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When to Call Your Emergency Dentist: A Guide to Urgent Dental Care

July 19, 2023

Dental problems can be quite distressing, and they often come unannounced. While most dental issues can wait until regular office hours, some situations require immediate attention from an emergency dentist in Denver, CO. Knowing when to call your emergency dentist can make a significant difference in preserving your oral health and preventing further complications.  

We'll guide you through some common dental emergencies and help you recognize the signs that indicate it's time to seek urgent dental care.

Common Dental Emergencies

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Severe Toothache

Severe toothaches can be incredibly debilitating and significantly impact your quality of life. When you experience intense and persistent tooth pain, it's important to recognize the signs that indicate a dental emergency and promptly contact your emergency dentist.

  • Abscess or Infection: A severe toothache often stems from an abscess or infection within the tooth. Abscesses occur when bacteria invade the dental pulp, the innermost part of the tooth containing nerves and blood vessels. The infection causes inflammation and a buildup of pus, resulting in throbbing and excruciating pain. In some cases, the pain may spread to the jaw, ear, or neck.
  • Tooth Decay: Tooth decay, or dental caries, is a common cause of severe toothaches. When a cavity penetrates deep into the tooth, it can expose the sensitive inner layers, leading to intense pain. The pain may worsen when eating or drinking hot, cold, or sugary substances, as these can irritate the exposed nerves.
  • Cracked or Fractured Tooth: A cracked or fractured tooth can cause severe toothaches, especially if the crack extends into the sensitive inner layers of the tooth. The pain may be triggered by chewing or biting pressure and can range from sharp and intermittent to constant and debilitating. In some cases, the pain may only occur when releasing the bite.
  • Trauma or Injury: Accidents or trauma to the mouth can cause severe toothaches. If a tooth gets knocked out of alignment or dislodged, it can result in intense pain. Similarly, fractures or injuries to the jaw can lead to toothache due to the pressure exerted on the affected teeth.

Knocked-Out Tooth

A knocked-out tooth, also known as an avulsed tooth, is a dental emergency that requires immediate attention. Whether it occurs due to a sports injury, a fall, or any other traumatic incident, the key to saving a knocked-out tooth is swift action. Here's what you need to know about handling a knocked-out tooth and when to call your emergency dentist:

  • Retrieve the Tooth: When a tooth is knocked out, it is critical to locate it as soon as possible. Avoid touching the root by handling the tooth by the crown (the chewing surface). Touching the root can harm the fragile cells required for successful reimplantation.
  • Rinse Gently: If the tooth is soiled, gently rinse it with water. However, avoid using soap, chemicals, or disinfectants. Keep the natural moisture in the tooth and avoid drying it out.
  • Store Properly: If reinsertion is not possible, keep the tooth moist until you can contact your emergency dentist. Put the tooth in a glass of milk or your saliva. The idea is to maintain the tooth's cells nourished until professional therapy can be provided. Avoid storing the tooth in water, as this can harm the sensitive root surface.
  • Seek Immediate Dental Care: When it comes to saving a knocked-out tooth, time is of the essence. Call your emergency dentist as soon as possible and explain the problem. Most dental practices have emergency processes in place, and your case will be prioritized. To increase your chances of successful re-implantation, you should try to go to the dentist within 30 minutes.

Broken or Chipped Tooth

Fixing a cracked tooth with emergency dentist in Denver Co.

A broken or chipped tooth is a common dental problem that can occur due to various reasons such as biting down on a hard object, experiencing facial trauma, or having untreated tooth decay. While a minor chip may not cause immediate pain or discomfort, it's important to understand the significance of a broken or chipped tooth and when to seek emergency dental care. Here's what you need to know:

  • Assess the Severity: When you break or chip a tooth, start by assessing the severity of the damage. Minor chips that don't cause pain or expose the inner layers of the tooth may not require immediate attention but should still be addressed by your dentist during regular office hours. However, if the tooth is significantly broken, has sharp edges, or exposes the sensitive inner layers, it's crucial to contact your emergency dentist promptly.
  • Rinse and Save Any Tooth Fragments: If you have any tooth fragments, carefully rinse them with water to remove any debris. Place the fragments in a clean container with a bit of milk or saliva to keep them moist. Your emergency dentist may be able to use these fragments to repair or restore your tooth.
  • Manage Pain and Discomfort: If the broken or chipped tooth causes pain or sensitivity, over-the-counter pain relievers can provide temporary relief. You can also apply a cold compress to the affected area externally to help reduce swelling and alleviate discomfort.
  • Avoid Certain Foods and Habits: While waiting for dental treatment, it's important to avoid consuming hard or crunchy foods that can further damage the tooth. Be cautious when biting or chewing and avoid using the damaged tooth to prevent aggravating the condition. Additionally, refrain from habits like chewing on ice or pens, as they can worsen the situation.
  • Seek Emergency Dental Care: Contact your emergency dentist as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. They will evaluate the extent of the damage, determine the best course of treatment, and provide immediate care to address the broken or chipped tooth.
Caring for a severe toothache with an emergency dentist in Denver Co.

Need an Emergency Dentist in Denver, CO, ASAP?

Knowing when to call your emergency dentist is vital for maintaining optimal oral health and addressing urgent dental issues promptly. If you encounter any severe toothaches, or knocked-out or broken teeth, it's important to contact your emergency dentist right away. Remember, swift action in these situations can make a significant difference in preserving your dental well-being and preventing further complications.  

Don't hesitate to contact Makowski Dental and prioritize your oral health during dental emergencies.

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