Dental Emergency: What to Do

Should I Go to the Emergency Room?

Determining whether or not you should visit the emergency room for a dental emergency will depend on various factors.
Visit the emergency room if you're experiencing any of the following:
Severe Toothache With Swelling and Fever: If a toothache is accompanied by swelling and fever, it could be an abscess, which is a serious infection that requires immediate medical attention.
Jaw Injury: If you suspect a broken jaw or serious injury to the face or mouth, go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
Uncontrolled Bleeding: If you're experiencing uncontrollable bleeding in your mouth, it's a situation for an urgent care center.
Swelling or Trauma to the Face/Mouth that Affects Breathing: If you have swelling or trauma that's causing breathing difficulties, this is an emergency that requires immediate medical attention at the ER.
Knocked-Out Permanent Tooth: While this can be treated by a dentist, if the injury happens when dental offices are closed, it may be necessary to go to the ER as soon as possible to ensure the tooth and surrounding tissues are properly cared for until a dentist is available.
Severe Infections: Infections that have spread or are severe may require immediate medical intervention at an ER.

Handling Dental Trauma

Dental trauma refers to injuries that affect the teeth, gums, or mouth due to accidents, sports-related incidents, or other traumatic events. Providing proper first aid emergency care for dental injuries can make a significant difference in preserving the affected teeth and reducing potential complications.
If you’ve undergone dental trauma, do the following:

  • Stay calm and assess the situation
  • Try to re-implant the tooth if knocked out
  • Control bleeding and alleviate pain with a cold compress or OTCs
  • Preserve fractured tooth pieces
  • Seek immediate dental care

Managing Dental Pain at Home

Dealing with dental pain can be distressing, especially when immediate dental care isn’t readily available. Managing dental pain at home is possible with over-the-counter pain relief options, natural remedies, and self-care techniques. It's important to note that home remedies are temporary solutions, and seeking professional dental care is crucial for long-term resolution.
Some remedies to try at home include:

  • Rinse with a mild saltwater solution
  • Apply a cold compress
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Applying clove oil
  • Avoid triggering foods and drinks

Emergency Dentistry and Dental Phobia

Dental phobia is a common fear or anxiety related to dental procedures and visits to the dentist's office. Unfortunately, dental emergencies can exacerbate dental phobia, making it challenging for individuals to seek prompt treatment. Overcoming dental anxiety is essential for maintaining good oral health and seeking timely treatment during dental emergencies.
This can be achieved by:

  • Seek supportive dental professionals
  • Communicate your fears and anxieties
  • Consider sedation dentistry options
  • Build a trusting relationship with your dentist
  • Explore relaxation techniques

Handling a Dental Emergency Abroad

Traveling abroad can be an exciting experience, but encountering a dental emergency in a foreign country can be overwhelming. This section will provide insights into emergency dentistry abroad, including finding dental services, understanding insurance coverage, and knowing the local emergency dental contact information.
It's crucial to be prepared and informed before embarking on international travel:

  • Research local dental services in advance
  • Carry essential documents and insurance information
  • Contact your dental provider at home
  • Seek immediate dental care for severe pain or trauma
  • Communicate clearly about your situation

Frequently Asked Questions

No Matter the Location or Type of Dental Emergency, We’re Here for You

Dental emergencies can happen unexpectedly, causing discomfort and anxiety. With the right knowledge and prompt actions, you can address a dental emergency with confidence. By staying calm, evaluating the situation, and seeking professional dental care, you can effectively manage dental emergencies and minimize potential complications.
Call our Billings, MT dental office at (406) 298-4485 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Thomas as soon as possible. Prioritize your oral well-being and be proactive in addressing dental emergencies, ensuring a healthy and pain-free smile.