How Long Should You Wait Before Seeking Urgent Care in Emergency Dentistry?

How Long Should You Wait Before Seeking Urgent Care in Emergency Dentistry?

November 1, 2021

With regular dental problems, you may still be okay if you delay your treatment for a day or more. While there is a high chance that your problem may get worse, it may not be a life or death situation. However, the stakes are much higher when it comes to dental emergencies. The longer you wait for your treatment, the worse it gets for your dental health, and ultimately your general body health.

What Is Emergency Dentistry?

​Emergency dentistry in Middleburg, PA, is an area of dentistry that focuses on offering urgent and prompt dental care to patients with oral emergencies. The concentration of emergency dentistry is on speedily treating urgent dental problems which would otherwise get worse and compromise the entire health of your mouth.

Defining a dental emergency yourself can be difficult, especially since several oral emergencies develop from typical dental issues that progress and advance with time. Therefore, at Susquehanna Valley Dental Group, we help patients identify dental emergencies using the following parameters:

  1. Knocked-out or partially dislodged tooth
  2. Prolonged bleeding
  3. Unbearable pain
  4. Significant swelling
  5. Objects stuck between teeth
  6. Jaw dysfunctions – including jaw pain and jaw lock
  7. Other symptoms like headaches, sore throat, swollen face, breathing difficulties, nausea, to mention a few.

​Should You Wait To Seek Emergency Dentistry?

Regardless of the type of dental problem you have, it is a bad idea to delay treatment. The longer you go without seeking professional dental care, the higher the chances of your dental health significantly deteriorating with worse symptoms throughout your oral cavity.

The right timing in emergency dentistry makes all the difference. If you are intentional about preserving your oral health, be very keen on your timelines when reaching out to dentists in emergency dental clinics. Ideally, as soon as you realize you have an oral emergency, call an emergency dentist in Middleburg, PA, immediately for urgent dental care. While you may not get treated instantly, you can be certain that you already ha e solicited the intervention of a dentist for urgent dental issues.

What To Do When You Have Oral Emergencies

Calling a dentist who offers emergency dental services is just one part of the process. Before you get treated, you should perform at-home emergency dental care protocols to help manage and maintain the current state without a high risk of getting worse. Depending on the type of dental emergency you have, the management process will differ. Still, all of them are short-term interventions for your dental emergencies. Some tips for handling emergencies before you visit a dental ER include the following:

  1. Swish salty water in your mouth – it rinses off all debris and food particles in your mouth. The salt in the water also acts as a disinfectant to deal with the harmful bacteria responsible for the dental infections you have.
  2. Take over-the-counter pain medication – if you are undergoing a lot of pain, pain medication can help alleviate your discomfort as you await emergency dental care to treat the root cause of your pain. Remember that the medication should only be considered a short-term solution for your pain.
  3. Use a clean washcloth or gauze to control bleeding – try biting down on it to slow down and hopefully stop your bleeding.
  4. Use a cold compress for swelling – wrap an ice pack in a clean cloth and place it on the side of the affected cheek. The low temperatures will constrict the blood vessels and reduce the swelling.
  5. Find and preserve your missing tooth – applies to knocked-out teeth. If you can find the tooth, rinse it with water and preserve it correctly. You can soak it in milk while avoiding the root part of the tooth to prevent infecting it. With a preserved tooth, your chances of having it restored in your mouth are high, especially if you make it to a dental clinic for emergencies within the first hour of losing it.

Avoid using sharp objects between your teeth – regardless of how uncomfortable it may be to have something stuck between your teeth, it is a bad idea to use a sharp item to poke it out. Instead, use dental floss to dislodge the stuck object. Do not be too forceful. If dental floss isn’t helpful, wait until you can get to a dentist for treatment.

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