Like any other emergency, a dental emergency can happen at any time. However, there are plenty of dental emergencies that do not require the attention of a hospital emergency room. At my dental office in Modesto, we’d like to help you understand which injuries should be seen by a dentist and which need immediate attention at your local emergency room.
The majority of dental emergencies do not need to be treated at the hospital. A good rule of thumb to follow is any dental injury that does not appear life-threatening should be directed to your Modesto dentist and kept away from the emergency room. Some types of problems that should be treated by the dentist and not the hospital include:
- Broken or cracked teeth
- A knocked out tooth
- Toothache caused by decay or abscess
However, simply because you are not being treated at the hospital does not mean you should be leisurely with seeking care. In fact, any dental problem, life-threatening or not, requires quick action for a successful treatment.
In situations where the injury is more serious and potentially life-threatening, it’s absolutely appropriate, and encouraged, to head to your hospital and be treated immediately. The majority of injuries that fall under this category are known as traumas and can include:
- Jaw fracture/dislocation
- Deep lacerations to the soft tissues in the mouth or the face
- An abscess or infection that’s swollen and affecting breathing/swallowing
If you have one of these traumatic injuries, go straight to your closest hospital or call 911. The doctors at the hospital will get you the help you need. They may also request that you see your dentist as a follow up to the emergency care. It’s important to make sure you schedule and keep this appointment so we’re able evaluate the damage and provide any necessary treatment.
If you suffer a dental emergency that’s not considered a trauma, give my Modesto dental office a call as soon as you can. We’ll get you in for an exam and work with you to resolve the problem. And while we’re always happy to help you fix an injury, we’re also really big on preventing it in the first place. In order to limit your chances of a dental emergency, watch what you eat (caramels, popcorn, and sugar, oh my!), always wear a mouthguard when playing sports, brush and floss everyday, and maintain your regularly scheduled appointments to keep your smile strong and resistant to problems.
Serving patients in Modesto, Riverbank, and Oakdale.