Learning to Manage Your Dental Problems

Learning to Manage Your Dental Problems

Is It A Dental Emergency? Consider The Consequences Of Waiting For Treatment

by Charlotte Beck

Defining a medical emergency is fairly straightforward. Most emergency rooms use the same criteria: an illness or injury that could result in loss of life, limb or eyesight. Defining a dental emergency is a little more complicated, however – it's rare that a dental problem is life-threatening. So what one person might consider a crucial problem that needs to be fixed right away, another person might be willing to wait for a regular appointment for.

A good way to evaluate whether you have a dental emergency is to consider whether further damage will be done if you wait for treatment. If so, it makes sense to call an emergency dental clinic or try to set up an emergency visit with your own dentist. Here are some common dental problems and the damage they can cause.

Knocked-Out Teeth

A knocked-out tooth is one of the most time-sensitive dental problems. If treated right away, the chances that the missing tooth can be re-inserted into the socket are high; wait only two hours, according to the Mayo Clinic, and it's unlikely that your tooth can be saved. And a missing tooth is not just a cosmetic problem – it also leads to bone loss in the jaw.

It's not the end of the world, of course, if you can't save your tooth; bridges and dental implants can replace a lost tooth. However, dentists always prefer to have their patients keep their natural teeth, so if you have a tooth knocked out, you should consider it a dental emergency.


If you have an oral abscess, you should see a dentist as soon as possible. Abscesses are considered dental emergencies because they are caused by bacterial infections. If not treated promptly, there's a chance that the bacteria could spread into other parts of the body, causing serious complications. This is especially true if you have a compromised immune system – absolutely do not delay in getting treatment for an oral abscess.


Sometimes, dental trauma is accompanied by bleeding. This can be especially alarming because the interior of the mouth can bleed heavily from relatively minor trauma, but most bleeding will stop on its own. Try pressing clean gauze to the bleeding area and holding it (without peeking) for fifteen minutes and see if this stops the bleeding.

However, if the bleeding continues, this is an emergency. Visit an emergency dental clinic right away; if that's not possible, go to an emergency room.

Lost or Damaged Dental Work

When you lose a filling or have a crown break off, it can be alarming and even painful, so it's not surprising that people want these problems fixed as quickly as possible. However, these are rarely considered emergencies; it's recommended to make an appointment with your regular dentist as soon as possible instead.

If you can't manage your pain with over-the-counter medication or you think that the tooth itself may be cracked or fractured, however, it makes sense to call an emergency dental care clinic for an appointment. Preventing a fracture in a tooth from spreading can be the difference between saving it and losing it.

And if you're ever in doubt as to whether your dental problem is an emergency or not, you can always call an emergency clinic and describe your problem to them – they will be able to tell you whether you need to come in right away or can wait for an appointment with your own dentist.


About Me

Learning to Manage Your Dental Problems

As a homeschool parent and independent contractor, I don't always have time to practice good dental care. I often find myself in a rush just to meet my daily tasks and goals. My lack of good dental care eventually caught up with me. After experiencing severe pain in my back tooth, I made an appointment with my dentist. My dentist found a large hole in the center of the tooth. Root canal treatment couldn't save the tooth, so my dentist extracted it. I learned a very painful and valuable lesson that day. No matter how hectic my life is, I should still make time to brush and floss my teeth properly. I'm here to help you and other people avoid painful dental problems with my blog. I offer tips on how to keep your teeth clean and how to spot dental problems before they get out of control. Good luck.