What are the most common reasons for emergency dentistry?

A broken arm, chest pain, difficulty breathing, severe vomiting, and changes in vision are some of the most common reasons to visit the emergency room. Most people don’t hesitate to go when they need to, and they rarely question whether a visit to the emergency room is necessary. Unfortunately, the same isn’t always true when it comes to emergency dentistry.

Dental emergencies sometimes don’t seem like emergencies. While that may be true in some cases, it’s best to let a dental professional decide what is an emergency and what isn’t.

Here are the five most common reasons a person requires emergency dentistry:

1. Lost tooth

Emergency tooth loss is extremely common, especially for children and adults who play sports. Almost any time a tooth falls out because of trauma, emergency dentistry is necessary.

While someone else is calling the dentist, follow these steps to salvage the tooth:

  •         Pick the tooth up by the crown
  •         Rinse it off with water
  •         Place it in a cup of milk (preferably) or water
  •         Bring it with you to the dentist’s office

Once there, the dentist may be able to reattach the tooth into the socket. If not possible, he or she will discuss other tooth-replacement options with you.

2. Cracked tooth

Popcorn kernels, ice, and hard non-food items have been known to crack teeth—that’s why we tell our patients not to chew them! However, we know it will still happen, so we continue to offer emergency care in these circumstances.

Like windshield cracks, tooth cracks and expand over time. If the crack spreads to the tooth root, bacteria can get inside the tooth and cause extreme pain. It’s best to have the crack covered or filled in before this occurs.

3. Chipped tooth

Like a cracked tooth, chipped teeth may pose a larger risk than they seem. This injury is usually a result of a sports injury, falling, or car accident. Thankfully, chips can be easily restored with a dental crown, bonding, or dental veneer.

To save a chipped tooth, follow the same procedure as in the tooth loss scenario and contact an emergency dentist as soon as possible.

4. Severe dental pain

A person with unexplained severe dental pain might not be able to wait until the next day to receive treatment. Pain medication and time usually soothe mild to moderate toothaches.  However, severe toothaches can last for hours without relief. In these cases, immediate diagnosis and treatment are usually necessary.

5. Loose teeth

It’s normal for children to have loose teeth but not for adults. A loose tooth could result from an injury, cavities, or gum disease. Early intervention may help save the tooth, so it’s best to contact your dentist right away. In these cases, the dentist may say that emergency dentistry isn’t necessary but will schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Emergency Dentistry in Manhattan

There’s no better time to prepare for a dental emergency than right now. 

At Modern Dental of Manhattan, our compassionate and experienced team is dedicated to providing excellent dental care whenever our patients need it. Contact our office today at (212) 758-1000 to schedule an appointment or to ask questions about our services. Don’t forget to save our number so you know who to call when a dental emergency arises!