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What is Considered a Dental Emergency?

An image of a woman and dental assistant working on her teeth in the background with a close-up  picture of a doctor

If you experience a dental emergency, the dentist is the first person you should call. Most dentists set time aside in their schedules for emergency procedures so that you can get an appointment sooner. However, some patients aren't clear about what constitutes a dental emergency.

What is a Dental Emergency?

Below are a few examples of dental emergencies and how to handle them:

Tissue Injuries – Tissue injuries include cuts, tears, lacerations, or puncture wounds to the lips, gums, cheeks, or tongue are considered dental emergencies. Clean the wound with warm water and put pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding. Get to the dentist or an emergency room quickly to have the injury treated.

Knocked-Out Tooth – If a permanent tooth has been knocked out, it is a dental emergency, and you should make an appointment as soon as possible. Handle the tooth as follows:

  • Pick the tooth up by the crown – never touch the roots
  • Rinse the tooth with clean water, but do not remove any remaining gum tissue
  • Reinsert the tooth gently back into the socket, holding it loosely in place by biting down
  • If reinsertion isn't possible or the patient is too young and may accidentally swallow the tooth, place the tooth in a cup of milk or the patient's saliva 
  • Call your dentist immediately for an appointment 

Other Dental Emergencies – Any dental situation requiring immediate treatment to save a tooth, alleviate extreme pain, or stop bleeding. If you have an untreated infection, it could become very serious, very quickly. If you're unable to get an immediate appointment, it might be time to consider the ER.

If you believe you're experiencing a dental emergency, please contact your dentist. If a tooth is infected, it may need an immediate root canal to save the tooth. For information about endodontics in Colorado Springs and Pueblo, Colorado, please contact Endodontic Specialists. 

Posted on Oct 12, 2020

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