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Dental emergencies can be distressing and require immediate attention. At Dorset Dental in Scarborough, we're equipped to handle a variety of dental emergencies.

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Understanding Common Types of Dental Emergencies: A Guide by Dorset Dental

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Dental emergencies can be distressing and require immediate attention. At Dorset Dental in Scarborough, we’re equipped to handle a variety of dental emergencies.

This guide will discuss the seven most common types of dental emergencies, how to handle them, potential treatments, and provide examples of each.

1. Toothache

Toothache is a common dental emergency that can be caused by various factors such as tooth decay, gum disease, an abscess, or a chipped or broken tooth. For example, you might experience a toothache if you have a cavity that has reached the nerve of your tooth, causing intense pain.

If you’re experiencing a toothache, it’s crucial to seek emergency dental care immediately. Treatment may include a filling, root canal, or extraction, depending on the cause of the toothache.

2. Chipped or Broken Teeth

Chipped or broken teeth can result from biting down on hard food, a sports injury, or a fall. For instance, you might chip a tooth while eating popcorn and accidentally biting down on an unpopped kernel.

If you have a chipped or broken tooth, avoid eating on that side of your mouth and avoid hot or cold foods and beverages. At our emergency dental clinic, we may repair the tooth with a filling or crown. In severe cases, a root canal or extraction may be necessary.

3. Knocked-Out Tooth

A knocked-out tooth is a serious dental emergency. For example, a tooth might be knocked out during a sports game if a ball or another player hits your face. If your tooth gets knocked out, try to put the tooth back in the socket if possible. If not, store it in a glass of milk or water and get to Dorset Dental immediately. Acting quickly can increase the chances of saving the tooth.

4. Dental Abscess

A dental abscess is a pocket of pus that forms due to a bacterial infection. For instance, if you have severe tooth decay or gum disease, an abscess can form, causing pain and swelling. If you suspect a dental abscess, see an emergency dentist at Dorset Dental immediately.

Treatment may involve draining the abscess and getting rid of the infection with root canal treatment or tooth extraction. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to help fight the infection.

5. Lost Filling or Crown

A lost filling or crown can expose the sensitive part of your tooth, causing pain and sensitivity. This can occur due to decay underneath the filling or crown or due to the wear and tear of the restoration. For example, you might lose a crown while eating sticky food.

If your filling or crown falls out, schedule a dental appointment at Dorset Dental as soon as possible. Your dentist will need to replace the filling or crown to protect your tooth and prevent further damage.

6. Broken Orthodontic Wires

Broken wires from braces can cause discomfort and even injury to the mouth’s soft tissues. For instance, a wire might break or stick out if you eat hard or crunchy food. If a wire breaks or sticks out, try to push it back into a comfortable position using the eraser end of a pencil. If that’s not possible, cover the end with orthodontic wax or a piece of gauze until you can get to the dentist. Your orthodontist will need to repair or replace the broken wire.

7. Severe Tooth Sensitivity

While some tooth sensitivity is common, severe or sudden tooth sensitivity can be a sign of a cracked tooth, gum disease, or tooth abscess. For example, you might experience severe sensitivity when you drink a hot beverage or eat ice cream. If you experience severe tooth sensitivity, especially if it’s accompanied by pain or a fever, it’s important to seek emergency dental care.

Treatment will depend on the cause of the sensitivity but may include a root canal, gum disease treatment, or treatment for a tooth abscess.

Key Takeaways

  • Dental emergencies require immediate attention to alleviate pain and prevent further complications.
  • The seven most common dental emergencies include toothache, chipped or broken teeth, knocked-out tooth, dental abscess, lost filling or crown, broken orthodontic wires, and severe tooth sensitivity.
  • If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, it’s crucial to seek professional help immediately. Dorset Dental in Scarborough is equipped to handle a variety of dental emergencies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Dental emergencies refer to any situation where there is an immediate need for dental treatment or care to alleviate pain, reduce swelling or bleeding, and prevent further damage to the teeth, gums, or mouth.

The most common dental emergencies include painful toothache or sore tooth, chipped or broken tooth, knocked-out or avulsed tooth, loose or dislodged tooth, and soft tissue injuries in the mouth like cuts, lacerations, and bleeding gums.

Yes, it is essential to visit the dentist as soon as possible for emergency dental treatment or dental restoration to prevent the dental problem from worsening or leading to other complications that may affect your oral health and overall well-being.

Depending on the type and severity of the dental emergency, your dentist may be able to put the knocked-out tooth back in its place, use an ice pack or cold compress to reduce swelling, apply dental restoration to fix the tooth, or provide over-the-counter pain relievers and antibiotics to alleviate pain and prevent infection.

If you have a chipped tooth, you should call your dentist or emergency dental office right away to schedule an appointment for emergency dental treatment. In the meantime, rinse your mouth with warm water, use an over-the-counter pain reliever, and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling.

Yes, a loose tooth is considered a dental emergency because it may indicate a serious dental problem that requires immediate attention from a dentist. Your dentist may be able to reinsert the tooth back in its place or provide dental restoration to fix the tooth.

There are over-the-counter pain relievers, cold compresses, and dental floss that can help alleviate pain and reduce swelling for some dental emergencies. However, it is always recommended to see your dentist or emergency dental office for proper diagnosis and treatment of dental problems.

If a tooth gets knocked out, try to reinsert the tooth back in its place without touching or damaging the roots. If that is not possible, keep the tooth in a container of milk or saliva and see your dentist immediately for emergency dental treatment.

You should go to the emergency room for dental problems that involve severe pain and bleeding and may require immediate attention from a medical professional. However, for most dental emergencies, visiting the dentist as soon as possible is the best course of action.

Practicing good oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing regularly, visiting the dentist for routine check-ups and cleanings, wearing protective gear when playing sports, and avoiding hard and sticky foods can help prevent dental emergencies.

  • Regular dental check-ups can help prevent dental emergencies by catching and treating dental issues early.
  • Trust Dorset Dental in Scarborough to provide the immediate and professional care you need during a dental emergency.
Registered Dental Hygienist - Dorset Dental


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About The Author

Dr. Kasia Dymerska, DDS

Dr. Kasia Dymerska DDS, believes in a gentle approach to dentistry. She enjoys all aspects of general dentistry and is a strong advocate for preventive dental care. She graduated with distinction from the Faculty of Dentistry, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University, in London, Ontario. Then she began a General Practice Residency at the London Health Sciences Centre. Dr. Dymerska prides herself on communication and being multi-lingual helps maintain her commitment to providing individualized care to keep her patients smiling.

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