A dental emergency is any condition or issue that requires immediate or prompt attention to relieve pain or other symptoms and to prevent further damage. Some common emergencies include toothaches, cracked or chipped teeth, broken teeth, teeth that are knocked out, and abscesses or infections.
That depends on the extent of the break. Some teeth, including those with extensive decay or damage and those broken off below the gum, may require extraction. Other types of breaks may be repaired with crowns to cover the tooth and provide additional strength and protection. Broken and chipped teeth can cause considerable pain while also leaving the tooth open to widespread decay. Prompt attention is critical to help prevent further damage.
Healthy teeth that are knocked out can often be replaced in their sockets as long as emergency care is provided right away. If a tooth is knocked out, place the tooth between the gum and the cheek or place it in a glass of milk or water and head to the office or emergency room right away. Be sure to avoid touching the root which can be easily damaged, preventing the tooth from being replanted.
Keeping teeth healthy with regular brushing and flossing and routine checkups is one of the best ways to prevent dental emergencies by ensuring teeth are strong enough to withstand many types of damage. Make sure small issues like tiny cavities or fissures are treated right away. Using a mouthguard during sports or other activities that could involve potential impacts to the mouth is also important. Finally, avoid bad habits like chewing on ice or using teeth as prying instruments.
Any time an issue arises -- even a seemingly minor toothache -- it’s important to call the office to describe the issue and symptoms and to determine if an assessment is necessary.
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