It’s a beautiful, summer day, and you intend to head down to Lake Shawnee to take in the gorgeous scenery. Your plans are derailed, though, because you’re suddenly struck with a debilitating pain that radiates throughout your jaw from a toothache. Along with being disappointed in the fact that you won’t be able to enjoy the day as planned, you’re left wondering whether the discomfort you’re feeling warrants a trip to the hospital or a call to your emergency dentist in Topeka. To help you in assessing the severity of a dental emergency, your local expert weighs in with some important information.
What is a Dental Emergency?
Before differentiating between the type of dental emergency that requires a trip to a local hospital and one that can be stabilized at home until your dentist can see you, let’s establish what an emergent situation is. It involves any sudden negative change in the state of your dental health that requires professional care to restore your normal and painless functionality.
No matter what type of dental emergency you may find yourself in, there are two steps that should be taken:
- Calm Down – Although it may seem cliché, the first thing you should do in a dental emergency, after becoming aware of a problem, is to take a deep breath and try to calm down. Slow your breathing and allow yourself to think, so that you can reflect on the valuable information you’ll possess by the end of this entry.
- Contact Your Dentist – With a calmer mind, reach out to your local dentist’s office and explain to the helpful staff what has happened, so that you can be advised on the next steps to take.
In following these two simple practices, you’ll have an exponentially better chance of being restored faster.
Should I Go to the Emergency Room for This?
There are some dental emergencies that require immediate assistance, but how can you determine that? Most dental emergencies won’t be so acute that they require you to rush to the hospital, but there are two situations that definitely warrant a trip to the emergency room:
- Fractured Jaw – If you’ve suffered trauma to your head or jaw and have pain, you should seek immediate emergent care. As best you can, limit your jaw and facial movement and keep your head elevated to prevent any further complications.
- Continuous Bleeding – Another situation that should be taken very seriously is continuous bleeding. As a basic rule of thumb, if you’ve been bleeding continuously for 10 minutes or more, then you shouldn’t hesitate to head in to your local hospital.
This is not to suggest that other dental emergencies like a dislodged or chipped tooth, toothache and similar predicaments aren’t serious. Any time your normal oral function is inhibited and you’re in pain, it is a dental emergency, but there are certain situations that, if not treated within a certain timeframe, can cause permanent damage or could even be fatal.
Some of the Common Dental Emergencies
Nobody wants to be involved in a dental emergency, but now that you’re armed with more information, you can make effective decisions that will help you to have a speedy recovery. Contact your dentist in Topeka to receive the care you need for any of the following emergencies:
- Partially or Dislodged Tooth
- Fully Dislodged Tooth
- Broken of Fractured Tooth
- Lost Filling or Crown
- Broken or Bent Partials or Full Dentures
- Item Stuck in Teeth
- Oral Bleeding
- Injury to Your Soft Tissue or Gums
About the Author
After earning his BS degree from Kansas State University, Dr. Michael Michel went on to receive his DDS degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry. For nearly 40 years, he has been a fixture in the city of Topeka. A member of several professional organizations, Dr. Michel continues to expand his knowledge so that he can deliver the best care to his patients. He can be reached for more information through his website.