Most people are happy to avoid the dentist whenever possible. Though your Hampton dentist certainly hopes you visit her at least twice a year for dental cleanings and checkups – and reach out anytime you think you might be having a dental emergency. How do you know if what you’re experiencing qualifies as a dental emergency? Always leave it up to your dentist to decide and never hesitate to call if you’re concerned about what’s going on with your oral health.
Types of Dental Emergencies
A true dental emergency is any problem that threatens the living tissue in your mouth and requires immediate treatment to alleviate pain, stop bleeding, or save a tooth. Some emergencies are obvious, of course, like:
- A knocked-out tooth
- A dislodged tooth
- Severe tooth pain that comes on suddenly
There are other dental issues that develop, however, that may make you wonder whether emergency dentistry is necessary, like:
- A chipped tooth
- Broken dental work
- Sore gums
Problems like these may require same-day care. Call your dentist as soon as possible to discuss the situation and find out if you need to be seen right away.
Determine the Severity of a Dental Emergency
No two dental emergencies are alike, so our treatment recommendations will vary based on each patient’s unique situation. For example:
- If you have a serious toothache, you may need a root canal and a crown, or you may just need a filling. If the problem is severe, a tooth extraction may be the only option. There is no way to answer a question about treatment over the phone without a complete in-person examination.
- If you have a broken tooth or damaged dental work, a quick repair to bond things back in place may be all that’s necessary, or you may need a new restoration or a veneer or crown to cover damage.
Prevent the Need for an Emergency Dentistry Appointment
There are dental best practices that will help prevent the need for emergency dentistry. Though every potential problem cannot be accounted for or planned for, if you follow these steps you can keep your teeth and gums and mouth as healthy as possible:
- Visit your Hampton dentist every six months for a cleaning and exam – this effort lets you dentist identify problems when they’re small so they can be treated right away and don’t become emergencies later.
- Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day to keep your teeth clean and free from plaque, tartar, food particles, and the potential for decay to develop.
- Wear a customized mouth guard every time you play sports to minimize or prevent damage from an unexpected blow to the mouth.
- Do not use your teeth for anything but biting and chewing – do not try to open packages with your teeth or bite on your nails, pencils, or ice to avoid breakage or damage to dental work.
Dental problems are never convenient, and they occur at night or on weekends when you think your dentist’s office isn’t open. Always contact your Hampton dentist first to find out the best next steps, whether that’s a visit to the emergency room or to head straight to our dental office.
We are here to help you when you need it, and we know that emergencies happen at odd times – that’s OK. What’s most important is getting you the dental care you need immediately. Contact us right away at 603-506-4390 if you believe you are experiencing a dental emergency.