What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?

What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?

Preventable dental emergencies account for an estimated 2 billion dollars of spending in the United States each year. While most of these visits to hospital emergency rooms may not qualify as accidental dental emergencies, unforeseeable events can happen that cause serious, acute injury to your teeth and gums.

Maintaining good dental health is essential to the longevity of your teeth and the brightness of your smile. But when accidents or injuries happen, you have a dental emergency -- and that requires treatment. 

Dr. Faye Licata is a dental specialist who offers high-quality emergency dental procedures. She leads our friendly team at Licata Dental in St. Louis, Missouri, where she sees patients with all types of dental emergencies. If you have a dental emergency, don’t be embarrassed or fearful. Accidents happen, and we can help restore your smile. 

Let’s discuss some types of dental emergencies.

Cracked, broken, or knocked-out tooth

Whether it happened when you were playing sports, you ran into something, or you exchanged some choice words, teeth can be knocked out. Even mildly traumatic accidents can cause chips or even break your teeth. 

If your tooth is knocked out, the most important thing to do is to pick it up, rinse it off, and keep it moist. If you can hold your tooth in its socket, that’s the easiest and quickest way to preserve it. If you can’t, or worry you’ll accidentally swallow it, get a glass with a little bit of milk or water, and drop your tooth inside. 

As soon as you can, call our office. The sooner we see you, the easier it will be for us to save your tooth, and your smile!

Tooth or gum infection

Of the many reasons to take special care of your oral health, the possibility of infection is particularly concerning. The pulp inside a tooth can be infected and so can the gums. Any dental abscess is an emergency and requires prompt treatment to save the tooth or soothe the infected gums.

If you’re experiencing any mouth or tooth pain, especially if it’s accompanied by fever, swelling, or sensitivity to hot and cold, you may have an abscess, and you should call us right away. 

If the pulp of a tooth is infected, Dr. Licata performs a root canal to remove the infection and save your tooth. If your tooth needs to be pulled, there are cosmetic options available in our office for tooth replacement.

Severe toothache

A number of things can cause acute pain in your teeth. Your sensitive teeth may bite into something too warm or too cold, for example, irritating a nerve in the teeth. But if your acute pain lasts for longer than a few moments, you may be having a dental emergency. 

Many severe toothaches are symptoms of cavities, but other causes include:

  • Infection
  • Damaged filling
  • Severe tooth decay 
  • Broken tooth or crown
  • Injury to the tooth root

Give us a call and we can help you determine whether your tooth pain constitutes a dental emergency. 

Broken crown or lost filling

A filling or crown can break or come out while you’re eating, or they can be knocked out if you’re hit hard enough. A broken crown can be replaced, so it’s important to put your crown somewhere safe until you see if you can have it refitted on your tooth. 

If possible, clean the crown and your tooth with toothpaste,, and try to fit your crown back on. You can use a piece of chewing gum if this keeps it in place. 

See us for your dental emergencies

If you’re having a dental emergency, it’s easy to panic. But instead, just call us. Getting treatment for your dental emergency is an essential step in caring for your teeth and preserving the longevity of your smile. 

If you have a chronic condition like diabetes, hypertension, or heart disease, please let Dr Licata know when you come in so that she can provide the best possible care to you.

Don’t suffer in pain, and don’t wait to get emergency dental treatment with Licata Dental. Call us for an emergency appointment at 636-532-2201, book online, or walk in during our business hours. 

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Chesterfield, MO

111 Hilltown Village Center, Suite 200, Chesterfield, MO 63017

Email: office@licatadental.com

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