What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?

As part of the effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, the American Dental Association (ADA) has provided dentists and patients with guidance on what to consider a dental emergency during the pandemic outbreak. This is a follow-up to the recommendation that patients should postpone elective procedures for the time being.

Here are some examples of what constitutes a dental emergency. If you are experiencing any of these problems, please call Park 56 Dental at (212) 826-2322. We would be happy to assist you and schedule a same-day appointment to have your emergency treated.

Knocked-Out Tooth

If you lose a tooth after getting hit in the face, gently place the tooth back in its socket, being careful to handle it as little as possible. Bite down slightly on moistened gauze to help hold the dislodged tooth in position.

If you can’t get the tooth back in your mouth, place it in a small container of milk or saliva (not water) to keep it moist. Then, call your dentist immediately. The faster you act, the better chance you have of saving the knocked-out tooth.

Loose Permanent Tooth

A wiggly permanent tooth is considered a dental emergency, even if there’s no pain. Hold the tooth in its proper position, and then bite down gently to keep it from moving. You can prevent the tooth from falling out entirely, but you must see a dentist as soon as possible.

Chipped, Cracked, or Broken Tooth

If a tiny corner of your tooth chips off, and you feel no pain, this usually doesn’t constitute a dental emergency. Simply be careful not to let any sharp edges of the tooth cut your lips, cheeks, or tongue

However, if you have a badly chipped, cracked, or broken tooth, this is a serious cause for concern. You may be in severe pain, so call your dentist immediately for an emergency appointment. In the meantime, dull the pain and reduce inflammation with a cold compress to your cheek. Taking anti-inflammatory medicine, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen, may help as well. You can also rinse your mouth with saltwater for antiseptic benefits.

Soft Tissue Injury & Resulting Pain

Puncture wounds, cuts, or tears to the cheeks, lips, or tongue are examples of soft tissue injuries that can cause pain and bleeding. Clean the area with warm water, and staunch the flow of blood with a soft cloth or gauze pad if available. Then, set up an emergency appointment with your dentist.

Other Dental Emergencies

In short, you should call your dentist immediately if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Severe pain
  • Swelling or trauma to facial bones that potentially compromises your airway
  • Bulging, swollen, or knotted gums

If you have a dental emergency, contact Park 56 Dental at (212) 826-2322 to request a same-day appointment with our NYC dentist. Rest assured that we’re following all recommended safety precautions from the CDC to keep our patients safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.

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