What is a Dental Emergency?

What is a Dental Emergency?

In simple terms, a dental emergency is any dental issue that can’t wait for your regularly scheduled dental appointment. While it may be tempting to wait a few days or few weeks until your upcoming regular appointment or to wait to see if the problem gets better on its own, you could end up making the problem worse by waiting! The following questions will help you decide if your dental problem might be an emergency:

Is Something Out of the Ordinary?
Bleeding gums, bad breath, odd or unpleasant taste, and discolorations or lumps in your mouth can be signs of dental problems that may not be immediately obvious. Any unexpected changes in your mouth are worth mentioning to your dentist immediately so that they can be addressed before they become major issues.

Is Something Loose?
If a tooth is loose or wiggling, you will want to talk to your dentist before complications arise. Loose teeth can be a sign of abscess or infection or a more serious health issue. Implants, crowns, and fillings that wiggle should be addressed because they can lead to infections or get lost while you eat or sleep. Your dentist may temporarily secure crowns or implants so that you can wait for an appointment, or they may want to address the wiggliness as soon as possible.

Is There Pain?
Pain is the most prevalent reason that patients consider requesting an emergency dental appointment. Pain is a clear indicator that something is wrong, and may signal an infection or something more serious like a tumor or a cancerous growth. If you are experiencing severe pain in your mouth, contact your dentist right away. Your dentist may be able to suggest solutions to help with the pain so that you can wait for an appointment or may insist that you come in immediately.

Did Something Happen?
Did you chip or break a tooth while eating? Were you hit in the face by something and now one or more of your teeth feels loose? Even if there is no pain or any of the above symptoms if you experience trauma to your mouth or face you may want to contact your dentist. Some damage is hard to see and can cause issues that are hard to address if ignored but could be dealt with rather simply right after they occur.

If you are worried that you might need an emergency dental appointment or have noticed pain or unexpected changes in your mouth, don’t wait for the symptoms to get worse. Our dentists can often make emergency appointments the same or the next day. At Charlottesville Downtown Dental, we offer emergency dental appointments to help our patients feel better as soon as possible. Call us at 434.971.7400 – we are always happy to help!