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How to Tell Whether Your Dental Emergency Is Urgent

In the time of COVID-19, most dentists are only open for treating dental emergencies. This means situations like tooth pain or an accident where you broke or dislodged a tooth. Sometimes, these situations may occur outside of normal business hours. Should you still call your emergency dentist in Houston? It depends on how urgently you need treatment. Here is a quick guide to the difference between urgent and non-urgent dental emergencies.

Urgent Dental Emergencies

If you find yourself in any of the following situations, you need to call your dentist right away, since treatment can’t wait:

Knocked-out tooth. Because you only have an hour after the incident before the tooth becomes no longer viable for reattachment, a knocked-out tooth is the most urgent of dental emergencies. Keep the tooth moist until you can reach your dentist’s office. Broken or chipped tooth. Collect any pieces of the tooth you can find and bring them with you to your appointment. Your dentist may be able to attach them later. Severe toothache. If your tooth pain interferes with your ability to eat, sleep, or live your day-to-day life, then call your dentist immediately. You may have an infection or cavity.Loose tooth. Adult teeth should never be loose. Get to your dentist quickly before the tooth completely falls out.

Non-Urgent Dental Emergencies

There are some situations where you need medical attention from your dentist, but it’s fine to wait until normal business hours. For example, if your crown falls out on a Friday night, it’s okay to wait until Monday morning to call your dentist in Houston. Some of these non-urgent situations include:

Chronic headaches. Although frequent headaches may be a sign of something else, sometimes it can mean you’re grinding your teeth at night, a habit known as bruxism. You might have bruxism if you commonly have headaches upon waking and your teeth are sore, cracked, or chipped. Lost crown, bridge, or filling. Locate the restoration and give it a gentle rinse. Then, use a little smear of toothpaste to temporarily hold it in place until you can see your dentist for a more permanent reattachment. Dull toothache. If you have mild tooth pain that doesn’t distract you from your everyday life, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers until you can call your dentist.Food stuck in teeth. If there’s a piece of food in your teeth that you can’t get out with floss, it’s fine to wait a few days. Your dentist has the tools necessary to easily remove the bit of food.

While all dental emergencies need quick treatment by their very nature, some require treatment more rapidly than others. Whatever the case may be, it’s still a great idea to contact your emergency dentist in Houston as soon as possible.

About the Author

Dr. Chad Stapleton is a graduate of the University of Texas’ dental school, widely regarded as one of the best dental schools in the country. He has also earned a Fellowship with the Academy of General Dentistry. During the time of COVID-19, his practice is open for treatment of dental emergencies, regardless of how urgent they are. If you think you might be experiencing a dental emergency, contact Dr. Stapleton via his website or by calling (713) 706-4077.

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