What constitutes a dental emergency? If your face is swollen and you are in pain, that is the number one reason to call a dentist today. Swelling of the face is the sign of a serious infection called an abscess. It is necessary to seek treatment immediately to prevent the spread of the infection. If it is after hours, then it is recommended you seek treatment at an urgent care or emergency room.
The second biggest emergency is when an adult tooth is knocked out of its socket. This can happen from running and falling, falling off a bike, getting hit by a car, playing sports and getting hit in the face. It might be possible to replant the "avulsed" tooth, but it needs to be done in the first 30 minutes to one hour after it falls out, in order for the replantation to have a chance at being successful. To transport the lost tooth, it is best to either place it in a cup of milk or store it in your mouth until you are able to see a dentist.
The first two emergencies I mentioned are relatively rare occurrences. The most common emergency I see is when a patient is having tooth pain. And the second most common is when someone chips a front tooth or breaks a back molar.
If you are having a dental emergency, please call my office and we will do our best to see you as soon as possible.