Some people experience dental emergencies at sporting events or during a hearty meal. For you, it happened on a gorgeous day in Colorado as you were hiking through the mountains. You were taking in the scenic landscape right before you lost your balance. With a newly damaged tooth, you experienced your first dental emergency. But what exactly is a dental emergency, and where should you go for treatment? Rather than heading straight to the ER, read on to determine where you should actually go and what types of treatment you can expect to reduce pain and restore your smile.
What Warrants a Dental Emergency?
If you are experiencing a prolonged toothache, an obvious injury to the mouth after a sporting event, a loose or lost tooth, or bleeding, you may have a dental emergency on your hands. While some patients head straight to the ER, it’s possible that doing so will land you with a pain reliever and a handful of antibiotics.
Experiencing a true dental emergency usually means that you should see a dentist promptly to restore your tooth or gums and diminish pain. Traditional hospitals can help with symptoms, but they are not equipped with the tools necessary to restore your smile like an emergency dentist.
Dental Conditions vs. Emergencies
In essence, a dental emergency requires immediate treatment. There is throbbing pain, a missing tooth, or some other unreconcilable new problem. Many dentists have some availability in their schedules to treat unpredicted dental emergencies on the day you report them or the following one. If you are suffering from a dental condition, such as tooth decay, gum disease, or cavity development, you should still see your dentist. However, if this is an ongoing problem that you were previously aware of and it is not causing serious pain, you can address it with a traditional, non-emergency appointment.
How Dental Emergencies are Treated
Depending on the symptoms and situation, you can typically expect one of four emergency procedures:
- A filling—If you’ve lost a previous filling, immediately receiving a new filling protects your vulnerable tooth from collecting food debris or bacteria in the exposed cavity.
- A root canal—Your dentist can eliminate pain and infection fast and effectively with this emergency treatment.
- Tooth reattachment—If you lost your tooth during an accident, your dentist will attempt to reattach it.
- Extraction—When worst comes to worst, sometimes an extraction is the best option to reduce pain and remove decayed or damaged teeth.
Discovering that you have a dental emergency on your hands isn’t always pretty. However, dentists in the Littleton, CO area can diagnose and treat your dental health crisis quickly and effectively when you take action to restore your smile.
About the Author
Dr. Susan Kutis provides emergency, general, cosmetic, and restorative dental services with grace and ease. She was recognized in Denver’s 5280 Magazine as a “Top Dentist” and received several subsequent awards and nominations highlighting her abilities and accomplishments. Offered the position of Director of the General Practice Program at the University of Colorado, Dr. Kutis easily has what it takes to restore your smile. If you have questions about what to expect when addressing a dental emergency, reach out to her at (303) 973-1112 or visit her website.