General/Emergency Visits

What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?

Emergency dentistry is a branch of dentistry concerned with the management and treatment of traumatic tooth injuries. These issues can range from teeth that are knocked out, cracked, or fractured teeth to internal tooth damage caused by infection.

A dental emergency usually presents as pain in the mouth. If you’re experiencing pain, you should make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible. A dental emergency includes any dental problem that is causing you pain or negatively affects your smile.

Symptoms of a Dental Emergency

  • Toothache
  • Swelling or inflammation of the gums around a tooth
  • Excessive sensitivity or pain when eating or drinking hot or cold temperatures
  • Severe sensitivity to pressure or chewing
  • Fever, chills, or nausea
  • Oral bleeding or pus

What Are the Most Common Dental Emergencies?

  • Broken Tooth

A broken tooth can occur as a result of an accident or sports injury. It can be hard to bite and chew normally with a fractured tooth, so it’s important to seek treatment right away. If you can, recover the broken tooth and hold it by the crown. Store it in milk or saliva to keep it moist until you reach our office.

  • Severely Cracked Tooth

If you’ve cracked a tooth, it’s important to visit our office as soon as possible. Without treatment, the crack can worsen and affect the tooth even more. If the crack spreads to the root, you’ll need a root canal to prevent an infection.

  • Lost Filling or Crown

A lost filling or crown can expose your tooth to bacteria and chip your tooth. If you lose a crown, visit your dentist as soon as possible. The dentist may be able to reseat the crown, but the tooth may become sensitive to hot and cold temperatures until you visit the dentist.

  • Knocked-out Tooth

A knocked-out tooth is a dental emergency because the tooth must be reinserted as soon as possible to prevent damage to the tooth socket and surrounding teeth. If a tooth has been knocked out, try to find it and hold it by the crown. Avoid touching the root too much since it can cause additional damage. Using a clean cloth, rinse the tooth off and try to place it back in its socket. If you can’t put the tooth back in, store it in milk or saliva to keep it moist. Once the tooth has been reinserted, the dentist will splint the tooth in place until the socket heals.

  • Object Caught Between Teeth

If you notice that something is caught between your teeth, rinse your mouth with warm water and gently use dental floss to try and dislodge the object. If you cannot remove the object, contact your dentist.

  • Swelling or Infection

When a toothache occurs, it is never a good sign. It could mean that you have tooth decay, a cavity, a cracked tooth, or an infection. In this case, you should visit your dentist as soon as possible. With a toothache, you could have a severe infection and may need to undergo root canal therapy.

How Can I Avoid a Dental Emergency?

The best way to avoid a dental emergency is to brush and floss your teeth daily and visit your dentist twice per year for routine exams and cleanings. At these appointments, your dentist can detect and treat any developing issues. Cavities, worn teeth, gum disease, and oral cancer can be detected and prevented with routine care.

When Should I Go to My Emergency Dentist?

Dental emergencies can happen at any time, day or night. If you’ve experienced any dental trauma, call our dentist right away. If you’re experiencing severe pain, swelling, or an infection, you may need immediate dental attention.

Contact ÉLAN Dentistry for the best dental care. To book an appointment, call (714) 364-8181 or visit us at 1030 West Imperial Hwy, La Habra, CA 90631.

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La Habra, CA

1030 West Imperial Hwy, La Habra, CA 90631


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