When to Visit the Dentist for an Emergency

Middle-aged man in a gray shirt experiencing tooth pain from a dental emergency cringes and touches his cheek

When you have a dental emergency on your hands, time is of the essence. Getting prompt care can make a big difference in how your smile heals. That’s why it’s important to know whether or not what you’re dealing with is actually an emergency when something goes wrong with your teeth. We break it down in this blog post!

Mouth Injuries That Need Emergency Dental Care

These are a few serious mouth injuries when it would be in your best interest to seek out urgent dental care:

  • Knocked-Out Tooth — It's best to reinsert a tooth within 15 minutes of injury, but it can often be saved within 30-60 minutes. So if one or more of your teeth has completely fallen out, the sooner you can see a dentist, the greater your chance of being able to save it.
  • Broken Tooth — A broken tooth is when an entire portion of the tooth has come off, exposing the interior pulp or nerve, which is not only painful but also risky for your oral health.
  • Severely Cracked Tooth — When a crack extends below the gum line or into the root, and you’re experiencing frequent pain from it, see an emergency dentist before bacteria has a chance to damage the inside of your tooth.
  • Severe Tooth Pain — There are a few conditions that could cause a painful toothache, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry since it could signal advanced decay or a serious infection requiring immediate treatment.
  • Loose Adult Tooth — Permanent teeth should never feel loose, so if one of your teeth feels loose, it could indicate severe gum disease or bone loss that needs to be addressed ASAP.

Mouth Injuries That Can Wait

Some mouth injuries require immediate professional attention, like those mentioned above. Then there are other injuries that still need professional care, but not necessarily immediately after experiencing them. If you have any of the following, you may not need to get emergency dental care but you should set up a dental appointment soon!

  • Chipped Tooth — As long as the chip in your tooth doesn’t hurt or hasn’t caused additional mouth trauma, you don’t need to seek immediate dental care. Many chips are merely a cosmetic issue.
  • Minorly Cracked Tooth — If the crack in your tooth appears to be very small and isn’t causing you pain, then you probably don’t need to come in for an urgent appointment. However, the crack could be more severe than you anticipate so don't wait too long.
  • Mild Toothache — You shouldn’t be experiencing tooth pain, but if it's only mild pain, you could wait a day or two to schedule a dental appointment. Try flossing around the affected area and rinsing your mouth with a mixture of 1 cup warm water and 1 teaspoon salt.

Emergency Dental Care in Lacey, WA

Determined that you do in fact have a dental emergency? Meridian Campus Family Dental can help with that! We provide emergency dentistry and have extended morning, evening, and weekend office hours to accommodate your needs promptly. Don’t wait to get relief–contact our dental practice today to get your smile back to tip-top shape.



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