Did you accidentally knock out a tooth, suffer from an excruciating toothache, or is your dental crown starting to come loose? A dental emergency can feel overwhelming, causing ample amounts of discomfort and swelling. In a worst-case scenario, a dental emergency can lead to more severe problems down the road. Thankfully, dental emergencies are rarely life-threatening and can be simple to manage if you take the proper precautions.
Dr. Shaun Sigurdson and Dr. Mihir Patel are well-equipped, knowledgeable emergency dentists in Dallas that can tackle virtually any dental emergency. Book an appointment at our Mockingbird Lane location as soon as possible if you are suffering from dental pain, a knocked-out tooth, or another dental emergency.
Dental Problems Categorized
Recognizing the difference between a standard dental issue that can wait until the next available appointment, a true dental emergency that requires immediate attention, and when to rush to the emergency room can safeguard your oral health and might even save your life.
Generally, any dental problem that requires immediate treatment to alleviate severe pain, save a tooth, or stop oral bleeding is considered a dental emergency. Life-threatening situations (for example, severe infection) are considered dental emergencies too.
The American Dental Association (ADA) characterizes dental emergencies as possibly life-threatening. Also, dental emergencies entail immediate treatment to stop ongoing issues. Some common, urgent dental emergencies include:
- Severe tooth or jaw pain
- Wisdom tooth pain
- Dry socket
- Dental fracture or trauma
- Fillings or crowns that are broken, lost, or causing gum irritation
Nonemergency Dental Procedures
Still, not every dental situation is considered an emergency, and not all procedures require immediate care. According to the ADA, this includes (but is not limited to):
- Routine dental exams, cleanings, and other preventive therapies
- Asymptomatic dental extraction and restorative dentistry
- Cosmetic dentistry
When to Go to the Emergency Room
Occasionally, a trip to the emergency is warranted. Call 911 or seek immediate treatment in the emergency room if you’re experiencing life-threatening symptoms, including:
- Difficulty breathing
- Trauma to the facial bones, compromising the airway
- Soft tissue infection (cellulitis), causing swelling and potentially obstructing the airway
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Inability to swallow
- Severe swelling
Also, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you believe that you need to visit the ER, please do.
Why It’s Important to Quickly Deal with a Dental Emergency
Here are the top three reasons why dealing with a dental emergency at full tilt is vital for your wellbeing:
1. Reduce the Risk of Infection
After experiencing a traumatic dental injury, infection is a common concern. Typically, infections spread through the direct transfer of bacteria, viruses, and other germs. A few signs of a dental infection include throbbing pain, swollen lymph nodes, and an unpleasant taste in the mouth. Neglecting an infection can cause it to spread to other parts of the body, posing a greater risk of extensive health problems. So, visit your emergency dentists in Dallas instead of potentially impeding your health.
2. Lessen Discomfort
Along with infection, you might feel discomfort in your teeth, gums, or jaw when experiencing a toothache, dry socket, or other dental emergencies. If you’re starting to feel dental pain, it’s wise to nip it in the bud by visiting emergency dentists in Dallas. Dragging out treatment can worsen already agonizing dental pain.
3. Prevent Tooth Loss
Chipped, broken, dislodged, and knocked-out teeth are not exclusively cosmetic issues. In fact, you might lose your tooth after experiencing a traumatic dental injury, necessitating dental implant-supported restorations, dentures, or another prosthetic dental option.
Fortunately, visiting an emergency dentist with gusto can save your natural tooth. If you partially or fully lose a tooth, carefully pick up any pieces of your missing tooth (avoiding touching the tooth root). Then, bring them to your emergency dentists in Dallas.
How to Manage a Dental Emergency
If you’ve never experienced a dental emergency, you may not know what to do when this unfortunate situation happens. Knowing which steps to take during a dental emergency can help you avoid further negative consequences, protect your health, and save your smile.
Although a dental emergency can feel overwhelming, managing one can be as easy as 1-2-3. If you are experiencing a dental emergency in Dallas, here’s precisely what you should do:
Step 1: Don’t panic.
Although dental emergencies can feel stressful, it’s essential to remain calm. On the other hand, an already stressful situation exacerbates when you don’t keep your cool. Excessive stress causes the body to overproduce cortisol (a stress hormone), pushing the body into fight or flight mode. Actively staying calm in a stressful dental emergency helps people problem-solve, respond (rather than react), and communicate.
If you’re beginning to panic during a dental emergency, try these techniques to lower your heart rate and increase blood flow:
- Stop what you’re doing, take a deep breath, and squeeze all the muscles in your body.
- Ground yourself with the 5-4-3-2-1 coping technique
- Try breathing exercises.
Step 2: Call emergency dentists in Dallas.
If possible, skip the emergency room. This might seem obvious, but dentists are only allowed to practice emergency dentistry. If you’re lucky, your ER doctor may prescribe medication or treatment to help with symptoms. But, it’s likely that your ER doctor merely refers you to emergency dentists in Dallas instead of fixing the problem.
Instead, immediately call Lakewood Dental Group at 214-827-1885. Dr. Sigurdson and Dr. Patel can quickly meet your needs.
Step 3: Manage symptoms quickly and appropriately.
Until you can see your emergency dentists in Dallas, try your best to save your missing tooth and lessen any uncomfortable side effects:
- Knocked-out tooth: After locating the tooth, carefully clean it with warm water. Next, attempt to gently reinsert the tooth into the empty socket. (If that doesn’t work, preserve the knocked-out tooth in a glass of milk.)
- Pain: For mild to moderate pain, take NSAIDs (such as Advil).
- Swelling: A cold compress used externally can mitigate swelling.
- Bleeding: Manage bleeding by softly applying gauze or cotton balls to the wound.
Emergency Dentists in Dallas
Even though preventive dental care can keep some oral health problems at bay, dental emergencies can happen every once in a while. Time is of the essence when dealing with a dental emergency, and prompt care can prevent the scenario from worsening. If you need to see emergency dentists in Dallas, immediately call 214-827-1885 or message us online to set up an emergency dental appointment with Lakewood Dental Group.