Wondering whether a damaged tooth constitutes a dental emergency? Read on to find out. A damaged tooth may be considered a dental emergency if it causes severe and borderline intolerable discomfort (pain, swelling, sensitivity), causes a severe cosmetic issue, or is at risk of worsening complications, such as the loss of the tooth or the…
When a Tooth Injury Is a Dental Emergency
Learning about what to do during a dental emergency is a good idea. Read on to learn when you should seek urgent treatment during a dental emergency. A dental emergency, such as a tooth injury, hardly occurs with a warning. It could be a bad fall or a blow to the mouth during contact sports — regardless of the cause, a tooth injury can be debilitating. Without immediate treatment, the injury may lead to permanent damage to the oral cavity and may require tooth replacement procedures.
When is a tooth injury a dental emergency?
Knowing what counts as a dental emergency and what to do can help patients remain calm when a tooth injury occurs. The following are common tooth injuries that require emergency dental care:
A knocked-out tooth
If a tooth gets knocked out, patients need to seek dental care immediately. Nearby teeth may also be affected by the injury and the dentist will need to check the extent of the problem. It may be possible to reimplant the tooth, but time is a major factor in this process's success. To increase the chances of saving the tooth, one needs to clean it and avoid touching the tooth roots. If possible, the tooth should be reattached within one hour of the incident.
When a tooth is hit with major force, it could become loose in its socket but not detached completely. The tooth may be partly dislodged and requires careful treatment. If it is a primary tooth, it will eventually heal or fall out on its own. An adult tooth needs to be examined, even if it is a minor displacement. This will prevent the tooth from getting infected or dying.
If a tooth injury results in tooth breakage, it is a dental emergency and requires urgent dental care. The promptness of the dental care will determine whether the tooth will be saved or lost. It will also help prevent infection or invasive dental procedures.
Root fractures are somewhat complicated because the injury is difficult to detect without a dental x-ray. A root fracture is caused by dental trauma, and it is better to perform an x-ray to be sure. Untreated root fractures can inevitably cause tooth loss. The treatment for this condition depends on the location of the fraction and pain severity. Extraction is done as a last resort.
If there has been a blow to the tooth but it is not dislodged or knocked out, the tooth is said to be concussed. The concussion can lead to discoloration, depending on the extent of the concussion. The discoloration means the tooth is dying and requires root canal therapy. Most dental concussions are not exactly dental emergencies, but they still need to be checked by a dentist promptly.
Do you know where to go during a dental emergency?
Tooth injuries generally tend to cause severe pain. If you are dealing with a dental emergency, ensure you visit a dentist as soon as possible for examination and treatment. Regardless of the nature of the injury, the dentist can recommend the best treatment to minimize pain and restore oral health.
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