What Qualifies as a Dental Emergency?

If you're currently experiencing a dental problem or injury, you're probably wondering what to do. Is it time to call your local emergency dentist, or should you just wait until your next appointment? Is your dental problem really severe enough to qualify as an emergency?

It can be hard to gauge, and different dentists may have slightly different ideas about what is and isn't an emergency. To make things simpler, we've listed several dental problems that will always qualify as an emergency, meaning you should seek treatment as soon as possible.

If in doubt, always call your dentist and ask—it's better than suffering permanent damage by not taking action.

A tooth/several teeth being knocked out

If you've suffered an 'avulsed' tooth, or a tooth being knocked out, you'll need dental treatment ASAP. If you get to a dentist fast enough, it may be possible for your tooth to be reimplanted. Store the tooth inside a plastic container and cover with saliva.

An extruded tooth

Similar to an avulsed tooth, an extruded tooth will still be attached to your mouth, but may be dangling or out of place. Push the tooth gently back into place if you can, and see a dentist right away.

A broken tooth

A broken tooth which hasn't caused any pain or bleeding is not as severe as the previous injuries, so you should be safe to wait until the next day for treatment. If the broken tooth is combined with other injuries, pain, or bleeding, it's best to seek treatment on the same day. A broken tooth with a sharp edge should also be treated immediately, or it could cut into your mouth, tongue or lips.

Severe tooth pain

Anytime you're experiencing severe tooth pain and don't know why qualifies as an emergency. The cause could be an injury, infection, or an underlying condition, and speedy diagnosis and treatment can be crucial. You'll also be given pain relief to ease your discomfort.

Severe dental bleeding

Any kind of severe or heavy dental bleeding, regardless of the cause, qualifies as a dental emergency. Signs of severe bleeding include large volumes of blood, bleeding which doesn't slow or stop after a few minutes, and bleeding which increases in intensity.

Not sure whether or not you're dealing with a dental emergency? If it's an item on this list, seek help right away. If not, call you dentist for further advice.