Emergency dental care involves dental treatments provided for urgent or unexpected dental conditions. These conditions can range from a slight or severe toothache to a knocked-out tooth and require immediate attention to prevent further complications. While many people may not think of minor dental issues as emergencies, it's essential to seek emergency dental care as early as possible to avoid extensive damage to the teeth and gums, which can also be extremely expensive to treat. 

What Conditions are Considered Dental Emergencies?

Common examples of dental emergencies include:

  • Toothaches

Probably the most common dental problem experienced by many, toothaches can be considered dental emergencies. The primary culprit is usually tooth decay, which, if not treated, can lead to extensive tooth damage. If root canal treatment is not an option, that tooth must be removed to avoid gum disease.

  • Knocked-Out Teeth

Dentists recommend rinsing your mouth and tooth with warm water when a tooth is knocked out. The good news is that such a tooth can be pushed back into place, but because the thought alone is cringe-worthy, it would be best to let the dentist do it. Instead, place the tooth in milk or an emergency tooth preservation kit, if you have one, and rush to the dentist immediately. It may not be possible to save the tooth if you delay.

  • Broken Teeth

There are different kinds of broken teeth. It could be that you have a vertical crack that runs into your gum or a horizontal crack that leaves you with a half tooth hanging from your gum. Regardless of the problem, visit a dentist immediately for emergency dental treatment to ease your pain and prevent tooth decay and gum infection.

  • Lost Fillings

Fillings cover a hole on the surface of your tooth, meaning if it comes off and is not replaced, food can get stuck, creating a suitable environment for bacteria to breed. This leads to tooth decay, gum infection and eventually tooth loss.

Since these may not constitute all conditions requiring emergency dental care, dentists always encourage patients to err on the side of caution and seek treatment when unsure whether their issue constitutes a dental emergency.

Do All Dentists Offer Emergency Dental Treatment?

It depends on your particular dental condition, but you'll require a specialist in most cases. Perhaps the only dental problem a general dentist can treat is a toothache.

If you have knocked-out or broken teeth, visit a prosthodontist but ensure they have listed emergency dental care as one of their services, especially for severe cases. Lastly, those with lost filling need to see an endodontist for filling replacement or a repeat root canal.