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How to Know if You are Having a Dental Emergency or Not

While nearly all dental emergencies pop up fairly quickly, they can be caused either by an accident or trauma as well as underlying dental conditions that were already present. Our the Okanagan Valley dentists talk about the signs of a dental emergency and when you should reach our for professional dental care.

I think I am having a dental emergency, what do I do?

There are many situations that can indicate the need for emergency dental care such as:

Knocked-Out Teeth or Dental Trauma

Even if you don't necessarily think that your chipped tooth is that serious, you will need to have it examined and repaired as soon as you can. The dentist may be able to repair the fracture or chip with a filling, whereas more serious breaks may need a crown or root canal.

For teeth that have been knocked out, a dentist may be able to put the tooth back in place within approximately an hour of the incident. If you can visit the dentist in the first 30 minutes to 1 hour then there is a chance that they will be able to place the natural tooth back in its socket and save it. After the two-hour mark, the chances decrease significantly, and alternative measures will have to be considered.

Severe Toothache That You Cannot Relieve

If you experience a toothache you cannot manage with over-the-counter pain medication, first, apply ice to the area and contact your dentist as soon as possible, as this is considered a dental emergency.

Toothaches can indicate potential major dental issues, and so it is important to take them seriously.

Lost or Misplaces Dental Filling

A lost filling is also serious as it exposes the interior of your tooth, weakening its structure. It’s important to see a dentist to have the filling replaced as soon as possible. You can protect the area until you get to the dentist by replacing the filling temporarily with a softened piece of sugarless gum.

Object Lodged Between Teeth That Cannot Be Removed

Objects getting lodged between the teeth can present a hazard and warrant urgent attention from your dentist. If you cannot dislodge the object with floss, do not use a sharp object to attempt to remove it yourself as this could push it further between your teeth - or injure your gums.

Bitten Lip or Tongue With Excessive Bleeding

If you are experiencing bleeding that can’t be quelled after biting your tongue or lip, you need to visit an emergency dental clinic. In the meantime, apply a clean cloth to the part of the mouth that’s bleeding and press down. Use an ice pack to reduce swelling, and look for urgent dental care.

A Tooth Infection Causing a Dental Abscess

A dental abscess is a buildup of pus which forms inside the teeth or gums. This very painful condition usually develops from a bacterial infection, often within the soft pulp of the tooth or the root of the tooth. They can be caused by a cavity that’s been left untreated, severe gum disease or perhaps a chipped tooth.

Symptoms can include anything from a bad taste in your mouth to swollen glands, pain, pus or fever. An abscessed tooth will usually need surgery to drain the infection and treat it properly. Treatment for dental abscesses can involve root canal surgery

Are you in need of emergency dental care? Our the Okanagan Valley dentists will try our best to fit you into our schedule.

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Looking for a dentist in the Okanagan Valley? We're happily accepting new patients at our dental clinic! Contact us to get started. 

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