What is Emergency Dental Care

Emergency Dental Care – Overview

Emergency dental care is the dental service professionals provide in case of a dental emergency. Dental emergencies are situations where you experience discomfort, swelling or pain that can cause significant future issues.

It is important to know when to seek standard dental care and when to seek emergency dental care.

When is Emergency Dental Care Useful

According to a survey, around 22% of patients report experiencing oral pain in the last six months, indicating the prevalence of dental issues. Still, not every dental problem calls for emergency treatment.

What is Emergency Dental Care

What is Emergency Dental Care – When is Emergency Dental Care Useful?

So, the next time you feel pain or discomfort in the dental region, simply ask yourself the following questions to determine if you need emergency dental care:

  • Is the pain severe? Severe pain accompanied by bleeding can be a sign of a dental emergency.
  • Have you lost a tooth? Have you lost a tooth? Immediate dental treatment may potentially save a tooth.
  • Do you have loose teeth? Loose teeth in adults, even without pain, may indicate underlying dental issues needing attention.
  • Do you have an infection? A serious infection or even an abscess in the mouth can have potentially life-threatening consequences and require immediate treatment.
  • Are you bleeding from the mouth? Bleeding from the mouth is a potential sign of needing emergency dental care.

Generally, any dental problem that requires immediate attention and treatment, such as stemming bleeding, relieving pain, or saving a tooth, justifies the use of emergency dental care services.

What Are the Most Common Problems Treated with Emergency Dental Care

Here are some of the most common problems of the mouth that call for emergency dental care:

1 – Inexplicable toothache

Toothaches are painful and irritating and signal from your body that something is wrong in the mouth. When you experience an abrupt acute toothache, find a qualified emergency dentist to diagnose and treat the root cause of the tooth pain.

Besides this, you can try the following to alleviate the pain till you reach the dentist:

  • Apply a cold compress to the affected area
  • Rinse your mouth with salt water
  • Take over-the-counter pain relief medication to ease the pain

2 – Bleeding/Swollen Gums

While not all gum irritations require emergency dental care, persistent gum bleeding should prompt seeking immediate dental attention. This is crucial, especially if the bleeding is accompanied by swelling and pain, as this can be a sign of an underlying health or dental problem.

Every time your gums bleed, there is a specific reason, so it is advisable to seek emergency dental care.

3 – Swollen Mouth/Jaw

Swelling in the jaw or mouth without a clear cause necessitates visiting emergency dental care. The unexplained swelling in the mouth or jaw could be caused by several reasons, such as irritation of the lymph nodes, infection or similar reasons.

4 – Exposed nerves

Exposed nerves cause severe pain that intensifies without dental treatment. It is highly advisable to seek emergency dental care in case of exposed nerves. This can help prevent further nerve damage, infection, and the need for more extensive dental treatments.

5 – Missing teeth

Losing teeth from a heavy blow may take time to get over the initial shock. Studies indicate that prompt emergency dental care can allow dentists to preserve and possibly reinsert avulsed teeth.

However, before getting to the dentist’s, you should take the following precautions:

  • Carefully pick up the fallen tooth by the crown (top) and avoid touching the root
  • Rinse it quickly but do not scrub
  • Try to reinsert the tooth back into the socket if possible
  • If not, then you should place the fallen tooth in a container filled with water or milk
  • Next, you should find a way to reach a dentist as quickly as possible with the teeth

6 – Missing filling

Losing a tooth-filling is another reason to seek emergency medical care, as the tooth can potentially get chipped or break away without reinforcement. This may even expose the nerves of the tooth, which can create various dental problems. Hence, it is advised to go for emergency dental care if you are missing a tooth filling.


Emergency dental care is meant for situations where prompt treatment can help make a huge difference in the outcome. For instance, if your teeth get knocked out, or you find your mouth swollen or painful for no apparent reason, you should immediately seek emergency dental care.

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