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Does a Broken Tooth Warrant a Trip to an Emergency Dental Office?
Every broken tooth does not require emergency dental treatment. For instance, most people can wait for the next scheduled appointment for conditions such as toothaches or tooth sensitivity. In the meantime, over-the-counter medication can provide relief until a dental provider is available. Sometimes it is not clear what constitutes a trip to an emergency dental office. A broken tooth falls into this category, and with the tips below, patients can determine whether or not immediate medical attention is necessary.
Understanding dental emergencies
A dental emergency requires immediate attention from a medical professional. In many cases, this involves calling a dentist and scheduling a same-day appointment. In other instances, it may be necessary to go to a hospital emergency room or urgent care facility. This provides dental patients with an opportunity to get medical treatment while waiting to be seen by a dentist.
Knowing when to seek emergency treatment
A broken tooth often warrants a visit to an emergency dental office. In fact, tooth fractures are one of the most common dental emergencies. A Colgate® article states that it is not unusual for people to suffer broken teeth as a result of engaging in sports-related activity, falling or eating food. While broken teeth are a serious matter, there are two types of fractures that are considered non-emergencies.
These tooth fractures do not require an immediate trip to a dentist or emergency room: minor tooth fractures or chipped teeth. There is no threat to your overall health and well-being. Because of this, simply scheduling a regular dentist appointment is sufficient.
However, emergency dental care is needed for major tooth fractures. A serious fracture is one where a large chunk of the tooth is gone. This condition is often accompanied by intense dental pain. Under these circumstances, seeking immediate medical attention is crucial.
Knowing where to turn for a dental emergency
Patients can get the medical help needed whether or not they have a regular dentist. Many dentists set aside time throughout the day to treat emergency patients, according to MouthHealthy™. So, calling a family dentist or other dentists in the area is worthwhile. There is a great chance the office can work emergencies in the same day a broken tooth occurs.
A broken tooth may not happen at a convenient time. A dental accident can happen at night, on the weekend or during the holidays. In these instances, call the dentist's office no matter what time it is. There is typically an emergency number that patients can dial that provides pre-recorded instructions on how to handle a dental crisis. Keep in mind, there is also have the option of going to the ER.
Does a broken tooth require an emergency dental visit? The answer to that question is not always a clear-cut answer. It depends on the severity of the fracture. For instance, minor chips can wait for a regularly scheduled appointment. However, seek medical attention immediately if a major portion of the tooth is broken. In many cases, a dentist can work emergencies into the schedule at a moment's notice.
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