Is Your Dental Emergency Urgent or Non-Urgent?

patient experiencing dental painBecause of the COVID-19 pandemic, virtually all dental practices, including your emergency dentist in Richardson, will only be treating dental emergencies. All elective procedures, including teeth whitening and regular cleanings, are being postponed until further notice from organizations like the American Dental Association or the U.S. government. You can, however, still see your dentist if you have some kind of urgent situation. But how can you tell whether your emergency is urgent or not? We’ve written this guide to help you out.

Urgent Dental Emergencies

If any of the following situations sound familiar, you need to call your dentist in Richardson as soon as you can:

  • Knocked-out tooth. Grab the tooth by its crown (not the pointy end) and keep it wet by storing it in your mouth or a container of milk or saltwater.
  • Broken or chipped tooth. Collect all the pieces that you can and bring them with you to your dentist’s office.
  • Severe toothache. If your tooth pain interferes with your ability to eat, sleep, or go about your daily life, call your dentist right away.
  • Loose tooth. Adult teeth should never feel loose. It could be a sign of gum disease. If you don’t get gum disease treated in a timely fashion, your teeth could even fall out!
  • Bump on gums. This is known as a gum abscess. Whatever you do, do NOT pop the abscess like you would a pimple. Instead, schedule an appointment with your dentist for an appropriate treatment.

Non-Urgent Dental Emergencies

A non-urgent dental emergency still requires treatment soon, but it can wait until normal business hours. For example, if you lost a filling on a Friday night, it could wait until Monday morning to be placed back on. Still, call your dentist in the following situations:

  • Lost filling, crown, or bridge. If you can, locate the restoration and give it a gentle rinse. Use a tiny dab of toothpaste to try and place it back on the tooth. Avoid chewing with the affected tooth until you can see your dentist for treatment.
  • Dull toothache. Sometimes your tooth hurts, but the pain isn’t necessarily distracting from your everyday life. Take some over-the-counter pain relievers until your appointment.
  • Food lodged between teeth. If you have a piece of food stuck in your teeth that you can’t remove with floss or saltwater, your dentist should be able to help you out.

If you have a dental emergency that isn’t listed in this post, like a sport injury, be sure to call your emergency dentist in Richardson anyway. They can help with virtually any dental problem you may have.

About the Author

Dr. Meredith G. Davis earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry. She is a member of multiple professional organizations, including the American Dental Association, the Texas Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, and the Dallas County Dental Society.

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