A dental emergency can hit hard and leave you reeling, but you’ll need to act fast if you want relief anytime soon. That’s why you should know ahead of time whether a dentist or the emergency room can provide the best care for your dental crisis. Luckily, there are a few easy ways to understand which healthcare provider is best suited to treating your problem and getting your smile back on track. Read on to learn more about when you should go to the dentist and when you should head to the ER during a dental emergency.
What Counts as a Dental Emergency?
Dental emergencies involve injury to the teeth or gums or the onset of severe oral pain requiring immediate treatment. This includes things like toothache or a dislodged tooth. In these situations, it’s always going to be more beneficial to seek care sooner because it can prevent the situation from getting worse later. While a chipped tooth can usually stand to wait for a dentist’s appointment , situations like cracked, broken, and dislodged teeth need urgent care.
When Should I Go to the Dentist for My Dental Emergency?
Your dentist is best equipped to deal with emergencies dealing with matters of dental and oral health. This includes non-life-threatening issues like cracks, broken or dislodged teeth, and oral infections like toothaches or dental abscesses. However, if you are experiencing severe dental pain from one of these problems when no dentist is available, an emergency room can provide you with antibiotics and pain relievers until the dental office opens in the morning.
When Should I Go to the ER for My Oral Crisis?
If your dental crisis is part of a life-threatening emergency or involves structural damage beyond the mouth, you should go to the ER. This includes cases with lacerations about the mouth and face, fractures or dislocations of the jaw, or a dental infection that swells to the point where swallowing or breathing becomes difficult. The ER is well-equipped to set bones, clear airways, and prevent bleeding.
It’s best to know what you need before you need it. By being aware of the difference between an emergency requiring a dentist’s attention and a crisis needing a trip to the ER, you are equipping yourself to make the right decision should the need arise. This can save you or your loved ones much unnecessary misery.
About the Author
Dr. Mahmoud Homsi achieved his dental degree at Boston University, Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine. Afterward, he took continuing education courses at prestigious institutions like the Las Vegas Institute for full-mouth rehabilitation and TMJ/sleep apnea therapy. His practice offers services including general, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry. For more information about dental emergencies or if you or a loved one is in need or urgent dental care, contact him online or dial (603) 228-0123.