Busting the Biggest Emergency Dentistry Myths
Every day, a tooth falls out, gets damaged, or is knocked out due to an accident or disease. While these situations warrant the immediate attention of an emergency dentist in Denver, CO, myths about dentistry and teeth prevent people from seeking the care they need. Unless they get their facts straight about emergency dentistry, these people will lose their teeth and compromise their oral health.
A dental emergency involves a severe problem with your teeth that requires urgent dental attention. While most dental emergencies can be extremely painful, they can also be painless but come with other symptoms such as swelling and bleeding. Dental emergencies include chipped, cracked, broken, or knocked-out teeth, gum abscesses, and severe dental pain with bleeding and inflammation.
Myths About Dental Emergencies You Should Stop Believing
MYTH 1: “You can replant a partially knocked-out tooth in its socket without seeing a dentist.”
If you think that you can save your partially knocked-out tooth without the help of a dental professional, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Although replanting a partially or entirely knocked-out tooth is possible, doing it yourself will do you more harm than good. Unless you seek help from a dentist for proper care and treatment, your tooth will eventually die and fall out.
Only a trained dental professional can identify and treat the parts of the tooth that may have been damaged. Once they address these issues, your knocked-out tooth will have a higher chance of survival. In other words, emergency dental care allows you to limit your need to replace your tooth.
MYTH #2: “Unless you have a toothache, you don’t have to visit the dentist.”
Contrary to what some people mistakenly believe, a severe tooth or gum problem doesn’t necessarily involve tooth pain. Since toothache isn’t the only sign that something’s wrong with your oral health, it’s possible to have a severe dental infection and not feel any pain. If you’re looking to steer clear of complex dental treatments to repair and save a bad tooth, it’s best to act as soon as you notice a small cavity or an infection that hasn’t reached the nerve yet.
Besides regular brushing and flossing, visiting your dentist at least twice a year allows you to avoid dental problems that may cost you a tooth or several teeth over time. Furthermore, professional dental care can help stabilize your oral health by providing a variety of services such as:
- Removing debris or an object caught between teeth
- Use dental bonding to repair damaged teeth and prevent infection
- Placing dental crowns over broken teeth to prevent further damage and restore their appearance and function
MYTH #3: “Tooth infections disappear on their own.”
When the dental pulp, or the inner portion of the tooth, is exposed to harmful oral bacteria, it becomes infected. Since the pulp houses the tooth’s nerves, blood vessels, and tissue, an infection occurring in the area typically causes a lot of pain. If you’re suffering from a terrible toothache that interferes with your daily activities and keeps you up at night, you’re likely dealing with a tooth infection.
It’s important to note that these conditions typically cause pain initially, but when they’re left untreated, the pain tends to subside. Some people think that the absence of pain means that the infection has cleared up on its own. However, what’s actually happening is that it has already spread deeper into the tooth’s root and killed off the nerves that send pain signals to the brain.
Tooth infections don’t go away without any form of professional treatment. Moreover, leaving them untreated increases your risk of gum disease and tooth loss. If you’re dealing with this issue, you should see an emergency dentist right away.
MYTH #4: “You don’t really need to wear a mouth guard during sports.”
Did you know that dental injuries are a major concern among athletes who engage in contact sports? A collision with other players or hand or elbow contact can lead to dental traumas that result in tooth fractures or knocked-out teeth.
For this reason, dental experts strongly recommend using mouth guards while engaging in contact sports to protect teeth and gums from sports-related injuries. Those who don’t invest in custom-made mouth guards are more likely to sustain temporary or permanent dental damage.
MYTH #5: “Leaving a knocked-out baby tooth is okay.”
Since baby teeth eventually fall out, some parents mistakenly assume that leaving a knocked-out baby tooth until the permanent tooth emerges is perfectly acceptable. However, a dentist needs to assess the tooth to identify and treat the parts that may have sustained damage. Otherwise, the injury can potentially affect the child’s developing bite and cause oral health issues later in life.
When your child’s tooth gets knocked out due to a bad fall where the impact was on their teeth, you need to take them and the avulsed tooth to the emergency dentist as soon as possible.
MYTH #6: “Getting emergency dental care isn’t really as important as you think.”
Unless an emergency dentist treats a knocked-out tooth within one to two hours, the person’s chances of saving his tooth are slim. Additionally, receiving prompt dental treatment is the best way to eliminate pain and discomfort associated with a tooth infection. If you’re dealing with a dental emergency, know that the sooner you see your dentist, the sooner you’ll get to restore your smile.
MYTH #7: “It’s better to go to an emergency room than visit an emergency dentist.”
Since most emergency rooms don’t have a dental professional on call, they often refer those who require immediate dental care to the nearest emergency dentist. Moreover, getting treatment from a dentist in the emergency room costs more than seeing an emergency dentist. However, going to the emergency room makes sense if you’re dealing with the following situations:
- Your mouth has been bleeding heavily for hours
- Your swollen mouth or throat is blocking your airway and interfering with your ability to swallow
- You have experienced trauma to your head and neck
- You suspect a broken or fractured jaw
Do You Need to See an Emergency Dentist in Denver, CO?
Since 1983, the dedicated team of professionals at Makowski Dental has been providing quality dentistry in a comfortable environment. Dr. James Makowski cares about your dental goals and will do everything to help you achieve them. Contact our office today to make an appointment!