still, it can be a good gauge of whether a dental problem is an emergency. If you have mild dental pain, try gently flossing your teeth, as you may have a small piece of trapped food debris like a popcorn kernel stuck under the gums. Take an over the counter pain reliever and monitor your symptoms to seem if the pain lessons. If you have no other symptoms and the pain remains but does not worsen, call our office during regular operating hours. If you have severe pain, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Bleeding when brushing or flossing is a common sign of gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. This must be treated right away to prevent it from progressing, but it is not a dental emergency. However, if you have sustained trauma such as a fall, you experience severe bleeding following a dental procedure, or you have significant unexplained bleeding, call Dr Haag right away.
Swelling is often a sign of infection or trauma. A small, tender, swollen spot can generally wait until regular operating hours as long as you don’t have a fever or severe pain. A larger and more painful swollen area, especially in combination with a fever, could be an abscess. Call our office right away. You may need to start an anti-biotic as soon as possible.
A fever can be a sign of many different things throughout your body, and a mild to moderate fever is not necessarily an emergency on its own. However, a high fever can be dangerous. A fever in tandem with oral pain, bleeding, or swelling, can indicate a worsening dental infection. Get emergency dental help immediately for a high fever or a fever with other signs of dental issues.
Knocked Out Tooth
A knocked out tooth is always a dental emergency, and time is of the essence. Most successful reattachments occur within 30 minutes of the injury. Carefully pick up the tooth by the chewing surfaces, rinse it under cool running water, and either push it back into the socket or submerge it in a glass of milk. Do not touch the nerve roots. Call our office immediately. If we are closed, our voicemail message will tell you how to reach Dr Haag.
Lost Dental Restoration or Broken Tooth
If you lose a filling or a crown, or you chip a tooth, it may or may not be a dental emergency. These situations should be treated ASAP to prevent future damage, but they can generally wait until regular business hours. However, if you have pain in the tooth or a severe break, it is best to seek emergency help.
Ready to Make Your Appointment?
If you’re ready to get started with a progressive yet conservative approach to your dental health, contact Creekview Dental today at 651-738-8204 to schedule your first appointment with Dr. Haag and let’s hope it’s not an emergency!